Walt Disney Imagineering Redefining Alternate Reality Games

“The Optimist,” developed by Walt Disney Imagineering, is the latest take on the multi-platform experience known as the alternate reality game (ARG). Linked to the Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird film due in 2014 called “Tomorrowland,” the new ARG is part of Disney’s efforts to create new interactive experiences that place its audience members directly in the action and reach beyond the niche ARG audience to attract more people. Continue reading Walt Disney Imagineering Redefining Alternate Reality Games

Twitter Hires Commerce Chief, Plans to Offer Shopping Tools

As part of its move into the online shopping space currently dominated by Amazon and eBay, Twitter has hired Nathan Hubbard as the company’s first head of commerce. Hubbard was president of Live Nation Entertainment’s Ticketmaster until earlier this month. Twitter plans to initially enter e-commerce by offering retailers tools for selling goods and services inside tweets. Forrester projects e-commerce will be a $370 billion market in the U.S. by 2017. Continue reading Twitter Hires Commerce Chief, Plans to Offer Shopping Tools

Broadband Adoption and How it Relates to Smartphone Usage

According to a new report from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 70 percent of Americans 18 and older have high-speed broadband connections in their homes. Results of the survey, released yesterday, indicate that 20 percent of adults in the U.S. are still without broadband or smartphones for Internet access, while 3 percent are still using dial-up connections. Broadband adoption — still influenced by age, education, income, location and race — may also now be impacted by mobile substitution. Continue reading Broadband Adoption and How it Relates to Smartphone Usage

Consumers Can Select Viewing Angles for Sports and Concerts

The new OmniCam360 camera system uses a collection of cameras to create multiple angles for live televised events such as soccer matches and music concerts. The system provides viewers with the option to choose their viewing angle, including a 360-degree view of the event. The camera was developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications in Berlin, Germany. Viewers can use a computer, tablet or smart TV in order to select views via their virtual cameras in real-time. Continue reading Consumers Can Select Viewing Angles for Sports and Concerts

Facebook Expected to Unveil Video Ads for Web and Mobile

Facebook video ads are likely to debut this fall, instead of this summer. The debut has fueled much speculation regarding the amount of revenue that this will generate for the company. The video ads are expected to offer a new way to target advertising to non-broadcast TV watchers. It will be determined what form the much debated videos will take, and if the $2 million price tag will attract businesses and audiences on the Web and mobile devices. Continue reading Facebook Expected to Unveil Video Ads for Web and Mobile

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

Nielsen Study Finds Links Between TV Viewing and Twitter

In a new study, Nielsen has confirmed a connection between television viewing and the magnitude of related Twitter buzz. The study suggests that Twitter activity can encourage people to watch TV programming and increase ratings significantly, while TV viewing can affect the number of tweets. Nielsen and Twitter have joined forces to measure Twitter traffic regarding various shows. Ultimately, it may be difficult to determine if Twitter actually influences TV watching or if it is a reflection of it. Continue reading Nielsen Study Finds Links Between TV Viewing and Twitter

Research Points to Dramatic Increase in Wearable Computing

Juniper Research predicts that wearable computing shipments will grow tenfold in the next five years, eventually reaching 150 million by the end of 2018. The researcher cites health and fitness industries, in addition to tech firms such as Apple and Google, as the primary catalysts in pushing shipments. Juniper forecasts health and fitness industries combined to account for more than half of the devices shipped, while smart watches and glasses are expected to also drive adoption. Continue reading Research Points to Dramatic Increase in Wearable Computing

SIGGRAPH: Disney Uses 3D Printing to Create Expressive Eyes

Disney Research is using 3D printing to create components to build expressive eyes for robots. However, rather than mimic human eyes, which can appear strange to some, the robot eyes have a cartoonish look. The technology may have future applications for interactive toys, video game characters and possibly even human prosthetic eyes. The research team demonstrated the technology at the ACM SIGGRAPH Conference in Anaheim last week. Continue reading SIGGRAPH: Disney Uses 3D Printing to Create Expressive Eyes

SIGGRAPH: Disney Creates Air-Based Touch Feedback System

Disney Research has created a haptic, or touch feedback, system that uses bursts of air. The AIREAL system simulates touch, or tactile sensation, in three-dimensional empty space. The haptic feedback can be applied to countless applications and situations, and may offer new ways for users to interact with their devices. The concept is to make touchless experiences, such as motion and gesture control, a physical interaction. This will ultimately give the user a more natural, touch-like perception. Continue reading SIGGRAPH: Disney Creates Air-Based Touch Feedback System

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

Microsoft Releases Operating System For Home Automation

Microsoft researchers have recently released software that will make home automation easier. The company’s Lab of Things will serve as a platform for researchers and developers. Researchers will have a base to study home automation technology, and developers will have an operating system for apps that will control and monitor this technology. Some believe that the Lab of Things may be a starting project for larger and more complex buildings. Continue reading Microsoft Releases Operating System For Home Automation

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

Metal Alloy Could Be Used for 3D Printing of Bendy Devices

A team of researchers at North Carolina State University has created a metal alloy that is liquid, and could be used in 3D printers to make flexible electronic parts and devices. The researchers describe the metal as a “stretchable” alloy, and that many small drops of the alloy can be positioned together in order to create bendable metal sheets and potentially other objects. But it is currently expensive, about 100 times more than 3D printing plastic. Continue reading Metal Alloy Could Be Used for 3D Printing of Bendy Devices

Online Video Trends: Tips for Increasing Viewer Engagement

Social TV startup SimulTV launched a video viewing app last month for tablets and the Web. According to a soon-to-be-released study from the startup, online video engagement is on the rise. The top 200 YouTube channels, very few of which come from major brands or media entities, have thus far published nearly 187,000 videos that have generated 144 billion views, 520 million comments and a billion “likes.” Leading areas include gaming, entertainment and comedy. Continue reading Online Video Trends: Tips for Increasing Viewer Engagement

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