CES: Daimler, Cameron Unveil Avatar-Inspired Concept Car

At Daimler’s keynote address at CES 2020, filmmaker James Cameron unveiled concept art, including Pandora’s future world, for his upcoming feature “Avatar 2,” sequel to his 2009 sci-fi blockbuster. On stage, he joined Daimler AG chair Ola Källenius, who introduced a Mercedes-Benz, dubbed Vision AVTR, inspired by “Avatar” and designed in collaboration with Cameron. The two described their design work, which includes many sustainability features. Disney is slated to release “Avatar 2” on December 17, 2021, with three more “Avatar” films in 2023, 2025 and 2027. Continue reading CES: Daimler, Cameron Unveil Avatar-Inspired Concept Car

Snap Offers Metrics for Creators to Avoid Exodus to Instagram

Snap is instigating a move to “separate the social from the media” on Snapchat, which, in part, will be represented by an interface redesign that distinguishes between Snapchat friends and professional content creators. Creators who have large followings, including so-called verified Snapchatters, will now, for the first time, have access to a variety of metrics, including engagement, demographics and story views, by year, month or week as well as how long viewers spent with each story. Continue reading Snap Offers Metrics for Creators to Avoid Exodus to Instagram

Facebook Bot Recommends Movies Based on Your Interests

While Facebook’s bot platform remains in its early stages as developers test potential apps and the challenges involved with natural language processing, a company named And Chill has created a movie recommendation engine that may be ideal for the social platform. Going beyond the basic like/dislike model, the new bot can be accessed through Messenger or SMS and asks each user for specific reasons why he or she likes a given movie. The information is then analyzed by And Chill to provide appropriate recommendations of similar films and links to YouTube trailers. Continue reading Facebook Bot Recommends Movies Based on Your Interests

CES: Pivothead Offers Live Streaming Solution in Eyeglasses

Xentris Wireless designs, manufactures and distributes an array of wireless accessories. The company is in South Hall at CES this week showing a number of products; of particular interest is a nearly-normal looking eyeglass device from Pivothead that streams 1080p, 60 fps video. The Pivothead glasses will stream via Wi-Fi or a cellular connection to Pivothead.TV. When unlocked, the glasses can stream to a location of your choice, or the video can be recorded on a microSD chip. The simplicity of the user interface and data management make it ideal for news gathering in the field. Continue reading CES: Pivothead Offers Live Streaming Solution in Eyeglasses

NAGRA Unveils intuiTV All-In-One Immersive TV Experience

NAGRA presented its new all-in-one TV experience called intuiTV at CES this week. The new television interface provides an intuitive, immersive and elegantly simple viewing experience in 4K Ultra HD and HD centered around making television more enjoyable for the consumer. NAGRA offers intuiTV to pay-TV operators as a managed cloud-based platform they can configure with a full line-up of premium content and advanced TV services including live TV, VOD, SVOD, PVR, social TV and more via an innovative streaming device and touchscreen remote control. Continue reading NAGRA Unveils intuiTV All-In-One Immersive TV Experience

Viacom Play Plex Offers Mobile TV Apps for its Major Brands

Viacom International is getting ready to debut Viacom Play Plex, a suite of apps for all its major brands, for iPhone and Android smartphones and tablets. Viacom Play Plex, which will be available in the company’s 180 international territories, will offer live and on-demand content from Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Channel, Spike and BET. The suite of apps allows the company to make a significant move into the burgeoning mobile TV world. Viacom had previously launched a Nickelodeon app in 2013. Continue reading Viacom Play Plex Offers Mobile TV Apps for its Major Brands

Instagram’s New API Could Spark Major Change in Digital Ads

Instagram just turned on its API (application programming interface) for ads, and some experts are calling it the next step in advertising’s digital evolution. Before, advertising on Facebook-owned Instagram was a complex process. Now, any potential advertiser can simply buy an ad on Instagram using online ad-buying tools from Instagram partners. What makes this new process interesting to advertisers is an estimated 44 percent of Instagram’s 300 million users are in the coveted 18-29 year old demographic. Continue reading Instagram’s New API Could Spark Major Change in Digital Ads

TVShow Time Update Revamps App’s Community Interactions

French startup TVShow Time released a 5.0 update to its app that offers a more social experience for its 500,000 monthly users. New features permit users to track how many new episodes they have watched, send messages and show recommendations to friends, and view show ratings. The app has a newly designed interface and layout that makes content more accessible than before. Previously, TVShow Time used a simple calendar format that allowed users to keep track of their favorite TV shows. Continue reading TVShow Time Update Revamps App’s Community Interactions

Roku Announces Refresh for Streaming Box and Updates Search

Roku has updated its Roku 2 streaming box and is introducing platform enhancements that make it easier to find video content across multiple apps. The new Roku Search allows users to search for movies, TV shows, actors and directors across all apps via the interface. Since the company does not produce any of its own content, it does not include any bias when displaying content on its UI, something that cannot be said of rival streaming platforms. This may be appealing to television manufacturers looking for platform partnerhips. Continue reading Roku Announces Refresh for Streaming Box and Updates Search

Popcorn Time Accounts for One-Ninth of U.S. Torrent Traffic

In less than a year, Popcorn Time has become one of the most popular services to torrent pirated media content online. The slick grid interface looks similar to that of Netflix or Hulu, making the service look more legitimate and easier to navigate to find a TV show or movie. The program is actually an index of other BitTorrent sites. Popcorn Time’s popularity has been growing in the U.S. and abroad, especially in countries where streaming services are less established. Continue reading Popcorn Time Accounts for One-Ninth of U.S. Torrent Traffic

Smart Projector Displays Content from Your Phone or Tablet

The Beam is part LED lightbulb and part projector. Users can screw it into a light socket or place it on a flat surface and project content anywhere. The small-scale device has an onboard computer to access content on the Web. It can also project games or movies from a smartphone or tablet. The smart projector has a corresponding iOS and Android app for operation and programming commands. Beam Labs Inc. is offering the $399 Beam device as part of its Kickstarter campaign that ends March 24. Continue reading Smart Projector Displays Content from Your Phone or Tablet

Apple Patents Graphic Interface Controlled by a User’s Gaze

Apple has patented an advanced gaze-tracking graphical user interface that could eventually allow users to control their CE devices without having to lift a finger. Gaze-tracking controls are usually inhibited by the Troxler Effect, a visual phenomenon that sometimes makes the computer cursor disappear. However, the new tech utilizes hardware and software solutions to solve the problem caused by the effect. Apple could potentially use this new interface in Mac laptops, iPhones, iPads, and even the next generation Apple TV. Continue reading Apple Patents Graphic Interface Controlled by a User’s Gaze

Rovi Acquires Fan TV to Take Video Discovery to the Cloud

Rovi, a company that powers video guides and recommendation systems, has announced the acquisition of Fanhattan, a startup specializing in video discovery through its Fan TV products. The acquisition is expected to bolster Rovi’s portfolio of cloud-based TV guides. Fanhattan could benefit from Rovi’s sales force, which may be able to distribute the Fan TV streaming set-top box to Charter and Dish customers. Fan TV integrates video from different sources into a single user-friendly interface. Continue reading Rovi Acquires Fan TV to Take Video Discovery to the Cloud

Microsoft to Introduce Redesigned Start Menu for Windows 10

Microsoft is skipping from Windows 8 to a Windows 10 operating system, expected to launch in the middle of next year. The new version, which was unveiled earlier this week, is intended to work across many different devices, from those connected via the “Internet of Things” to touchscreen phones, tablets and laptops. Windows 10 also features a newly redesigned Start Menu, which combines the tile design of Windows 8 with the traditional list design in older versions of Windows. Continue reading Microsoft to Introduce Redesigned Start Menu for Windows 10

Slingbox Introduces Two New Updates for Television Streaming

Slingbox is ready to debut new options to facilitate watching TV over the Internet. The $150 Slingbox M1 allows customers to use a live TV signal via the Internet on any computer, tablet or mobile device. The $300 SlingTV includes the features of Slingbox M1, but also has an on-screen interface that allows users to choose shows and control the television. Both allow users to stream the shows they watch on their cable TV to their Wi-Fi-connected devices. Continue reading Slingbox Introduces Two New Updates for Television Streaming

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