BBC Launches Research Collaboration in User Experience

The BBC announced on Thursday the BBC User Experience Research Partnership, a collaboration between BBC Research and Development and several universities, which involves research in User Experience and Human Computer Interaction. The initiative will develop pilot programs and prototypes, and will share its results. It also builds upon the BBC R&D’s strong record of collaboration, and focuses on strategies for the BBC and media industries. Continue reading BBC Launches Research Collaboration in User Experience

Intel Acquires Gesture Recognition Startup Omek Interactive

Chipmaker Intel has acquired the gesture recognition startup Omek Interactive for close to $50 million. The Israeli startup develops software and related technology for creating gesture recognition interfaces based on information provided by 3D cameras. Omek’s gesture recognition and body tracking software is being used in devices such as TVs, set-top boxes, game consoles, tablets, PCs, smartphones, interactive signs, and medical and fitness devices. Continue reading Intel Acquires Gesture Recognition Startup Omek Interactive

Microsoft to Shut Down Interactive MSN TV Service this Year

Microsoft announced this week that it will shutter its MSN TV (formerly WebTV) service on September 30. The pioneering interactive TV service began in 1996 as one of the first set-top boxes to offer Internet access. WebTV was acquired by Microsoft for $425 million in 1997. According to Brad Hill, WebTV’s former national media spokesperson leading up to the product’s launch, “it isn’t modern Web-connected TVs that finally killed WebTV (MSN TV) — it’s the mobile revolution that did it.” Continue reading Microsoft to Shut Down Interactive MSN TV Service this Year

E3 2013: Disney Infinity Has Potential as Major Franchise

During this week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, Disney Interactive promoted “Disney Infinity,” its upcoming video game environment and merchandise hybrid that incorporates physical toy figurines based on popular characters from the company’s films and television shows. Kids can interact with RF-outfitted action figures, power discs, and play set hexagons that can integrate film locations and theme park attractions. Continue reading E3 2013: Disney Infinity Has Potential as Major Franchise

E3 2013: Gamers Spending Less Time with TV and Movies

According to an annual study by the Entertainment Software Association, video games are beginning to have a larger impact on other media. The study found that active gamers are more inclined to give up time spent with television and movies while pursuing interactive entertainment. However, the ESA also notes that 42 percent of the console owners they surveyed indicate that their game systems are used to watch movies and play games. Continue reading E3 2013: Gamers Spending Less Time with TV and Movies

E3 2013: Microsoft and Sony Announce Game Console Prices

At this week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, Microsoft announced that its new Xbox One game console will be available in November for $499 (a price level higher than it has historically set), while Sony said its soon-to-be-launched PlayStation 4 console will sell for $399 (although a specific date was not mentioned). Both companies are facing mounting pressure from the growing success of mobile and social games. Continue reading E3 2013: Microsoft and Sony Announce Game Console Prices

Pop Culture and Lifestyle Show to Feature Viewer Interaction

Software firm Youtoo Technologies announced that it has integrated its interactive video technology into “OK! TV,” a nationally syndicated half-hour news and entertainment magazine show co-produced by American Media and Unconventional Partners that will debut on September 9. Integrating Youtoo’s technology will enable the audience to directly interact with the show through online video and social and mobile apps. Continue reading Pop Culture and Lifestyle Show to Feature Viewer Interaction

SoftKinetic and Intel Pursue Era of Perceptual Computing

Belgium-based SoftKinetic built what it says is the world’s smallest 3D camera that recognizes gestures. The company has teamed with Intel to take the next step toward “perceptual computing,” which entails using more senses to interact with computers. The small 3D gesture-recognition camera, which is based on “time-of-flight” technology, will be used by Intel in its collection of perceptual computing technologies next year. Continue reading SoftKinetic and Intel Pursue Era of Perceptual Computing

CBS and GameSpot to Offer Extensive E3 Coverage in June

CBS Interactive’s GameSpot.com announced its plans yesterday for comprehensive coverage of next month’s E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo). The coverage will feature more than 100 hours of original live and on-demand programming from the Los Angeles Convention Center in addition to on-air integration with CBS Television stations. This marks the first time GameSpot will produce pre-show programming for a television audience. Continue reading CBS and GameSpot to Offer Extensive E3 Coverage in June

Microsoft and NFL Team Up for Interactive Game Broadcasts

Microsoft has announced a partnership with the NFL to develop technology that will make football games more interactive for Xbox Live subscribers. The deal, reportedly worth $400 million over the next five years, was announced yesterday during Microsoft’s unveiling of its next-generation Xbox One gaming console. It marks the latest digital step by the NFL to enhance its live game broadcasts. Continue reading Microsoft and NFL Team Up for Interactive Game Broadcasts

Museum Bridges Art and Tech with 40-Foot Collection Wall

The Cleveland Museum of Art is introducing new technology to enhance the visitor experience. With a special application designed for the iPad and a 40-foot interactive touchscreen, patrons can personalize and share tours, bookmark their favorite art, and access special videos and behind-the-scenes information for different exhibits. In the process, the Cleveland Gallery One program may serve as a model for museums and other venues. Continue reading Museum Bridges Art and Tech with 40-Foot Collection Wall

YouNow and blogTV Combine for Live Social Broadcasting

Live broadcasting site YouNow, which uses social media in order to control live streaming content, has combined with a similar counterpart. The company recently acquired blogTV to increase views on its real-time platform. Will the combined effort increase traffic to the site, or will it continue to operate in the shadows of more established video sites like YouTube? Continue reading YouNow and blogTV Combine for Live Social Broadcasting

American Idol Adds New Twitter Fan Meter for Live Polling

“American Idol” has begun using Twitter as a platform through which to take instant audience polls. Using two possible hashtags per question, those in the audience can respond to network inquiries like: Do you agree with the judges tonight? Once the answers are submitted, Fox and partner FremantleMedia will update a graphic almost instantaneously as results come in, creating a live tug of war. Continue reading American Idol Adds New Twitter Fan Meter for Live Polling

Disney Preps Infinity: New Universe for Interactive Gaming

“Disney Infinity”is a new interactive universe that allows children to interact with figurines in a digital world. It connects characters from Disney and Pixar movies including “Monster’s University,” “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “The Incredibles,”although Disney plans to add more before the June launch. With characters from different franchises interacting with one another, will we see any “Star Wars” entries? Continue reading Disney Preps Infinity: New Universe for Interactive Gaming

New York City Introduces the Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg introduced the Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge in early December — “an open call for ideas to bring the payphone into the 21st century — and maybe beyond,” writes Businessweek. What might these new payphones look like? “City officials can envision payphones that are solar charging stations or places to do limited commerce — purchase tickets, say, for the theater or mass transportation. Think Internet café on the corner where anyone can look up local attractions — or the closest green market — and get directions for walking or taking public transportation,” notes the article. Continue reading New York City Introduces the Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge