Oculus Rift: Virtual Reality Headset Goes Beyond Video Games

The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset was developed with video games in mind, but is becoming a compelling possibility for filmmakers as well. A 360-degree interactive video of a live performance by Beck proves to be truly immersive, making the viewer feel as if he or she is on stage with the musician. Makers of the Rift took to this year’s Sundance Film Festival to interact with filmmakers and see how the virtual reality technology can potentially be used in cinema. Continue reading Oculus Rift: Virtual Reality Headset Goes Beyond Video Games

Google Music Timeline Helps Visualize Trends in Popular Music

Google has introduced a new way to look at music with its launch of Music Timeline. The tool allows people to see the trends in music through time. Music Timeline draws on the song collections of millions of Google Play users to create a visualization of the popularity of various artists and genres from 1950 to today, through interactive charts. Besides tracking music patterns, it can also chart the careers of individual artists with some accuracy.

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Viacom to Launch Personalized, Interactive Kids’ TV Channel

Viacom is planning to launch My Nickelodeon Junior, an interactive children’s TV channel, to Verizon FiOS customers in the upcoming months. The channel uses elements of streaming services such as Pandora and Netflix, and allows parents to program the channel according to their personal taste, while accessing hundreds of old episodes of kids’ shows like “Dora the Explorer.” The channel will appear on the TV menu next to the main Nick Jr. channel.  Continue reading Viacom to Launch Personalized, Interactive Kids’ TV Channel

Qualcomm: Pursuing Next-Gen Connected Car with Snapdragon

Qualcomm is upping the ante in the automotive space with Snapdragon Automotive Solutions in the QNX CAR Platform for Infotainment, which supports high-performance video and graphics capabilities for connected infotainment systems. The solutions are designed for a more interactive in-car experience, and allow things such as streaming movies and music directly to the vehicle with multiple tasks executed in different locations within the car. Continue reading Qualcomm: Pursuing Next-Gen Connected Car with Snapdragon

ShopTV App: Beckham Bodywear to Sell During Super Bowl Spot

TV commerce firm Delivery Agent will team with H&M to boost sales via the retailer’s upcoming Super Bowl commercial. H&M’s 30-second spot will feature the spring collection of David Beckham Bodywear. Delivery Agent’s tech will allow viewers to purchase products in the commercial through a special app. However, only a fraction of viewers will actually be able to use it, since the purchasing app only works with 2012 and 2013 Samsung Smart TVs connected to the Internet.  Continue reading ShopTV App: Beckham Bodywear to Sell During Super Bowl Spot

Innovid and Cisco Team Up to Deliver Ads to Second Screens

Innovid, a Sequoia-backed video ad company, announced that it is working with Cisco to bring advertisements to smartphones and tablets based on TV shows that viewers are watching during a specific moment. Cisco is able to do this by working with cable companies to analyze a TV show’s content, and pull keywords from that content, and show ads in the providers’ apps that are relevant to those keywords. While no cable partnerships have been announced, the companies are showing the tech at CES. Continue reading Innovid and Cisco Team Up to Deliver Ads to Second Screens

Motorola Plans Interactive Short Film with Disney Animator

Motorola Mobility has announced that animation veteran Glen Keane will work on the third installment of Motorola’s “Spotlight Stories” series, which features short, interactive projects designed specifically for smartphones. The longtime Disney animator’s credits include “Aladdin,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Pocahontas,” “Tarzan” and the Oscar-winning short “Paperman,” among others. The Motorola projects are being made available via the built-in Spotlight app on Moto X phones. Continue reading Motorola Plans Interactive Short Film with Disney Animator

EBay’s Strategy to Revolutionize Shopping and Beat Amazon

Although eBay is commonly known as an online auction house, CEO John Donahoe has made strides in moving beyond this perception by expanding eBay’s marketplace to include fixed prices with reliable and returnable goods. In the last five years, eBay has made 34 acquisitions which will help provide retail partners with creating interactive storefronts in real locations, help with the back end of websites, monitor inventory in real time, and streamline the electronic payment process.  Continue reading EBay’s Strategy to Revolutionize Shopping and Beat Amazon

Goji Play Transforms Fitness Equipment into a Game Machine

Charles and Kai Huang, co-founders of RedOctane (“Guitar Hero”), have teamed with Coleman Fung, founder of OpenLink, to form interactive fitness startup Blue Goji. The company recently launched Goji Play, a $99 set of exercise equipment-friendly game controllers with velcro straps, that encourages users to play games while working out on a treadmill, elliptical machine or stationary bike. An activity tracker measures how quickly you’re moving, and powers game characters. Continue reading Goji Play Transforms Fitness Equipment into a Game Machine

Warner Bros. Launches Home Video Experiment with Reelhouse

Warner Bros. has launched a three-month electronic sell-through experiment via Reelhouse, which the studio invested in earlier this year through the Turner/Warner Bros. MediaCamp startup accelerator program. Targeting fans who want more than just a digital copy of movies, the Reelhouse website offers titles for rental or purchase along with enhanced content such as blog posts, photos, interactive games, various extras, and digital as well as physical merchandise. Continue reading Warner Bros. Launches Home Video Experiment with Reelhouse

FCC Releases Free App for Testing Mobile Broadband Speed

The FCC released a free app for Android users that allows users to test their mobile broadband performance and speed. Early next year, the Commission will also release interactive maps that will allow consumers to get detailed information of network speeds from different mobile providers across the country. It’s the first tool that will give consumers the power to accurately assess which providers give the best coverage in their area. Continue reading FCC Releases Free App for Testing Mobile Broadband Speed

ESPN Sales Chief Says Digital Disruption is Key to Success

According to one ESPN executive, sports television is in a position to take greater advantage of technology and “digital disruption” — benefiting not only advertisers, but viewers as well. From the invention of instant replay and new platforms for a social, interactive game-watching experience, sports have led the way for innovative options for viewers to tune in and for advertisers to get valuable airtime, making the most of their ad dollars. Continue reading ESPN Sales Chief Says Digital Disruption is Key to Success

Video Game Industry Booms as Other Media Industries Struggle

While some areas of entertainment media such as the movie and music businesses are struggling to find their footing in an evolving digital landscape, the video game industry is thriving. “Grand Theft Auto V” by Rockstar Games, for example, earned $800 million worldwide in its first 24 hours of availability. That’s the largest launch day any form of entertainment media has ever experienced. Challenges involved with pirating games contribute to the industry’s success. Continue reading Video Game Industry Booms as Other Media Industries Struggle

Activision Ships $1 Billion Worth of New ‘Call of Duty’ Game

Gamers have opted to hold off on purchasing some high-profile games until Sony and Microsoft release their next-gen consoles. The PlayStation 4 is scheduled to launch November 15 and the Xbox One will be available November 22. Although consumers are showing hesitation ahead of the new hardware launches, Activision Blizzard has shipped $1 billion worth of “Call of Duty: Ghosts” to retailers worldwide. “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” earned $1 billion in 15 days when it was released last year. Continue reading Activision Ships $1 Billion Worth of New ‘Call of Duty’ Game

Social TV: Facebook Partnering with Entertainment Industry

Facebook is working toward greater interactivity between its users and the entertainment industry with television program partnerships. Using popular TV shows, celebrities and related hashtags to encourage even more communication and sharing among users, Faceboook can deliver detailed analytics to its partners about who is watching and what they’re saying on the social media site. TV networks are turning to Facebook to generate social activity and promote their content. Continue reading Social TV: Facebook Partnering with Entertainment Industry

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