Fox Innovation Lab to Debut Virtual Reality with ‘The Martian”

For box-office hit “The Martian,” 20th Century Fox and its Fox Innovation Lab developed a VR experience that will debut as a commercial release in the first half of 2016. The VR experience relies on Oculus headsets but will also be available with other devices. The experience is based on the lead character of the movie, putting viewers into the challenges faced by astronaut Mark Watney on Mars. Filmmaker Robert Stromberg said the “thrilling” experience aims to provoke a wide range of emotions including anxiety and success. Continue reading Fox Innovation Lab to Debut Virtual Reality with ‘The Martian”

MIT Media Lab Director Ito Explores Transformative Research

Joichi “Joi” Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab, explored how radical new approaches to science and technology can transform society in his SIGGRAPH 2015 keynote presentation. Ito’s remarks addressed what he and his colleagues at the Media Lab view as a fundamental shift in the way we need to work, collaborate, think, imagine and create. He calls it the “Creativity Compass” and unites science, art, design and engineering. Several of the Media Lab’s futuristic projects were also featured. Continue reading MIT Media Lab Director Ito Explores Transformative Research

SIGGRAPH 2015: XRoad of Discovery; Emerging Tech Conference Opens in LA

SIGGRAPH 2015, the interdisciplinary conference on the latest computer graphics and interactive techniques, is underway at the LA Convention Center and runs through August 13. SIGGRAPHis unique as a trade event because it showcases both the state of the art in professional production as well as being one of the best places in the world to see and experience emerging technologies, talent and academic research. The conference theme, “XRoads of Discovery,” and the selection of Joichi Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab as the conference keynote speaker, underscore the future look. Continue reading SIGGRAPH 2015: XRoad of Discovery; Emerging Tech Conference Opens in LA

Target Display Educates Shoppers About the Connected Home

Target recently joined forces with Local Projects, the New York design studio that worked on the interactive installations of the 9/11 Museum, to build a new retail space and test lab in San Francisco that leverages interactive storytelling to help illustrate how smart products work. Open House is arranged as a 3,500-square-foot model home filled with the latest Internet-connected gadgets, from Drop’s smart thermometers and scales in the kitchen to Withings’ wireless blood pressure monitors and Sonos speakers in the bedroom. Continue reading Target Display Educates Shoppers About the Connected Home

New Meerkat Feature Makes Real-Time Video More Interactive

Meerkat has launched a new real-time video feature called Cameo that allows users to invite friends on the mobile app to take over their live streams. The new feature could lead to an interesting opportunity for brands to work with celebrities and social influencers. For example, a company such as Red Bull could promote upcoming livestreams with their sponsored extreme-sports athletes. Fox, Hulu, MasterCard, Southwest Airlines and The Weather Channel are among those already signed up to use Cameo. Continue reading New Meerkat Feature Makes Real-Time Video More Interactive

MTV Launches Interactive Online Game to Promote ‘Scream’

As part of its social media push for the upcoming series “Scream,” based on the popular horror film franchise, MTV has created an interactive online game. In a unique promotional campaign, “Choose Your Own Murder” invites participants to enter their own horror movie scenario and try to escape a killer. Users are given options as the story unfolds and brief time limits to quickly make decisions that steer the action. Once murdered, users then have the option of playing the game again or sharing via social media. The series is slated to debut June 30. Continue reading MTV Launches Interactive Online Game to Promote ‘Scream’

Google to Partner with Levi’s on Interactive Clothing Project

Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group unveiled its Project Jacquard initiative at Google I/O last week. The goal of the project is to invisibly integrate computers into wearables and other materials, objects, furniture, and more. The idea is that everyday items could be converted to interactive surfaces with the introduction of touch-sensitive fabric. The objects would then transmit info to a smartphone or other device via Wi-Fi. The company’s first partner is Levi Strauss, which is interested in creating jeans that fit into our digital lives. Continue reading Google to Partner with Levi’s on Interactive Clothing Project

Facebook Now Hosting Articles from Major News Organizations

After months of negotiations, media companies have finally started publishing their content directly to Facebook. Nine major news organizations, including BBC News, NBC News and The New York Times, have agreed to the Facebook deal. The articles will load faster and the news organizations will be able to sell advertisements and keep the entire revenue. However, some analysts believe that this deal might draw readers and advertisers away from the media companies’ own sites. Continue reading Facebook Now Hosting Articles from Major News Organizations

New Wave of Interactive Ads Designed to Engage Mobile Users

According to Google, only 54 percent of online video ads are viewable (excluding those on YouTube). More companies are trying to get people engaged with their online ads instead of scrolling past them. Viewers may be prompted to talk back, swipe, or shoot targets in interactive ads. This new type of advertising is aimed at mobile users as people increasingly use their phones to access the Internet. Google and other companies hope interactive ads may help generate more mobile advertising revenue. Continue reading New Wave of Interactive Ads Designed to Engage Mobile Users

Microsoft’s HoloLens AR Technology Designed for Productivity

Microsoft demonstrated the practicality of its HoloLens augmented reality technology at last week’s Microsoft BUILD developers conference. While it may not be as exciting as stepping into an immersive experience with virtual reality, the technology opens the door for some compelling practical applications, whether that involves educating medical students or building virtual models of rocket ships. Possibilities for business and the home is what may help augmented reality catch on and improve people’s lives. Continue reading Microsoft’s HoloLens AR Technology Designed for Productivity

Coachella to Live Stream Performances and More via YouTube

For music fans that want to catch acts such as AC/DC, Drake, Interpol, Jack White and Vic Mensa perform at Coachella this weekend, much of the three-day festival will be streamed on YouTube. Three channels of performances, commentary and interactive profiles will be made available as well as a schedule feature that offers updates based on a user’s time zone and channel choice, and a virtual map feature that will include photos taken during the live event. Coachella’s YouTube channel is sponsored by T-Mobile. Continue reading Coachella to Live Stream Performances and More via YouTube

SXSW Will Use Beacon Technology to Push Festival Information

The 2015 South by Southwest (SXSW) Music, Film and Interactive Festival — which runs March 13-22 in Austin, Texas — plans to employ the latest beacon technology to help attendees navigate the sprawling event this time around. SXSW has partnered with Eventbase to install 1,000 Apple iBeacons that will deliver location-based information about who else is nearby and what acts are performing nearby. These Bluetooth-enabled devices send the information to the 2015 SXSW Go app. Continue reading SXSW Will Use Beacon Technology to Push Festival Information

HP Developing AR and 3D for Interactive Tablets and Laptops

Hewlett-Packard is reportedly planning to introduce augmented reality and 3D technologies to tablets and laptops to provide consumers with a more immersive mobile computing experience. In addition to interaction between mobile devices and 3D printers, HP intends to bring AR to real-world applications. HP’s Sprout desktop PC, featuring Intel’s 3D RealSense camera, enables scanning and 3D printing. At CES last month, the company also touted its 23.6-inch Zvr virtual reality monitor that projects 3D images. Continue reading HP Developing AR and 3D for Interactive Tablets and Laptops

Oculus Launches Movie Studio to Make Content for its Headset

Oculus VR is expanding its focus from video games to virtual reality films. The Facebook-owned Oculus has created a new in-house movie studio called Story Studio to create films and find the best practices for VR storytelling. The new content created by Story Studio intends to help attract more users to the Oculus Rift headset, while also encouraging other filmmakers to make similar VR films. Story Studio’s first work is a short film called “Lost,” which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. Continue reading Oculus Launches Movie Studio to Make Content for its Headset

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