Drones Grow Up: More Use Cases, Capabilities, Regulations

With FAA drone regulations newly in place, industry pioneers gathered at CES to describe the issues roiling this growing category. Drones allow people to fulfill the fantasy of flying and thus in our DNA, says 3D Robotics CRO Colin Guinn. The use cases, however, from agriculture to movie making, are very real, generating more attention. That’s why Flytrex Aviation chief exec Yariv Bash predicts we’ll see many more consumer and pro versions, and Parrot chief exec Henri Seydoux notes the drone’s data collection as its key feature. Continue reading Drones Grow Up: More Use Cases, Capabilities, Regulations

Zeiss VR One GX: Superior Optics in a Well Designed HMD

Zeiss, known for high quality lenses, has applied its knowledge of optics to the VR One GX, a phone-based head mounted display featured at CES this week. The HMD looks like the Samsung Gear VR, but there are a number of key differences inside. The lenses are designed to be distortion-free over the full field of view. They are designed to accommodate a wide range of interocular distances (so there is no need to adjust the lenses side-to-side). The ‘eye box’ is large and deep enough to accommodate eyewear, so anyone who wears glasses can leave them on when using the VR One GX. Continue reading Zeiss VR One GX: Superior Optics in a Well Designed HMD

Sling TV: Redesigned Interface Highlights On-Demand Content

Sling TV, the Internet TV service from Dish Network, unveiled a new user interface at CES this week. The service is shifting emphasis from live television to on-demand content, with a new menu section that allows people to save a list of their favorite TV shows and movies and search by content, rather than by channel. Sling also tweaked the interface so that customers can discover the add-on packages of channels and purchase them directly from their TV or smartphone. Continue reading Sling TV: Redesigned Interface Highlights On-Demand Content

Samsung’s New 4K TV Features Built-In Smart Home Controls

The remote for Samsung’s new flagship television set, currently on display at CES, does much more than change the channels. This TV doubles as a central smart home hub to control the house’s smart devices. With the KS9500 model of the SUHD TV set, users can adjust the lighting, watch the baby monitor, and even create “mood schemes” with a group of smart devices. Samsung also partnered with PlayStation Now and GameFly to get video games on the TV without the need for a separate console. Continue reading Samsung’s New 4K TV Features Built-In Smart Home Controls

The Internet of Things Brings Benefits, Risks and Public Policy

Consumer taste, technology development are two of the forces impacting the growth and direction of the Internet of Things. A group of experts focused on policy issues surrounding IoT’s evolution at CES. Moderator Alan Davidson, director of digital economy for the Department of Commerce, reports that, about seven years ago, the number of Internet-connected things surpassed the number of people on the planet. “By 2025, this is an area that will have an economic impact of $4 to $11 trillion on the global economy,” he said. Continue reading The Internet of Things Brings Benefits, Risks and Public Policy

‘Mind-Blowing Wearables’ for Health, Meditation, Doing Good

At CES in Las Vegas, CTA chief economist Shawn DuBravac gathered three wearable creators that demonstrate the diversity current in the field and hint at the future of this sector. InteraXon showed off Muse, a headband that monitors brainwaves, with an initial use case of helping people learn to meditate. UNICEF Ventures creates a fitness band that motivates kids to “unlock” food for malnourished children via exercise. And MC10 aims to make wearables invisible to the user, with a range of products that fit on the body in unobtrusive ways. Continue reading ‘Mind-Blowing Wearables’ for Health, Meditation, Doing Good

Panasonic Intros 4K Blu-ray Player, Ultra HD OLED, LED TVs

During its CES press conference, Panasonic introduced its new Ultra HD products. The company confirmed that it plans to ship an Ultra HD Blu-ray player “later this year,” joining Samsung as the second major manufacturer to introduce a 4K BD player. Panasonic also touted its CZ950 4K Ultra HD OLED TV, originally announced last September at IFA in Berlin, and the first OLED set to receive THX certification. Additionally, Panasonic highlighted its new flagship DX900 LED TV series, one of the first to meet the UHD Alliance’s just announced Ultra HD Premium specification. Continue reading Panasonic Intros 4K Blu-ray Player, Ultra HD OLED, LED TVs

CES: Amped Demonstrates its Long Range Apollo Wi-Fi Cam

Amped Wireless is showing its extended range, Wi-Fi-enabled HD cameras at CES. The 720p, 110-degree FOV (field of view) Apollo cameras feature amplifiers and a high gain antenna to extend its useful range on any Wi-Fi network up to 200 feet for the $150 base model and 300 feet for the $180 Pro model. (Distances of 50-100 feet are normal for comparable cameras.) The Apollo Pro also features 2-way audio, advanced night vision and a motion-detection trigger. The free mobile app that comes with the Apollo can manage multiple cameras simultaneously. Continue reading CES: Amped Demonstrates its Long Range Apollo Wi-Fi Cam

CTA Research on Displays with Focus on OLED, 4K and HDR

In a CTA Research Summit data-centric presentation at CES, the organization’s senior director of market research Steve Koenig summed up the recent trends in TV displays and predicted future directions. Although the TV display is besieged by competition from smartphones and tablets, interest in purchasing a TV is still strong. A recent CTA poll showed that, in the next 12 months, 33 percent plan to buy a smartphone and 29 percent want a TV, followed by smaller percentages for laptops, tablets and video game consoles. Continue reading CTA Research on Displays with Focus on OLED, 4K and HDR

OrCam Unveils Discrete Digital Assistant for AR Applications

Israel-based technology company OrCam is introducing its compelling take on augmented reality at this year’s CES. The company’s device is similar to Google Glass, but the hardware is more discrete and does not save images or audio, which could help alleviate privacy concerns. The MyMe digital assistant is designed to give the user advice based on the world around them. The assistant speaks through a Bluetooth earpiece and the tiny camera clips to a shirt. All of the data processing is done in real time. Continue reading OrCam Unveils Discrete Digital Assistant for AR Applications

Roku Introducing New Line of Smart TVs with 4K Streaming

Video streaming company and CES exhibitor Roku has partnered with TV manufacturer TCL to make 4K televisions with Roku’s streaming service already built-in. Users will be able to start streaming the UHD video content from apps such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube when the first 4K UHD Roku TVs start shipping this spring. Roku also announced that it is working on a reference design for a high dynamic range (HDR) system for its smart TVs. Continue reading Roku Introducing New Line of Smart TVs with 4K Streaming

Royole-X Personal Theater Headset Touts Superthin Display

Royole is demonstrating a new foldable headset at CES in las Vegas this week that is designed to make movie-watching and gaming an immersive experience. The AMOLED display in the visor is only .01mm thick, so it is flexible enough to make this headset less clunky. The $699 Royole-X headset does not feature a field of view as wide as most VR headsets, but the 3,300 PPI display reportedly makes the image crisp enough to feel like a movie theater. It also comes with noise-canceling headphones. Continue reading Royole-X Personal Theater Headset Touts Superthin Display

Hollywood & Media: No One Owns Customers, Metadata Rules

The argument over who owns customers is over. “The customer will own himself more than ever,” says Ipsos executive Jake Dorn. “Who will own the data/metadata and who will make it actual? That’ll have a huge impact on the experience we see in the future.” TiVo executive Evan Young agrees. “We see people rebelling,” he says. “They’re shifting their habits to the media that suits their need, dropping on and off [outlets].” ICM’s Jonathan Perelman adds, “the consumer doesn’t care where it is or how it’s been made.” Continue reading Hollywood & Media: No One Owns Customers, Metadata Rules

CES: Merging Content with New Tech in a Fragmented World

Americans look at their cell phones 8 billion times a day, says Deloitte & Touche’s Craig Wigginton, who moderated a panel on “Merging Content With New Technologies.” Wigginton recited a flurry of statistics that underline today’s extreme fragmentation, a reality that challenges all content companies: Millennials check their smartphones 74 times a day, and 87 percent of them use it while watching TV. Meanwhile, 42 percent of Americans now use streaming services and over 50 percent of millennials watch on a small screen. Continue reading CES: Merging Content with New Tech in a Fragmented World

Media Networks Look at Platforms, Brands, Game-Changers

In a multi-channel, multi-device and multi-platform world, any given network finds it increasingly difficult to differentiate itself from the others. Good programming isn’t enough when so many outlets are producing so many quality shows. This was the dilemma that panelists wrestled with in a conversation on “Hollywood Media: Platforms and Brands.” One clear message was that a younger generation doesn’t make distinctions among screens, as long as they are getting the content they want. Continue reading Media Networks Look at Platforms, Brands, Game-Changers

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