Alibaba Unveils Smart TV Operating System and Set-Top Box

Chinese online-commerce company Alibaba is the latest tech firm to target the living room, with its new smart TV operating system and a set-top box. The company joins a crowded group that includes Apple, Lenovo, Samsung and others that are exploring the emerging market. Alibaba plans to integrate its Alipay electronic-payment service into the TV software. The company cited declining growth of PC use in China as a motivation for the move into TVs. Continue reading Alibaba Unveils Smart TV Operating System and Set-Top Box

Sporting Kansas City Connects to New Fans Via Smartphones

Robb Heineman has transformed the MLS Kansas City Wizards into the Sporting Kansas City, now one of the most tech savvy sports teams, using technology to connect to fans and to fill the stadium past capacity. This year, Sporting Kansas City has a waiting list for season tickets and has sold out 27 consecutive games. The team is becoming a model for stadium technology and fan engagement, and is creating a new business in the process. Continue reading Sporting Kansas City Connects to New Fans Via Smartphones

Second Screen Apps: Has TV Become the Second Screen?

Television networks are creating companion apps for their successful shows, social TV startups are developing chats and check-ins for second screen experiences, and others are pushing for new ideas to redesign today’s programming guide. But the second screen trend has thus far been based on the premise that the TV screen in the living room is the center of most consumers’ entertainment. Some are suggesting that this viewpoint is no longer accurate and, in fact, may not have been true in the past. Continue reading Second Screen Apps: Has TV Become the Second Screen?

U.S. Consumers Upgrading Smartphones at Declining Rates

U.S. consumers are buying fewer smartphones and upgrading less often, a problem for device manufacturers and wireless carriers, such as Apple and AT&T respectively. The more advanced smartphones become, the less consumers feel the need to upgrade. Some consumers see the pace of innovation slowing, encouraging them to wait for breakthrough devices, and passing on the newest upgrades. Yet companies see a future in new services and technologies. Continue reading U.S. Consumers Upgrading Smartphones at Declining Rates

Foursquare Leverages Check-Ins for Full-Page Mobile Ads

Social network Foursquare has started rolling out full-page post check-in ads in its mobile apps. The ads are presented to users immediately after they check in at certain locations, typically offering a relevant suggestion or coupon. The Diageo-owned Captain Morgan rum brand is one of the first on board. For example, users who check in at certain bars or restaurants will be served an ad suggesting they order a “Captain and cola” or “Captain mojito.” Continue reading Foursquare Leverages Check-Ins for Full-Page Mobile Ads

Report: App Economy Expected to Double in Value by 2017

Research firm AppNation forecasts a dramatic increase in the overall app economy in the U.S. over the next four years. The AppNation report predicts that the combined value of paid apps, app-enabled purchases of goods and services, and in-app advertising will double to $151 billion by 2017. While smartphones and tablets largely drive today’s app economy, innovations with smart TVs and connected cars are expected to help drive future app commerce. Continue reading Report: App Economy Expected to Double in Value by 2017

New Wireless Model: Earn Data Over Time with Aquto App

Boston-based startup Aquto launched this week with an interesting business model, one that allows wireless customers to pay for data by watching ads, taking surveys, downloading apps, or devoting time to a brand. For example, if a consumer views a 30-second ad via the Aquto app, that individual could earn 5 or 10 megabytes, about enough to download some images or check an inbox. Aquto is limited to Vodafone customers in Portugal, but plans to roll out in the U.S. next month with a “very large carrier.” Continue reading New Wireless Model: Earn Data Over Time with Aquto App

Apple TV Claims More Than Half of Streaming Devices Market

Frost & Sullivan’s newly released report on the size of the Consumer Video Devices Market suggests that sales numbers indicate Apple owned 56 percent of the streaming devices market in 2012, with Roku close behind at 21 percent. TiVo has the next largest base of users. And while Google remains committed to competing in this space, devices based on the Google TV platform have experienced little commercial success so far. Continue reading Apple TV Claims More Than Half of Streaming Devices Market

Nokia Launches Lumia 1020 Smartphone with 41MP Camera

Nokia has unveiled its new Lumia 1020, confirming the rumors that the smartphone touts a 41-megapixel camera. It features six-lens Carl Zeiss optics (including wide angle), auto and manual focus, and captures 1080p HD video at 30 frames per second. Preorders for the Windows Phone 8 device begin tomorrow, available in the U.S. exclusively through AT&T for $300 with a two-year contract. The Lumia 1020 is expected to hit shelves July 26. Continue reading Nokia Launches Lumia 1020 Smartphone with 41MP Camera

App Store Has Revolutionized the Mobile Device Experience

Apple’s App Store launched in 2008 for iPhone users to find and download apps. It has provided consumers with a great opportunity to personalize their mobile device experience, while launching a new economy where individual developers and larger companies can promote and sell their apps and services. The App Store has changed how software is purchased and distributed — and as a result, has led to a defining transition in personal computing. Continue reading App Store Has Revolutionized the Mobile Device Experience

New Audio App is the Pandora for Podcasts and News Radio

Silicon Valley startup Concept.io has launched the Swell smartphone app, which automatically collects Internet radio and podcast content based on user interest. Swell tracks what content is played, how often, and what is skipped, using an algorithm to build a user profile. The app also tracks a user’s Twitter stream to identify areas of interest in order to add relevant audio programs. Swell is currently available for iOS, with Android on the way. Continue reading New Audio App is the Pandora for Podcasts and News Radio

Google Bringing Android to Video Game Consoles and More

Google plans to extend Android’s reach beyond smartphones and tablets. Android-powered video game consoles and smartwatches will compete with other technology companies, specifically Apple, which is expected to release its own game console and wristwatch according to people familiar with the development. Android is being made ready to run on a variety of CE products, from laptop computers and wearable devices to household appliances. Continue reading Google Bringing Android to Video Game Consoles and More

Will a Facebook News Reader Fill the Void Left by Google?

Earlier this week, we reported that for more than a year Facebook has been quietly working on a service called Reader that could essentially become a newspaper for mobile devices. As Google retires its RSS news reader on Monday, Facebook Reader could become an opportunity for the social giant to increase engagement and create a viable ad channel. However, there is a question regarding whether Facebook can offer a mobile app that competes with existing readers. Continue reading Will a Facebook News Reader Fill the Void Left by Google?

Tablet Shipments Increase as Traditional PC Sales Decline

The combined shipments of PCs, tablets and mobile phones are projected to reach 2.35 billion worldwide this year. The new Gartner numbers mark a 5.9 percent increase from 2012. Sales of tablets, smartphones and ultramobiles are on the rise, while traditional desktop and notebook PCs are expected to decline by 10.6 percent. Anytime-anywhere computing is driving consumer behavior. Additionally, the growing acceptance of bring your own device will lead to an emphasis on designing for consumers inside the enterprise. Continue reading Tablet Shipments Increase as Traditional PC Sales Decline

Samsung Announces Plans to Shutter Desktop PC Business

Samsung Electronics announced on Monday that it will phase out its unprofitable desktop PC business and allocate its resources to connected and portable devices including tablet computers and all-in-one laptops. “Tablets, all-in-one and hybrid PCs are Samsung’s current focus. Samsung is speeding up its restructuring of its PC business via product realignment toward profitable variants,” explained a Samsung official. Continue reading Samsung Announces Plans to Shutter Desktop PC Business

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