CES: The Next Wave of Immersive Media Tech and Markets

For a long time, we have posited that the future of immersive media will be 10 percent virtual reality and 90 percent augmented reality. In the coming year the VR and AR technologies and markets will continue to advance, but in different directions and for different reasons. VR is moving into niche markets, location-based entertainment (LBE), business applications and eSports. Meanwhile, we expect AR to focus on innovation across numerous fronts, including high-end niche business and professional applications, low-end consumer experiences and new glasses with limited feature sets. Continue reading CES: The Next Wave of Immersive Media Tech and Markets

Thalmic Labs Changes Name to North, Unveils Smart Glasses

Canadian wearables startup Thalmic Labs, which has rebranded itself as North, unveiled its second product — holographic smart glasses dubbed Focals. The wearable features lenses with a built-in display that shows the user messages, weather forecasts, directions and more information from the smartphone, and allows the user to call on Alexa to order an Uber and get calendar notifications among other tasks. Two years ago, North raised $120 million from Amazon’s Alexa Fund, Intel Capital and Fidelity Investments Canada. Continue reading Thalmic Labs Changes Name to North, Unveils Smart Glasses

Study: Younger Consumers Interested in Branchless Banking

A new study from Accenture found that as our finances move to new digital platforms, younger generations place more trust in Internet and retail brands than they do with traditional banks. The study found that individuals between the ages of 18 and 34 would consider doing their banking entirely online while also getting their financial services from non-traditional providers. Topping the list, 46 percent of respondents in this age group said they would be likely to bank with PayPal. Continue reading Study: Younger Consumers Interested in Branchless Banking

Despite Piracy, Global Cinema Experiences Revenue Growth

A new report released by the Motion Picture Association of America during CinemaCon this week in Las Vegas points to good news as movie industry revenues around the globe increased four percent from 2012 to 2013. While revenue from U.S. and Canada box offices were only up one percent, the global increases suggest that the movie industry has been able to survive during the ongoing threat of online piracy. Revenue in China also increased, the country that sits on top of the piracy list. Continue reading Despite Piracy, Global Cinema Experiences Revenue Growth

AOL On Network: Premium Video Platform Launches in the UK

AOL launched its AOL On Network in the United Kingdom this week, the first market outside of North America to gain access to the on-demand video platform. AOL On is a syndication platform that offers curated and original content (currently 750,000 videos). It is an extension of the Be On end-to-end video platform for brands and its Adap.tv video trading platform. Web-only for now, an app for AOL On will be available in the UK early next month via the App Store on iTunes and Google Play. Continue reading AOL On Network: Premium Video Platform Launches in the UK

Puzzle & Dragons: First Mobile Game to Top $1 Billion in Sales

Japanese game developer GungHo Online recently released its 2013 financials, revealing sales of $1.5 billion, 91 percent of which came from the game “Puzzle & Dragons.” This marks the first mobile game to officially earn over $1 billion. The company noted that $775 million of these sales were generated through Google Play, and $650 million through the Apple App Store. GungHo also announced that the game generated $155 million in January this year.  Continue reading Puzzle & Dragons: First Mobile Game to Top $1 Billion in Sales

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