ILM Has Plans to Open New Visual Effects Facility in London

Carolyn Giardina of The Hollywood Reporter forwarded us news that Industrial Light & Magic, the visual effects division of Lucasfilm, has major expansion plans including a new facility in central London, just outside of Soho, and a move for the Vancouver team to a larger space that will allow the group to double from 100 to 200 employees. Lucasfilm also recently opened an ILM facility in Singapore. The VFX arm is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. Continue reading ILM Has Plans to Open New Visual Effects Facility in London

Olympics: NBC Shooting Select Events in 4K for Demo Purposes

In addition to its Winter Olympics coverage across television, Web and mobile, NBC is also capturing some of the action from Sochi in 4K resolution. However, since the distribution infrastructure is not in place for Ultra HD broadcasts and only a small number of consumers own UHD TVs, the network is shooting limited 4K content for demonstration purposes only. NBCUniversal’s parent Comcast has scheduled invitation-only viewing parties in Washington DC, San Francisco and Philadelphia. Continue reading Olympics: NBC Shooting Select Events in 4K for Demo Purposes

Viggle Purchases Dijit Media and Popular TV App NextGuide

TV loyalty program provider Viggle, formed in 2010, announced it has acquired San Francisco-based Dijit Media, a b2b platform developer and maker of TV and movie guide apps for mobile devices. Dijit’s primary consumer app is NextGuide, which combines listings from live TV and streaming services such as Amazon, Hulu, iTunes and Netflix for an automated and curated directory of movies and television shows. Financial terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed. Continue reading Viggle Purchases Dijit Media and Popular TV App NextGuide

Google Tests Same-Day Delivery Service in Southern California

Google is expanding the test of its Google Shopping Express same-day delivery service by including company employees in the Santa Monica area. The test, which joins other similar programs such as eBay Now, Walmart to Go, and AmazonFresh, is an expansion of the pilot program it launched in the Bay Area last spring. Claiming it has received “great feedback” from shoppers and retailers in the San Francisco, Google has plans to eventually extend the service to the public. Continue reading Google Tests Same-Day Delivery Service in Southern California

A Conversation with Fitbit CEO and Co-Founder James Park

On the heels of an announcement that Fitbit has partnered with fashion designer Tory Burch for a range of high-fashion wearables, Fitbit co-founder and CEO James Park spoke to CES attendees about what else is new for the pioneering fitness activity tracker. “Android compatibility is important for us,” said Park. “We’ve worked with Samsung and expanded to 12 more devices. Motion Tracker is a new feature of our iPhone app that gives people an introductory experience to fitness tracking.” Continue reading A Conversation with Fitbit CEO and Co-Founder James Park

Stadiums Hope to Lure Sports Fans with New Tech Upgrades

There has been some debate regarding whether certain technologies have negatively impacted live sports. With the mass adoption of smart devices, many people are now opting to stay indoors. However, new technologies and mobile connectivity are aiming to lure more people into the stadium to chant for their favorite team without the need to miss a single moment. High-tech stadiums are introducing new apps and second screen features to offer fans an enhanced experience.

Continue reading Stadiums Hope to Lure Sports Fans with New Tech Upgrades

Amazon Opens Pop-Up Stores to Market Tablets and E-Readers

Seattle-based Amazon is promoting Kindle tablets and e-readers in a pop-up shop in a San Francisco mall, providing a glimpse at what the online retailer could look like in a physical space. Amazon is also offering devices, branded covers and power adapters via vending machines. While Amazon has been expected by some to follow Apple and Microsoft in opening brick-and-mortar storefronts, the company said it has no immediate plans to do so. Continue reading Amazon Opens Pop-Up Stores to Market Tablets and E-Readers

Macy’s is First Major Retailer to Use Apple’s iBeacon Tech

When Apple released iOS 7 in June, the company incorporated a proximity-based service called iBeacon that is now being used in retail stores. Mobile retail app developer Shopkick recently announced a service called ShopBeacon that uses iBeacon technology to track customers when they enter and move around the store, and allows the business itself to interact with the customers as they shop. ShopBeacon’s first official trial partner is Macy’s. Continue reading Macy’s is First Major Retailer to Use Apple’s iBeacon Tech

Google Aims to Attract Programmers with Glass Developer Kit

Google unveiled its Glass Development Kit (GDK) earlier this week at a Glass hackathon in San Francisco, inviting developers to create third party apps for its wearable technology. The company is looking to lure programmers with parts of Glass that were previously unavailable. Developers can now build Glass apps that work offline, in real time, and use the hardware accelerometer and GPS. Until now, developers were only able to work with the Mirror API. Continue reading Google Aims to Attract Programmers with Glass Developer Kit

Advertisers to Reach Users on TV and Facebook at Same Time

Social TV ads are coming to Facebook in an effort to compete with Twitter’s television advertising model. Now, advertisers will be able to reach Facebook users online at the same time an ad is running on TV. For example, an advertiser that airs a commercial on a local station in Los Angeles will be able to simultaneously target users in Los Angeles who are logged in to Facebook at the same time. And that’s some prime real estate. Continue reading Advertisers to Reach Users on TV and Facebook at Same Time

Thinner, Lighter, Faster: Apple Unveils New iPad Air Tablet

At yesterday’s product launch event in San Francisco, Apple announced the fifth generation of its market-leading tablet, promising a “thinner, lighter, faster” device — and introducing a new name. The new iPad Air will feature the same 9.7-inch screen as the fourth-gen iPad and the same A7 processing chip that is in the new iPhone 5S, making it 72 times faster than the original iPad. The new 1-pound tablet is 20 percent thinner and 28 percent lighter than the current model. Continue reading Thinner, Lighter, Faster: Apple Unveils New iPad Air Tablet

NextGuide Has New Network Partners for TV Show Reminders

San Francisco-based TV guide startup Digit Media — the company behind the NextGuide personal TV watchlist service — has launched new partnerships with Fox, BBC America and truTV. As part of the deals, the networks will add a Reminder Button to their program websites. By clicking on the button, consumers can register for NextGuide and receive reminder alerts via email or the NextGuide iOS app, letting them know when new episodes are about to air on TV. Continue reading NextGuide Has New Network Partners for TV Show Reminders

Smule Nation: Aspiring Stars Turn to Social Music-Making Apps

San Francisco-based startup Smule has 125 million members worldwide who use its 18 social music-making apps. Users are able to record and share covers and originals, and even sing duets with people halfway across the globe. The apps have spawned online communities featuring music that ranges in quality from YouTube amateurs to artists on the radio. Earlier this month, the company unveiled Smule Nation, a revamped website that makes select performances accessible online by anyone. Continue reading Smule Nation: Aspiring Stars Turn to Social Music-Making Apps

Apple Gears Up to Unveil iPad Updates Prior to the Holidays

Apple is expected to hold its next invitation-only event on Tuesday, October 22. On the eve of the holiday rush, Apple is preparing to unveil a slate of updates including the company’s fifth-generation iPad, the new Mac Pro and OS X Mavericks. The new 9.7-inch iPad is expected to be thinner and lighter, featuring Apple’s latest A7X processor and possibly its new Touch ID fingerprint sensor. A second-generation iPad mini is also anticipated. Continue reading Apple Gears Up to Unveil iPad Updates Prior to the Holidays

Chat Service Allows 10 People to Share Videos at Same Time

Spin is a new mobile video chat service that allows up to 10 parties per session. The app was created by a San Francisco company called Net Power & Light, known primarily for generating educational apps. Spin allows individuals to share photos and videos, and participants can simply swipe in and out of chats, known as “gatherings.” The app has been released for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, with an Android version coming soon. Continue reading Chat Service Allows 10 People to Share Videos at Same Time

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