Revl Raises VC Funds, Vimeo Introduces Magisto Video Editor

San Francisco-based Revl, which uses artificial intelligence to power its video-stitching Revl X platform, raised $5.2 million in a Series A round led by Nimble Ventures and joined by Tuesday Capital, Silicon Valley Data Capital and Luma Pictures. Meanwhile, Vimeo introduced Vimeo Create, its short-form video editing platform aimed at social media. The new service was built out from Vimeo’s acquisition last year of Magisto for a reported $200 million. Backed by Qualcomm, Magisto also relies on AI for stitching videos together. Continue reading Revl Raises VC Funds, Vimeo Introduces Magisto Video Editor

Amazon Eyes Low-Income Shoppers With PayCode Service

Amazon recently announced PayCode, a new pay-with-cash option for its online shoppers. The e-commerce giant’s service is the latest step in taking on low-price retail chains like Walmart. The move could help attract the 8+ million low-income households in the U.S. that do not presently have bank accounts, debit cards or credit cards. PayCode users can place an order on Amazon and then pay in cash within 24 hours at one of 15,000 Western Union locations. Amazon is also looking to expand its recently developed cashierless Go technology by bringing it to retailers such as movie theaters and airport shops. Continue reading Amazon Eyes Low-Income Shoppers With PayCode Service

Uber Demonstrates Its Drone Delivery Service in San Diego

Uber demonstrated the transport of a McDonald’s meal via its Uber Elevate A4200 drone with custom-designed delivery box. The drone was set to fly only half a mile away, but the trip was canceled due to a 26-knot breeze. The demo is still noteworthy as a practical application of the technology. Uber isn’t the only company pinning some of its high-tech hopes on drone delivery. Google already has the greenlight from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to make similar unmanned commercial deliveries in Virginia, and Amazon also debuted its drone delivery service. Continue reading Uber Demonstrates Its Drone Delivery Service in San Diego

Facebook Takes New Tack by Approving Social App in China

Facebook has made several efforts over the years to encourage China to lift the 2009 block against its social platform and many of its apps. In May, the company approved a photo-sharing app called Colorful Balloons that doesn’t have the Facebook name attached but is similar in look, function and feel to Facebook’s Moments app. According to an unnamed source, a local Chinese company debuted the app without any hint of a Facebook affiliation. China imposes strict censorship on the Internet, including on news websites and apps. Continue reading Facebook Takes New Tack by Approving Social App in China

Ticketmaster Teams With LISNR For Smart Tone Technology

Ticketmaster has partnered with LISNR, a data-over-audio company, to use an ultrasonic sound technology on users’ smartphones to admit them to live events and track their movements. The technology, dubbed “smart tones,” transmits information between devices, and was recently used by Jaguar Land Rover so that mobile devices in different vehicles could communicate with one another. Ticketmaster is launching a new e-ticketing system called Presence, powered by LISNR tech, that it hopes will reduce entry wait times at live events. Continue reading Ticketmaster Teams With LISNR For Smart Tone Technology

Snapchat Offers its Spectacles via Snapbot Vending Machines

Snap is already sold out on its first run of Spectacles, the $130 Snapchat sunglasses with a built-in camera for shooting video. The sunglasses were for sale in a pop-up vending machine, dubbed Snapbot, at the company’s Venice Beach headquarters, and now some of them are already for sale on eBay priced at $600 to $1,000. Snap is deliberately rolling out Spectacles in a playful fashion, with vending machines festooned with balloons and designed to look like a Cyclops cartoon character. Continue reading Snapchat Offers its Spectacles via Snapbot Vending Machines

Facebook Integrates Social and Utilitarian with New Features

Facebook has a strategy to become more useful in everyday life, combining and improving on the services similar to those from Yelp, Foursquare and others. The added value, says Facebook, would be its network of social connections and businesses. That idea is behind the updates the company is now unveiling, which will allow users to order food from a restaurant’s Facebook page or make an appointment at the beauty salon. Retailers must use third-party services such as Delivery.com, Slice, HomeAdvisory or MyTime for it to work. Continue reading Facebook Integrates Social and Utilitarian with New Features

CES: Polaroid Demos New Pocket-Sized Mobile Photo Printer

Polaroid has unveiled its portable Zip device, a 6.6-ounce photo printer, less than one-inch thick, that creates 2×3-inch prints using the company’s ZINK zero-ink technology and adhesive-backed ZINK paper. The pocket-sized device enables users to print photos from Bluetooth-enabled smartphones and tablets. The Zip includes a free mobile app available for iOS and Android, and an array of editing options such as adding filters, frames, stamps and stickers. Users can even make business cards. The Zip is expected to ship this spring for about $130. Continue reading CES: Polaroid Demos New Pocket-Sized Mobile Photo Printer

Retailers Block Apple Pay Despite Early Popularity with Users

Major stores including Walmart, Gap, Rite Aid and CVS will no longer allow the use of Apple Pay. Instead, these companies are trying to push their own app, known as CurrentC, which would enable customers to pay directly with their checking accounts. CurrentC would save the retailers money on credit card transaction fees, but consumers seem to have already adopted ApplePay. In the first 72 hours of the Apple Pay launch, the service registered one million credit cards. Continue reading Retailers Block Apple Pay Despite Early Popularity with Users

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

Ingress Brings Augmented Reality to Mobile Video Gaming

Google’s internal startup Niantic Labs has created a game called “Ingress” that is still in closed beta release. It is an augmented reality, massive multiplayer video game that uses location-based augmented reality of actual locations as game play. The augmented reality is based on where the player is physically, and adds layers to the game based on the surroundings. “Ingress” also opens up some compelling possibilities for advertisers. Continue reading Ingress Brings Augmented Reality to Mobile Video Gaming

Discover App Uses Digital Watermarks for Scanning Images and Video

  • Digimarc moves beyond ‘watermark’ to a ‘desireable consumer experience’ with its new Discover app that “lets users capture visual and audio input with a smart phone and search for related information,” reports MIT’s Technology Review.
  • “Discover combines a variety of media search functions into a single app that will allow users to scan images, audio, video, and even barcodes or QR codes (two-dimensional versions of barcodes) — all without switching between apps.”
  • The CE manufacturers historically objected to installing watermark detectors because the content industry wanted to use them to stop undesired consumer behavior.
  • This app and others like it offer consumers a positive experience that could make that argument moot, and it could support new business models.
  • The free app is available for iOS and Android phones.