FAA Approves Commercial Delivery For Alphabet’s Drones

Wing Aviation, a unit of Alphabet, received the Federal Aviation Administration’s first authorization to deliver consumer goods via drone. Being first is a coup for Google’s parent company and a harbinger that many other companies — Amazon among them — will soon launch drone delivery services. Not long ago, officials predicted that the FAA wouldn’t implement the first rules for unmanned aircraft delivery until 2020 or 2021. The current FAA permit for Wing Aviation only includes a rural area around Blacksburg, Virginia. Continue reading FAA Approves Commercial Delivery For Alphabet’s Drones

FAA: Number of Commercial Drones Will Quadruple by 2022

In positive news for the drone industry, recently updated Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) numbers project significant growth in commercial drone use by 2022, at which point the current numbers are expected to quadruple. By that year, 450,000 unmanned drones will operate within domestic airspace. Today, there are roughly 110,000 in use. These increases are projected even if federal restrictions are loosened more slowly than expected or desired by advocates and others.

Continue reading FAA: Number of Commercial Drones Will Quadruple by 2022

Microsoft HoloLens Finds New Life for Corporate Applications

Microsoft hasn’t given up on HoloLens. The company believes it is more suited for corporate training than gaming, and now Japan Airlines is using it is a good example of that. Two years ago, the Japanese company sent pilot Takashi Wada to Microsoft headquarters to try out the HoloLens; now he teaches HoloLens-equipped trainees how to flip virtual switches in a cockpit, prior to using flight simulators. Microsoft isn’t alone in pursuing such applications, with Alphabet, Apple and Facebook following suit. Continue reading Microsoft HoloLens Finds New Life for Corporate Applications

Twitch Will Live-Stream Amazon Pilots, Original Documentary

Amazon-owned Twitch is diversifying from its usual fare of videogame broadcasts. Starting April 5, the company will live-stream three Amazon pilots. Sci-fi drama “Oasis,” and half-hour comedies “The Legend of Master Legend” and “Budding Prospects” will stream in back-to-back two-hour blocks over a 24-hour period at Twitch’s programmatic TV content site. Following this, Twitch Studios will premiere its first original documentary, the 22-minute “Ironsights,” about a female Twitch streamer who plays “Big Buck HD.” Continue reading Twitch Will Live-Stream Amazon Pilots, Original Documentary

Amazon Makes its First Commercial Drone Delivery in the UK

Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos reports that, on Dec. 7, the company made its first commercial drone delivery — of an Amazon Fire streaming device and popcorn — to an Amazon shopper in Cambridgeshire, England. The drone took off from a nearby Amazon warehouse and flew two miles in approximately 13 minutes. Amazon will now test drone deliveries in that country with two more customers near Cambridge, where it has a drone testing facility. The company hopes to expand the trial to up to dozens of people in the next months. Continue reading Amazon Makes its First Commercial Drone Delivery in the UK

FAA Issues Drone Operation Rules, Privacy Issues Unresolved

The operation of drones has sparked heated debate and industry angst regarding issues of safety, privacy and regulation. Now, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued its first detailed rules that clarify nationwide licensing requirements for pilots and bans operation of drones at nighttime. But it still hasn’t touched the hot button topics of privacy protections, high altitude flying, drones heavier than the currently-approved 55-pounds and other issues. In that vacuum, local governments are coming up with their own regulations. Continue reading FAA Issues Drone Operation Rules, Privacy Issues Unresolved

Amazon to Test Original Programs on Gaming Platform Twitch

Amazon has, up until now, tried out new comedy, drama, documentary and children’s shows with a ‘test’ episode on Amazon Video. The company just announced at the Television Critics Association press tour that it will now debut a few of its original pilot episodes on its streaming Twitch platform, more typically associated with games and gamers. Although Amazon made no formal announcement, the news was reported by several publications. Twitch has previously aired classic shows featuring Bob Ross and Julia Child. Continue reading Amazon to Test Original Programs on Gaming Platform Twitch

Niche Audiences, Binge Watching Impact Testing of TV Pilots

Television networks are in the midst of their annual process of testing new shows to decide which ones they’ll pick up. The typical test audience is made up of 50 people, recruited based on age, sex and race, and a network’s core demographic. The audience members watch the show, judging it via a handheld device that has a knob enabling them to express like and dislike. Not every media outlet embraces the concept of test audiences, and the testing services are modifying their criteria to better reflect today’s viewing behavior. Continue reading Niche Audiences, Binge Watching Impact Testing of TV Pilots

FAA Task Force Releases Recommendations on Policing Drones

The Consumer Technology Association estimates there will be 400,000 drones under the Christmas tree this year. Just in time, a task force created by the Federal Aviation Administration has come out with a report detailing recommendations on how to regulate them. The task force, comprised of drone makers, technology companies, an airline pilots association and the government, says drone owners need to be entered into a federal database and should display a government-issued registration number on their drone. Continue reading FAA Task Force Releases Recommendations on Policing Drones

DJI Introduces Two New Phantom Drones Featuring 4K Cameras

DJI recently announced the addition of two new drones to its collection — the Phantom 3 Professional and the Phantom 3 Advanced — both of which are expected to launch in upcoming weeks. Unlike previous models of the Phantom, the Professional and Advanced versions come equipped with a 4K (30fps)/12-megapixel and 1080p (up to 60fps)/12-megapixel camera, respectively. In addition to the cameras, both models have improved Wi-Fi features, an indoor sensor and auto-take off and landing.   Continue reading DJI Introduces Two New Phantom Drones Featuring 4K Cameras

Networks Increasingly Releasing Their TV Premieres Online

Major television networks, such as ABC, Fox and NBC, are debuting their new fall shows online weeks ahead of the television premiere dates. The pilot episodes of NBC’s “A to Z,” ABC’s “Selfie,” and Fox’s “Red Band Society” are all available on Hulu before their scheduled television air date. This increasingly common practice gives viewers the chance to sample the new shows earlier and start some online buzz before the flood of other pilots debut during the fall television season. Continue reading Networks Increasingly Releasing Their TV Premieres Online

Harris Poll: Popularity of Streaming Increases with TV Viewers

Although online streaming is not threatening to overtake traditional television viewing yet, it is gaining momentum. A recent Harris Poll found that 85 percent of Americans say they usually watch programs on a television via live feed, recorded or on demand. The number of Americans that most often stream shows is up three percent from 2012, at 23 percent. The poll also found that a quarter of Americans said they watch more streaming television now than they did a year ago. Continue reading Harris Poll: Popularity of Streaming Increases with TV Viewers