Virtual Joey: DISH Debuts New App That Functions Like DVR

Satellite provider DISH Network announced that it has developed a new streaming app, dubbed the “Virtual Joey,” that provides the same functionality as its Hopper DVR for LG Smart TVs. The app, expected to launch in the first quarter, offers control of the whole-home HD DVR, including live TV, recorded content and navigation via the program guide. The smart TV app essentially takes the place of a physical Joey multi-room extender, but still requires a Hopper DVR as the anchor. Continue reading Virtual Joey: DISH Debuts New App That Functions Like DVR

Huawei Rises To the 4G Challenge with New Ascend Mate2

Chinese phone manufacturer Huawei is making its move to break into the U.S. market and onto the global scene with the Ascend Mate2, a 4G LTE phone with a splashy 6.1-inch screen and other features that aim it squarely at the active social and entertainment user. A zippy 1.6GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon quad core processor and 2.4GHz/5GHz dual band Wi-Fi powers 150mbps LTE Cat4 transfer speeds, making it possible to download a feature film in one minute, according to Huawei. Continue reading Huawei Rises To the 4G Challenge with New Ascend Mate2

Roku Teaming Up with Manufacturers to Produce Roku TVs

Roku is transitioning from a standalone device to one built into the hardware of a television. The company announced at this week’s CES that it is partnering with six manufacturers to produce Roku TVs, which will have the same streaming options currently on the devices built right in. Chinese manufacturers Hisense and TCL are the first partners to be revealed, and Roku TVs with screens between 32- and 55-inches are expected to hit the market sometime in the fall. Continue reading Roku Teaming Up with Manufacturers to Produce Roku TVs

3D Systems and MakerBot Announce New 3D Printers at CES

As expected, 3D printer announcements are coming out of the desert. 3D Systems unveiled the kid-friendly, sub-$1,000 Cube 3, the latest addition to its line of personal desktop 3D printers, as well as the $5,000 CubePro, for those with more extensive printing needs. Not to be outdone, MakerBot announced its new $1,375 Replicator Mini and $6,499 Replicator Z18 at a press conference yesterday. The Z18 can print up to 12x12x18 inches, or 2,592 cubic inches of printing space. Continue reading 3D Systems and MakerBot Announce New 3D Printers at CES

Tobii: Eye-Tracking Controls Finally Coming to Video Games

Tobii announced its partnership with SteelSeries to bring eye tracking to video games with a new sensor bar and the EyeX engine. A prototype at CES demonstrated in-game navigation, menu selection and aiming by using nothing more than players’ eye movements. Developers can preorder the SDK now for delivery in March, and they’ll be able to designate standard mouse and keyboard functions to gaze controls. The device is expected to cost around $100. Continue reading Tobii: Eye-Tracking Controls Finally Coming to Video Games

Digital Hollywood: Content Strategies for Multiple Platforms

“Content without strategy is a home movie,” said David Tochterman, head of digital media for Innovative Artists, a bi-coastal talent agency. “And all of us on this panel are investing our time not just in good content, but the strategy to make it successful.” The panel he was referring to was a Digital Hollywood focus on how today’s multitude of media platforms has significantly changed the content game — from development and production to marketing and distribution. Continue reading Digital Hollywood: Content Strategies for Multiple Platforms

Trends to Watch: CEA Chief Economist Points to Ultra HDTV

Shawn DuBravac, chief economist for the Consumer Electronics Association, delivered his pre-CES press briefing, “2014 CES Trends to Watch.” DuBravac said he “wouldn’t be surprised to see 75 UHDTV announcements” this week, which could climb to about 150, when including hardware rollouts, distribution deals and related news. According to DuBravac, the big picture emerging trends this year will center on mass customization, multidimensional screen expansion, the age of autonomy, and curation and context. Continue reading Trends to Watch: CEA Chief Economist Points to Ultra HDTV

Sharp Introduces Quattron+ Series and SmartCentral Platform

At its CES press event today, Sharp unveiled its new AQUOS Quattron+ (Q+) series of LED televisions and a new SmartCentral smart TV platform. In 2014 Sharp will offer 19 different AQUOS LED TVs 60-inches and larger. The company claims its Q+ series offers the highest resolution Full HD TV. The SmartCentral platform helps viewers search, discover and share content, while the SmartCentral mobile app connects smartphones and tablets to Sharp TVs. Continue reading Sharp Introduces Quattron+ Series and SmartCentral Platform

CEA’s Steve Koenig on the State of the Global CE Industry

Steve Koenig, director of industry analysis for the Consumer Electronics Association, presented the organization’s annual “State of the Global CE Industry” press event at CES. Koenig explained that worldwide sales of consumer electronics grew 3 percent last year to a new record of $1.068 trillion, but growth is expected to remain flat or decline by 1 percent in 2014. Sales of smartphones and tablets have tapered off in major markets and Ultra HDTVs are not expected to gain significant traction until at least 2017. Continue reading CEA’s Steve Koenig on the State of the Global CE Industry

Wearable Tech Innovators Have an Eye on the Smart Home

Although wearables are a relatively new category in the digital marketplace, manufacturers are already looking to expand beyond the wrist to the smart home. “The [home security] market largely didn’t move from the 1970s,” explains Michael Wolff, founder of NextMarket Insights. “It was always high-end proprietary systems, but it’s being reinvented in the last couple of years.” Wearables are a great source of data, such as biometrics, goes the argument, and therefore can interface nicely with smart home applications. Continue reading Wearable Tech Innovators Have an Eye on the Smart Home

CEA: Fitness Wearables to Become $1 Billion Industry in 2014

The fitness wearables market is booming. “We see this becoming a $1 billion industry in 2014,” said CEA Senior Research Analyst Kevin Tillmann during a CE Research Summit session. 2013 numbers were up 32 percent over 2012’s market, which was valued at $648 million. The 2012 market showed significant growth of 170 percent from 2011. The wrist is the ideal place for a fitness wearable, according to the vast majority of consumers polled by the Consumer Electronics Association. Continue reading CEA: Fitness Wearables to Become $1 Billion Industry in 2014

Wide Range of Wearable Devices on Display at CES Unveiled

CES Unveiled, an event open to the press on Sunday, was a veritable fashion show of wearable devices, from high-tech headphones to digital solutions for fitness, health and even orthodontia. Part of the fashion show experience of high-tech wearables involved the attendees: quite a number of early adopters sported Google Glass eyewear and FitBits as they roamed the floor. Among the categories of wearables, the fitness market was particularly in evidence, no doubt because the popular FitBit has proven a market exists. Continue reading Wide Range of Wearable Devices on Display at CES Unveiled

Seiki Pairs Low-End 4K Displays with Up-Res Converter Chip

Seiki has come up with a unique and effective way to offer consumers a high quality 4K viewing experience at a mass market price. The company pairs good, low-end 4K displays made in China with an HDMI 1.4 cable that contains a high-end up-res converter chip. The booth rep freely said that the 55-inch 4K set (MSRP $899) has a mediocre built-in up-res chip. They licensed Marseille’s high-quality up-res tech and built it into the Seiki-branded HDMI 3.0 cable (MSRP $49) to provide a superior experience at a low price point. Continue reading Seiki Pairs Low-End 4K Displays with Up-Res Converter Chip

Connected Cars: Chevrolet Drives OnStar 4G LTE with AT&T

Underscoring Detroit’s determination to be a player in the connected consumer space, General Motors announced that OnStar 4G LTE will be factory-enabled in the majority of its 2015 Chevrolet models including the Corvette and Impala, hitting the market this summer. The move sees GM expanding its relationship with OnStar connectivity partner AT&T and simultaneously mounting a developer outreach program to fuel the Chevrolet AppShop. Continue reading Connected Cars: Chevrolet Drives OnStar 4G LTE with AT&T

DreamWorks and Fuhu Partner to Offer New Children’s Tablet

DreamWorks has partnered with Fuhu, maker of the Nabi line of children’s tablets, on an Android tablet called the DreamTab designed specifically for kids. The tablets will be available this year with a number of DreamWorks-branded accessories, such as headphones and carrying cases. They will feature original animation, educational videos, and have the ability to communicate wirelessly with DreamWorks-made toys. The studio will be able to program the device similar to programming a cable channel. Continue reading DreamWorks and Fuhu Partner to Offer New Children’s Tablet

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