Immersis Projector Aims to Make VR Experience Less Solitary

A team of French and American designers at Catopsys has developed a projector for immersive gaming and video experiences that can be shared by a room full of people. The Immersis is designed to display a 180-degree view of a virtual reality experience. Instead of everyone shutting out the world (and each other) when they put on a VR headset like the Oculus Rift, people can share in a VR experience. The LED projector could encourage developers to make more party games and turn VR into more of a social experience. Continue reading Immersis Projector Aims to Make VR Experience Less Solitary

Matchstick Delays Shipping; Opts for Hardware, DRM Updates

Matchstick, the first HDMI streaming media stick based on the Firefox OS, announced that its originally planned February shipment date has now been pushed to August. The company says it has “decided to release the product when it is ready.” The decision to delay is the result of updating the hardware to a faster quad core chipset, improving the antenna to avoid the Wi-Fi connectivity issues experienced by similar products, and developing DRM support in order to attract more premium video apps such as Netflix. Continue reading Matchstick Delays Shipping; Opts for Hardware, DRM Updates

David Cross Partners with BitTorrent for Distribution of “HITS”

Starting this Friday, viewers will be able to name their price to see “HITS,” the latest feature film from actor/director David Cross. Rather than pursue a traditional distribution deal, Cross and his producing team opted to partner with BitTorrent. They felt that the indie film deserved to be showcased differently than a push into select cities with a VOD release to follow. According to Cross, the flexible pay option, which will run for two weeks, is an approach he hopes will help eliminate piracy of the film. Continue reading David Cross Partners with BitTorrent for Distribution of “HITS”

Ouya Secures $10M Investment from E-Commerce Giant Alibaba

Alibaba has reportedly invested $10 million in Ouya, maker of the miniature game console that raised an impressive $1 million in just over 8 hours after launching on Kickstarter. Despite a successful crowdfunding campaign, Ouya has struggled to gain traction in a gaming market dominated by Microsoft, Sony and others. Alibaba already makes its own set-top box, so it appears that the company’s interest in Ouya is geared towards incorporating the game maker’s software and library of games.  Continue reading Ouya Secures $10M Investment from E-Commerce Giant Alibaba

NEEO Universal Remote Simplifies Use of Smart Home Devices

A Cupertino-based startup may have finally developed a universal remote that can help manage the growing array of smart home devices. Last month we reported on NEEO and the launch of its Kickstarter campaign, which has since generated more than $1.2 million in pledges. NEEO is an automation system designed to control all the devices in your home. It also features palm recognition technology, which identifies when a specific person is holding the remote to bring up their personalized profile. Continue reading NEEO Universal Remote Simplifies Use of Smart Home Devices

“Exploding Kittens”: New Card Game Breaks Kickstarter Record

In just over one week, the Kickstarter campaign for the “Exploding Kittens” card game attracted more than 119,000 backers, breaking the crowdfunding site’s record for the most backers. The campaign, which continues for another two weeks, has raised more than $5.3 million as of press time today. The card sets for the Russian roulette-inspired game will start shipping this summer. The meteoric success of “Exploding Kittens” is unusual because Kickstarter is mainly known for funding tech projects and video games. Continue reading “Exploding Kittens”: New Card Game Breaks Kickstarter Record

New Universal Remote Controls All Your Smart Home Devices

While universal remotes are primarily used to control cable boxes and TVs, Cupertino-based startup NEEO is taking the idea a step further. The company claims its universal remote can control a home theater system and almost every smart device that a homeowner could imagine. The NEEO touchscreen remote works with over 30,000 Internet-connected gadgets such as the Nest, Philips Hue and others. It also uses hand recognition software to create profiles for each user. Continue reading New Universal Remote Controls All Your Smart Home Devices

Neil Young’s High-End Pono Music Player Available Next Week

Musician Neil Young’s high quality Pono music player is slated to hit retail stores next Monday retailing at $399. Young designed the music player to exceed the audio capabilities of any MP3 player currently on the market. The PonoPlayer will have a limited release, initially hitting about 80 locations throughout the U.S. Audio files for the Pono will be available from the PonoMusic Store that went live earlier this week. Young made his announcements in front of an enthusiastic crowd at CES in Las Vegas. Continue reading Neil Young’s High-End Pono Music Player Available Next Week

Oculus Acquires Nimble VR for its Hand-Tracking Technology

Oculus, the virtual reality company picked up by Facebook in March, has acquired two startups that may bring hand-tracking and better mapping of 3D interiors to the Oculus Rift headset. Nimble VR (formerly 3Gear Systems) is the startup behind Nimble Sense, a camera that connects to the headset and uses Kinect-like technology to track a user’s hands and sync movements to the user’s VR experience. Oculus also bought 13th Lab, a computer vision and augmented reality firm focused on 3D reconstruction. Continue reading Oculus Acquires Nimble VR for its Hand-Tracking Technology

Fuffr Develops Multitouch Tech with Focus on Mobile Gaming

Sometimes a smartphone’s surface is just not big enough to make the most of mobile and social gaming. Even today’s largest smartphone screens have limitations that can hinder the multiplayer gaming experience. That is where Fuffr comes into play. The company has designed a mobile case that projects infrared lights to the surrounding areas of the phone, so that these areas too, can be used as multitouch surfaces for gameplay and a variety of other applications. Continue reading Fuffr Develops Multitouch Tech with Focus on Mobile Gaming

Reddit Introduces Crowdfunding Service Called Redditmade

Redditmade, unveiled Wednesday, helps users raise money to create and sell customized products. The crowdfunding service gives users 30 days after creating an item to raise the money and send the product out. Reddit will then take a cut of the campaign for platform costs. While Redditmade is similar to Kickstarter, it focuses on physical goods rather than ideas. It then encourages users to donate revenue from successful campaigns to charities and causes. Reddit also plans to give a percentage to charity. Continue reading Reddit Introduces Crowdfunding Service Called Redditmade

Matchstick Developing Open-Source Streaming Media Dongle

San Jose-based startup Matchstick, in cooperation with Mozilla, is creating what is essentially an “open Chromecast.” The startup is taking orders for its first open-source media streaming dongle, which will range in price from $12 to $25. Matchstick hopes to encourage developers to create apps for its Firefox OS-based device before it starts shipping in January. Mozilla is helping the Matchstick team draw more content partners, so that the startup will be able to offer premium content. Continue reading Matchstick Developing Open-Source Streaming Media Dongle

Failed Video Game Underlines the Perils of Using Kickstarter

Neal Stephenson announced that “Clang,” his sword-fighting video game project launched via Kickstarter, is dead in the water. In 2012, the author of sci-fi classics Snow Crash and Cryptonomicon raised $526,000 on Kickstarter. Stephenson originally set out to create a game that was more engaging than existing sword-fighting games, but ultimately realized that while innovative, the end result was not fun to play. The game and some pledge rewards were not delivered, which frustrated some backers. Continue reading Failed Video Game Underlines the Perils of Using Kickstarter

Battle for the Net: Internet Slowdown Generates Big Numbers

Public interest groups and tech companies participated in an Internet “slowdown” yesterday to raise awareness of the potential impact to net neutrality and an open Internet if slow lanes were to result from proposed FCC rules. It was not an actual throttling of Internet speeds, but a campaign in which sites featured messages about the issue and symbolic “loading” icons. Thousands of websites urged their users to take action. As a result, the FCC received a record 1,477,301 public comments. Continue reading Battle for the Net: Internet Slowdown Generates Big Numbers

Gartner Report Says 3D Printing Not Quite Ready for the Home

Gartner analysts estimate that 3D printing our own food, gifts, shoes and other products is at least five to 10 years away. In a report released earlier this week, Gartner suggested that the 3D printing of product models is two years away from its peak usage, while mainstream adoption of 3D printing for medical applications is about two to five years away. Although the technology is advancing and printers are coming down in price, the concept is not quite ready for everyday use in the home. Continue reading Gartner Report Says 3D Printing Not Quite Ready for the Home

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