Iowa Newspaper Uses Oculus Rift for ‘Explanatory’ Journalism

The Des Moines Register, which reaches 420,000 readers, has launched a virtual reality story to examine how the demographic and economic changes in Iowa are affecting one farming family. The readers of the paper can step into the Dammann family farm and click on objects to learn about how different issues impact Iowa residents. Only 125,000 Oculus Rift headsets are in circulation, but this story may be one of the first steps toward integrating VR into journalism. Continue reading Iowa Newspaper Uses Oculus Rift for ‘Explanatory’ Journalism

With Startup’s SDK, Movie Theater Ads Could Get Interactive

Audience Entertainment, a startup dedicated to making the big screen interactive, is launching a software development kit that would allow companies to create a new type of advertisement. New content developed with the SDK would allow audiences to control what is on the screen by jumping or performing certain arm movements in unison. The digital cinema company Barco and Audience Entertainment have teamed up to bring this experience, referred to as “iD,” to 3,000 screens worldwide. Continue reading With Startup’s SDK, Movie Theater Ads Could Get Interactive

Spotify’s New Serendipity Feature May Make Music Social Again

Spotify’s Artist in Residence Kyle McDonald created a new map feature known as Serendipity that shows when two people in the world are listening to a song at the same time. The interactive map plays a snippet of the song, which both users had to start within a tenth of a second of each other, and spins around to show the two users’ locations in the world. The new feature may help Spotify rise above other music streaming services, and make music a social experience once again. Continue reading Spotify’s New Serendipity Feature May Make Music Social Again

Beamly App for Android TV to Offer A Personalized TV Guide

Beamly, a social TV startup known for making second screen apps for iOS, Android and the Web, is now developing a first screen app for the new Android TV platform. The Android TV app will feature a personalized TV channel that will continuously show programming from both live TV channels and online video services. The app will also interact with Beamly’s existing mobile apps to offer interactive experiences such as voting during a competitive reality television show. Continue reading Beamly App for Android TV to Offer A Personalized TV Guide

Marvel Experience is Immersive, Next-Gen Traveling Attraction

“The Marvel Experience” is an upcoming traveling attraction that combines a theme park 4D motion ride, 360-degree display, and a collection of popular superheroes. Hero Ventures, the entertainment company behind “The Marvel Experience,” announced that it has tapped Jerry Rees, a Disney theme park attraction director, to help create the multimedia traveling show. Rhythm & Hues and Prana are the studios in charge of the VFX and animation. Continue reading Marvel Experience is Immersive, Next-Gen Traveling Attraction

Disney Accelerator Program Announces its First 11 Startups

Disney has named the first 11 startups to participate in its 15-week Accelerator program. The diverse first class of tech-driven media and entertainment startups will be mentored by top Disney execs and receive up to $120,000 in seed funding. Mentors will include leaders from ABC, ESPN, Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar and Walt Disney Imagineering. The companies will be advised how to best develop effective business plans, product launches and marketing campaigns. Continue reading Disney Accelerator Program Announces its First 11 Startups

Adtile Plans New App-Style Store for Interactive Mobile Ads

Adtile, a startup that promotes interactive mobile advertising, has raised $4.5 million in Series A funding, with plans to introduce an app-style store for mobile ads. Adtile’s Motion Ads format encourages users to play with ads by shaking and turning their phones. The result could be spilling a virtual coffee cup, for example, that then displays a list of nearby stores. Building these ads can be an extensive process, so the store plans to sell pre-designed and pre-coded Motion Ads. Continue reading Adtile Plans New App-Style Store for Interactive Mobile Ads

Cube: Google Creative Labs Unveils New Storytelling Platform

Google Creative Labs has built an in-browser manipulatable 3D box with different video and audio tracks on each of its six faces. The user decides what to watch and hear by clicking and dragging the Cube to show either one side or a combination of sides. The Cube, which debuted online this week with The Presets’ new single “No Fun,” is a multi-pronged promo. Google considers it a platform that could eventually extend beyond music videos to other areas of art and media.  Continue reading Cube: Google Creative Labs Unveils New Storytelling Platform

Startup Offers Customized Mobile Apps for YouTube Celebrities

High-profile YouTubers — whether they be vloggers, athletes, musicians or beauticians — can now reach their audience through personalized mobile apps. Victorious, a startup led by three former Google executives, launched last week. The company has recruited several YouTube celebrities to use its app to post photos and videos, and communicate with fans. Victorious will allow the creators to make money from in-app purchases, advertisements and merchandise sales. Continue reading Startup Offers Customized Mobile Apps for YouTube Celebrities

Google: Project Tango Tablet with 3D Camera in Development

Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group (ATAP) has some notable new technologies in development, including a tablet with 3D scanning, a modular phone and digital storytelling. The tablet will feature Project Tango 3D technology to make games and images come to life. LG is planning to manufacture the tablets to debut in 2015. The digital storytelling content will be available on all Android phones later this year, but the modular phone will not hit the market for some time. Continue reading Google: Project Tango Tablet with 3D Camera in Development

Second Screen: QVC Hopes Tablet App Will Help Drive Sales

In order to accommodate consumers’ increasing desire to shop on mobile devices, home shopping pioneer QVC plans to launch a new tablet app that will feature content related to its television broadcasts. According to Nielsen’s 2014 Digital Consumer Report, 84 percent of smartphone and tablet owners use their devices as second screens while watching television. Leveraging this trend, QVC’s app will accompany its TV programming in order to help drive sales.  Continue reading Second Screen: QVC Hopes Tablet App Will Help Drive Sales

New Startup Adventr Will Help You Easily Make Interactive Videos

Adventr has launched a new drag & drop editing platform that allows users to create interactive videos. The New York City-based startup is backed by musician John Legend, and was founded by Devo Harris, better known as Grammy-winning producer and songwriter Devo Springsteen. The service essentially works by overlaying graphics on video, and giving users multiple choices. Adventr also allows users to share their videos on Twitter, Facebook, and any website that supports the VPAID format. Continue reading New Startup Adventr Will Help You Easily Make Interactive Videos

GTA V is Fastest in Game History to Reach $1 Billion in Sales

Take-Two Interactive Software announced that it has sold more than 33 million copies of “Grand Theft Auto V” since the game’s launch in September, generating an estimated $1.98 billion in retail sales. The New York-based company claims “GTA V” was the best-selling console game last year in North America, Latin America and Europe — and the fastest title in video game history to reach $1 billion in sales. For additional perspective, it’s worth noting that Take-Two generated $2.4 billion in total revenue for its fiscal year. Continue reading GTA V is Fastest in Game History to Reach $1 Billion in Sales

Hulu to Update its Mobile Apps for Streaming Free TV Shows

Hulu announced on Wednesday that it would update its streaming video mobile apps to allow users to view entire episodes of certain television shows, even if the users are not premium Hulu Plus subscribers. Emulating its desktop version, the update will feature free episodes with advertisements spliced in. Free shows will first be available for Android, and later for iOS via a redesigned Hulu Plus iPhone and iPad app coming this summer. Hulu Plus now has 6 million subscribers. Continue reading Hulu to Update its Mobile Apps for Streaming Free TV Shows

Nielsen and comScore Initiatives Highlight Focus on Mobile

Marketers are still seeking better tools for tracking advertising data as they continue to experiment with approaches to mobile. Measurement firms Nielsen and comScore both made recent announcements regarding related initiatives. Nielsen is partnering with digital ad-sales firms BrightRoll and TubeMogul for a tech trial before expanding its Online Campaign Ratings to mobile, while comScore is expanding its Validated Campaign Essentials measurement product to track ads that appear on phones and tablets. Continue reading Nielsen and comScore Initiatives Highlight Focus on Mobile

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