ILM Has Plans to Open New Visual Effects Facility in London

Carolyn Giardina of The Hollywood Reporter forwarded us news that Industrial Light & Magic, the visual effects division of Lucasfilm, has major expansion plans including a new facility in central London, just outside of Soho, and a move for the Vancouver team to a larger space that will allow the group to double from 100 to 200 employees. Lucasfilm also recently opened an ILM facility in Singapore. The VFX arm is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. Continue reading ILM Has Plans to Open New Visual Effects Facility in London

Virgin Atlantic Turns to Wearable Tech for Enhanced Service

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class passengers became the first air travelers to benefit from wearable technology while flying into London Heathrow airport this week. Concierge staff has begun using Google Glass and the Sony Smartwatch to give a more personal customer service experience by greeting travelers by name and keeping them updated on their flight status. Down the line, wearable tech may even be used to track travelers’ food and beverage preferences. Continue reading Virgin Atlantic Turns to Wearable Tech for Enhanced Service

Winter Olympics Available via TV, Websites, Apps, Social Media

The 2014 Winter Olympics begin tonight from Sochi with a wide range of options for viewers this time around. Television networks will broadcast a great deal of coverage over the next 18 days, and fans will have numerous options for streaming content via smartphones, tablets and PCs. In addition to the traditional TV broadcasts, a number of websites, apps and social media platforms including Facebook will provide viewers with extended coverage and event highlights. Continue reading Winter Olympics Available via TV, Websites, Apps, Social Media

YouTube Content Creators Question Ad Revenue Sharing Value

Since YouTube simplified its model of ad revenue sharing by letting content producers merely click a button to opt in, it’s seen a sharp increase in the numbers of creators and content — and, subsequently, revenue. A growing number of video producers are earning their livings from the site, though many say YouTube’s substantial cut of the advertising profits makes it less lucrative than what their videos are worth and how much time is spent producing them. Continue reading YouTube Content Creators Question Ad Revenue Sharing Value

Deep Learning: Google Plans to Acquire AI Startup DeepMind

In another deal involving “deep learning,” Google is purchasing London-based DeepMind Technologies, a somewhat secretive artifical intelligence startup. The move is viewed as a talent acquisition to bring CEO Dennis Hassabis to Google. The games prodigy and neuroscientist was named “probably the best games player in history” by the Mind Sports Olympiad. While it is unclear what DeepMind does exactly, its website describes building algorithms for games, e-commerce and simulations. Continue reading Deep Learning: Google Plans to Acquire AI Startup DeepMind

Musicians Using Pop-Up Stores to Generate Buzz for Albums

Musical acts looking to attract greater attention around the time of an album release are opening “pop-up” stores, which are temporary venues that seem to surface out of nowhere. They most often are constructed in an urban location, typically in an already existing retail store of some kind, and sometimes close after only 24 hours. Various artists, such as One Direction and Bob Dylan, have recently used pop-up stores to promote music and sell merchandise to fans. Continue reading Musicians Using Pop-Up Stores to Generate Buzz for Albums

The AMAZE Project: Space Agency Brings 3D Printing to Metal

The European Space Agency plans to apply 3D printing to metal in order to build parts for jets, spacecraft and fusion projects. ESA and the EU, together with industrial and academic partners, are developing the first large-scale 3D production methods to create metal parts that are lighter and more affordable than conventional parts. While 3D printing is already being used to produce plastic products, applying the process to metal parts for rockets and planes would save money and be more efficient. Continue reading The AMAZE Project: Space Agency Brings 3D Printing to Metal

Capture and Share 3D Images with the Seene App for iPhone

A new app from London-based Obvious Engineering allows iPhone users to easily capture and share 3D images. Seene is compatible with Apple’s iPhone 4S and higher, and browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Safari that support WebGL for 3D. It works by aiming your phone at a subject and moving around to record different angles. The progress is then overlaid on top of a video feed, resulting in a “seene” that builds automatically, which can be shared via social tools. Continue reading Capture and Share 3D Images with the Seene App for iPhone

New App Brings the Magic of Disney Animation to the iPad

Disney has launched a $13.99 iOS app for the iPad that explores the animation and history of all 53 animated Disney films. “Disney Animated” features interactive images, multi-layer animated clips, interviews with animators — and allows users to animate authentic Disney 3D character models and control a Disney visual effects simulation. The comprehensive app is a collaboration between Disney Interactive, Walt Disney Animation Studios and London-based app studio Touch Press. Continue reading New App Brings the Magic of Disney Animation to the iPad

Web Apps Join Android Offerings on the Amazon Appstore

Amazon announced that developers now have the option of creating Web apps that will be offered alongside native Android-based programs on its Appstore. The move could encourage developers to distribute HTML5-based apps without converting them to Android versions. It could also potentially lead the charge for change with other stores. Developers currently have to convert their apps to native iOS and Android versions for availability via the Apple App Store and Google Play. Continue reading Web Apps Join Android Offerings on the Amazon Appstore

YouTube Plans Next Creator Space Facility in New York City

During last week’s VidCon conference for online video, YouTube announced its plans to open another “Creator Space” production studio to offer content producers the opportunity to use professional-grade equipment and facilities. The new 20,000 to 25,000 square foot YouTube Space will be located in the Chelsea Marketplace district of New York City. Similar to those already operating in Los Angeles, London and Tokyo, the free-to-use facility is expected to be up and running by October of next year. Continue reading YouTube Plans Next Creator Space Facility in New York City

Sports Broadcasters Go Free Dimensional for Enhanced Replays

Many argue that 3D television has yet to go mainstream in sports due to the need for special glasses, lack of programming, and the overall expense. Now, 4K video cameras are being used to capture high quality video that can processed by software from Replay Technologies called freeD. It will offer more crisp, wider video views than what is currently offered on HD broadcasts. FreeD can also create multiple angle instant replays that surpass current offerings. Continue reading Sports Broadcasters Go Free Dimensional for Enhanced Replays

BBC Launches Research Collaboration in User Experience

The BBC announced on Thursday the BBC User Experience Research Partnership, a collaboration between BBC Research and Development and several universities, which involves research in User Experience and Human Computer Interaction. The initiative will develop pilot programs and prototypes, and will share its results. It also builds upon the BBC R&D’s strong record of collaboration, and focuses on strategies for the BBC and media industries. Continue reading BBC Launches Research Collaboration in User Experience

Media Industry Mourns the Loss of Pioneer Ray Harryhausen

Animator and special effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen, 92, died on Tuesday in London, where he had been living. Harryhausen, an innovative artist whose work still inspires filmmakers, often played a principal role in the movies that featured his technical effects. “He frequently proposed the initial concept, scouted the locations and shaped the story, script, art direction and design around his ideas for fresh ways to amaze an audience,” according to The New York Times. Continue reading Media Industry Mourns the Loss of Pioneer Ray Harryhausen

CEA Forecasts 30-50 Ultrabooks Expected to Launch at CES 2012

  • At a recent CES Unveiled event in London, Shawn DuBravac, director of research for the CEA, predicted that a large number of ultrabooks will debut at the 2012 CES conference in January. “We expect to see 30 to 50 new ultrabooks launch at CES,” said DuBravac. TechCrunch responded with, “That’s a whole lot of MacBook Air clones.”
  • Each year, there seems to be a single prominent device showcased at the annual confab. “iPad killers were out in force at 2011′s show. 2010 was all about 3D TVs while netbooks was the popular product in 2009,” suggests the post. “It seems that ultrabooks might be 2012′s hot product. But can they break the dreaded CES curse that plagued the previous hot products?”
  • TechCrunch describes how Android tablets failed to challenge the iPad and how 3D TVs and netbooks failed to achieve significant adoption. If ultrabooks dominate the 2012 event, will they face the same fate?
  • “Ultrabooks are supposed to be the answer to Apple’s increasingly popular MacBook Air. Intel designed the computing platform to be as thin as possible while keeping the price low. The first batch of ultabooks start at $899 and offer competitive performance. But they’re still not built as well as the MacBook Air.”

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