Oculus Rift VR Headsets Will Begin Shipping Early Next Year

Oculus VR announced yesterday that the company plans to ship its Oculus Rift headset by Q1 2016. Pricing and tech details have yet to be released, but consumers will be able to place pre-orders during the 2015 holidays. The virtual reality device, which has only been available for developers thus far, will need to be used with a PC. Both Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus, and Facebook, which acquired the company last year, expected to launch the headset earlier. However, the team has faced challenges regarding some of the system’s requirements. Continue reading Oculus Rift VR Headsets Will Begin Shipping Early Next Year

JetBlue to Offer More Inflight Entertainment via Amazon Prime

Beginning next quarter, JetBlue passengers on select aircraft will be able to stream movies, TV shows and music on seat-back display screens and personal devices through their Amazon Prime accounts at no additional charge. According to JetBlue, passengers who are not Prime members will have the option of registering inflight for a 30-day free trial to watch videos immediately. Passengers will also be able to rent or purchase content. The new service will be transmitted via JetBlue’s Fly-Fi inflight broadband. Continue reading JetBlue to Offer More Inflight Entertainment via Amazon Prime

Fandango to Feature Scannable Movie Tickets via Apple Watch

Ticketing company Fandango plans to launch one of the Apple Watch’s first entertainment apps this Friday when the wearable starts its initial shipments. Similar to its mobile app, Fandango’s watch app will feature scannable movie tickets. The app also offers movie trivia and helpful screening information such as theater directions, seat details and a countdown clock to showtimes. Fandango, which developed an early iPhone app and was one of the first Passbook app partners, already has more than 36 million monthly online visitors. Continue reading Fandango to Feature Scannable Movie Tickets via Apple Watch

Apple Watch Not Perfect, But Some Say Best New Smartwatch

With the Apple Watch release date only weeks away, the reviews for the new wearable continue to roll in. The Watch, Apple’s first new product in nearly five years, is already being coined by many as the best smartwatch on the market. While reviews have been largely positive, there also seems to be a steep learning curve. Some early testers have said it takes time to get familiar with all of the Watch’s functions and features, but that eventually it becomes as simple to use as any of Apple’s other devices.  Continue reading Apple Watch Not Perfect, But Some Say Best New Smartwatch

Vive VR Headset Unveiled at Game Developers Conference

We recently reported that HTC partnered with Seattle-based gaming company Valve to develop Vive, a new VR headset with plans to compete with the Oculus Rift and Sony Morpheus. Valve is the developer behind Steam, the social platform for distributing and managing games. The Vive headset was unveiled at last week’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, and is already generating positive reviews for its tech advances, including low latency and a fast refresh rate that reduces the incidence of “Sim Sickness.” Continue reading Vive VR Headset Unveiled at Game Developers Conference

LeapFrog Struggles in Tech Driven Market for Children’s Toys

Once a top seeded player in the educational toys and games industry, LeapFrog is having trouble competing with app developers in today’s highly tech driven market for children’s toys. In 2011, it became one of the first companies to launch a successful tablet for kids, only to be pushed out of the market a few years later by the ubiquitous presence of the iPad and other tablets. Since then LeapFrog has had no choice but to drop prices on a device that once made up half its annual revenue. Continue reading LeapFrog Struggles in Tech Driven Market for Children’s Toys

Virtual Reality Poised to ‘Cross the Chasm’ to the Wider World

Beau Cronin, co-founder of Prior Knowledge and current senior manager of predictive products at Salesforce, recognizes that VR is in the process of transforming from a specialty technology where innovation is driven by small groups of experts, to a general-purpose technology that will tap into a huge, broader market of users and hackers. In a recent article, he postulates that VR today is where the Internet was in 1993, just before Netscape. At that time there was a re-evaluation of all the rules, often done by outsiders. Continue reading Virtual Reality Poised to ‘Cross the Chasm’ to the Wider World

Streaming Competition Ramps Up for Children’s Programming

Netflix, Amazon, YouTube and Nickelodeon are competing more than ever for a younger audience by offering on demand children’s programming. Netflix plans to add as many as five new original kids shows next year to go hand in hand with its exclusive library of Disney and DreamWorks content. Amazon has ordered second seasons of its kids programming and Nickelodeon recently launched a streaming service for kids ages 2-6. Even YouTube has developed a kid-friendly app for preschoolers.  Continue reading Streaming Competition Ramps Up for Children’s Programming

Smart Projector Displays Content from Your Phone or Tablet

The Beam is part LED lightbulb and part projector. Users can screw it into a light socket or place it on a flat surface and project content anywhere. The small-scale device has an onboard computer to access content on the Web. It can also project games or movies from a smartphone or tablet. The smart projector has a corresponding iOS and Android app for operation and programming commands. Beam Labs Inc. is offering the $399 Beam device as part of its Kickstarter campaign that ends March 24. Continue reading Smart Projector Displays Content from Your Phone or Tablet

LG Introduces Virtual Reality Headset That Works with the G3

LG is the latest company to introduce a portable virtual reality headset. The ‘VR for G3’ is a simple plastic headset, which will be given to new buyers of the LG G3 smartphone for free. The headset’s design models that of Google Cardboard. While powered using LG’s smartphone, the headset uses Google Cardboard software and other readily available VR experiences on the Google Play Store (a VR game will be included as a promo). There has been no mention of whether the headset will be independently sold.   Continue reading LG Introduces Virtual Reality Headset That Works with the G3

Matchstick Delays Shipping; Opts for Hardware, DRM Updates

Matchstick, the first HDMI streaming media stick based on the Firefox OS, announced that its originally planned February shipment date has now been pushed to August. The company says it has “decided to release the product when it is ready.” The decision to delay is the result of updating the hardware to a faster quad core chipset, improving the antenna to avoid the Wi-Fi connectivity issues experienced by similar products, and developing DRM support in order to attract more premium video apps such as Netflix. Continue reading Matchstick Delays Shipping; Opts for Hardware, DRM Updates

The Pirate Bay Returns After Being Shut Down by Authorities

Popular file-sharing site The Pirate Bay is back online following a two-month outage after police in Stockholm raided a data center and seized servers. Responding to complaints from Swedish anti-piracy group Rights Alliance, authorities shut down numerous peer-to-peer and torrent-related services on December 9. Later that month, The Pirate Bay page returned, went through several iterations, and eventually replaced its pirate ship with a phoenix logo. A countdown clock indicated a February 1 return, and the site now appears to be live. Continue reading The Pirate Bay Returns After Being Shut Down by Authorities

Magic Leap Patent Reveals Possibilities for Augmented Reality

Magic Leap, the startup that raised $542 million in a funding round led by Google, has filed a patent for “cinematic reality,” in which users will get access to the company’s augmented reality tech through a headset and belt pack. Magic Leap’s system stores content in the cloud, and any augmented reality content can be configured to fit in with the user’s physical environment. The patent lists interesting possible uses for the technology, from grocery shopping and home decor to surgery and hospital stays. Continue reading Magic Leap Patent Reveals Possibilities for Augmented Reality

Research Points to Millennials Spending $62 Billion on Media

Deloitte forecasts that the 83 million 18- to 34-year-old consumers in North America will spend about $62 billion on media consumption in 2015, an average of $750 per person. Roughly 80 percent of millennials are projected to spend an average of $80 per month on pay TV, with another $40 per year for streaming video services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime. The same demographic is likely to spend about $100 on concerts and $25 a year on music downloads and streaming services, according to Deloitte. Continue reading Research Points to Millennials Spending $62 Billion on Media

Dailymotion Games Plans to Compete with YouTube and Twitch

French startup Dailymotion announced this week that it is launching a streaming site for the growing number of fans who enjoy watching video of live gaming, a move that would put the company in competition with Twitch, the leader in this emerging field. The move will also provide Dailymotion with another means of taking on its rival YouTube. Gaming video has grown increasingly popular due to new streaming services, the appeal of live professional gaming events, and the rise of massively multiplayer team-based games. Continue reading Dailymotion Games Plans to Compete with YouTube and Twitch