Moto X Owners Treated to a Pixar Experience on Their Phones

Owners of the Google-powered Moto X phone had an unexpected cinematic experience waiting for them on the home screen earlier this week when a red sombrero icon appeared. Motorola teamed up with Pixar to create an animated narrative for the mobile device that flaunts the company’s newest platform with high-level technology. And the intention is to not only redefine what it means to create a narrative, but how and where users experience it. Continue reading Moto X Owners Treated to a Pixar Experience on Their Phones

Infiniti Launches Marketing Campaign with Responsive Video

Viewers have the ability to interact with characters in Infiniti’s Deja View video, created as part of an online campaign to promote the 2014 Infiniti Q50 sport sedan. The responsive video, produced by New York agency Campfire, uses voice recognition technology that allows viewers to interact with the video’s characters through toll-free phone calls. The story’s plot then responds dynamically based on the responses of each online viewer. Continue reading Infiniti Launches Marketing Campaign with Responsive Video

Disney Targets Young TV Viewers Using Tablets with New App

As the number of households with children who use tablets increases, Disney is ramping up its efforts to cater to kids’ viewing habits. On November 24, Disney will release the first nine episodes of its newest series on mobile devices with the Watch Disney Junior app. The series, “Sheriff Callie’s Wild West,” won’t debut on TV until early next year, but children with an iPad at home will be able to watch and interact with it and other Disney favorites. Continue reading Disney Targets Young TV Viewers Using Tablets with New App

LinkedIn Targets Mobile Users with Collection of New Apps

In an effort to change the way its users engage online — and for how long — LinkedIn is beefing up its site to include a handful of new apps that will help facilitate easier, more advanced communication among users. During a press event last week, LinkedIn announced five new apps, including one that processes users’ email and attaches mini LinkedIn profiles to the message. These new features are a sign that the social media site is upping the ante on interactive capabilities. Continue reading LinkedIn Targets Mobile Users with Collection of New Apps

Mobile-Ad Spending More Than Doubles in First Half of 2013

Marketers are increasingly looking to smartphones and tablets to reach consumers, as spending on mobile advertising more than doubled during the first half of this year. According to new estimates from the Interactive Advertising Bureau, mobile-ad spending in the U.S. totaled $3 billion in the first half of 2013, up from $1.2 billion the previous year. In related news, research firm IHS projects that the number of Internet-connected video devices will pass 8 billion by 2017, a figure that should also be of interest to advertisers. Continue reading Mobile-Ad Spending More Than Doubles in First Half of 2013

Startups Create Advanced Tracking of Users Across Devices

Smartphones can collect massive amounts of personal information, such as where users go, what they buy, and when they go to sleep. But current Web browser tracking software has become less effective for ads and cannot follow users across their devices. Based on the shift toward mobile, tech and advertising companies are looking into new ways to track consumers on their tablets and phones, while targeting them with specialized ads across all devices. Continue reading Startups Create Advanced Tracking of Users Across Devices

Apple and MLB Team Up for Interactive Ballpark Experience

Major League Baseball is launching a new initiative involving customized features for its At the Ballpark app that will make attending games a more interactive experience for sports fans. The app will use Apple’s iBeacon indoor mapping, a new feature of the company’s recently released iOS 7, for a customized stadium experience. Apple’s mapping tool addresses the limitations of using GPS indoors. MLB and Apple have been working on the project since February. Continue reading Apple and MLB Team Up for Interactive Ballpark Experience

Lucasfilm Combines Video Game Making and Film Production

Lucasfilm is developing real-time motion capture technology used in video game development that it believes it can combine with film production. In the long term, these combined technologies could eliminate the need for much of the post-production process as most of the work can be done in real-time. In addition, the potential exchange of elements in video games and films will allow viewers to tailor their movies while they watch. Continue reading Lucasfilm Combines Video Game Making and Film Production

Google May Implement Anonymous Identifier to Replace Cookies

Google may change the way that online browsing activity is tracked by developing an anonymous identifier for advertising, or AdID. This identifier would essentially replace third-party cookies to track browsing information, which would then be used for marketing purposes. The identifier would be sent to advertisers and ad networks that agree to certain guidelines, while providing users with greater privacy and control over how they browse the Internet. Continue reading Google May Implement Anonymous Identifier to Replace Cookies

“Grand Theft Auto V” Generates $800 Million on its First Day

On its first day of availability, sales of Rockstar Games’ “Grand Theft Auto V” have topped $800 million worldwide, reports publisher Take-Two Interactive (and the game has yet to make its debut in Brazil and Japan). “GTA V” has been praised by critics, averaging a 98 score on review site Metacritic and is expected to generate impressive numbers, despite a 22 percent drop in video game disc and console sales in 2012 due to the rise of online and mobile games. Continue reading “Grand Theft Auto V” Generates $800 Million on its First Day

EXCLUSIVE: Bran Ferren Q&A Part 2 — We’re Just Getting Started

Bran Ferren, creative consultant to the Envision Symposium taking place September 19-21 in Monterey, sat with ETC for an exclusive look at the issues and context that inspired and provided the guiding principle for this first of its kind gathering of leaders and visionaries in the fields of storytelling, performance, cinema, television and games. This is the second and concluding part of our interview with the legendary designer and technologist. Continue reading EXCLUSIVE: Bran Ferren Q&A Part 2 — We’re Just Getting Started

Cortana: Microsoft Developing Next-Gen Personal Assistant

Microsoft is developing a personal assistant app called Cortana that will compete directly with Apple’s Siri and Google Now. Cortana derives its name from an artificially intelligent character in Microsoft’s “Halo” series. Essentially, the app will be able to learn and adapt while utilizing machine-learning technology and the Satori knowledge repository powering Bing. The app will likely be released somewhere between 2014 and 2016. Continue reading Cortana: Microsoft Developing Next-Gen Personal Assistant

EXCLUSIVE: Ken Williams on Advanced Media Tech for the Home

ETC@USC Executive Director and CEO Ken Williams addressed the topic of advanced media technology for the home when he spoke at the NAB Futures Conference last Fall. As part of ETCentric‘s member exclusive features, we are pleased to present the perspectives Ken articulated to broadcasting leaders and technology innovators at the invitation-only event where attendees openly discussed the future of broadcasting and explored how businesses will thrive in this era of digital disruption. (Statistics cited reflect the timeframe in which the talk was given.) Continue reading EXCLUSIVE: Ken Williams on Advanced Media Tech for the Home

Kids Engage in Disney Infinity, Game Generates Big Numbers

Disney sold 400,000 units of its “Infinity” game system in the two weeks since its debut, generating an estimated $30 million. In its first week of availability, sales for the new game matched sales of Activision Blizzard’s “Skylanders Giants” during its debut week. According to Activision, “Skylanders Giants” was the top children’s game of the 2012 holiday season. Like “Skylanders,” “Infinity” allows kids to combine collectible figures with on screen video game play. Continue reading Kids Engage in Disney Infinity, Game Generates Big Numbers

Pixar Veterans Create Interactive Talk Show App for Kids

Kids who watch shows such as “Dora the Explorer” and “Blue’s Clues” are often asked questions that encourage responses, but the TV of course does not interact beyond that point. This problem is being solved by San Francisco startup ToyTalk, a company launched by former employees of Pixar Animation Studios. Their first iPad app, “The Winston Show,” features Winston and his sidekick Ellington posing questions to their young viewers and then responding intelligently. Continue reading Pixar Veterans Create Interactive Talk Show App for Kids

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