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

Startup Ossia Unveils Wireless Power Charging Technology

Wireless charging has yet to enter into the mainstream market and has seen little development. But a relatively unknown startup, Ossia, has developed wireless powering technology called Cota that it hopes to bring to market and change the way businesses and consumers power their devices. It uses a wireless spectrum similar to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to safely deliver power, and has the potential to easily power common devices in a seamless way. Continue reading Startup Ossia Unveils Wireless Power Charging Technology

Roku to Support DIAL, Offer Functionality Found on Chromecast

Roku CEO Anthony Wood announced at the Next TV Summit in San Francisco this week that his company’s devices will soon add support for the DIAL protocol. The update will allow Roku to offer functionality similar to that of Google’s Chromecast, which would include expanded second-screen support for Netflix. Devices from Sony, Vizio, LG, Panasonic and TiVo already support DIAL, a multiscreen protocol jointly developed by Netflix and YouTube. Continue reading Roku to Support DIAL, Offer Functionality Found on Chromecast

Snapchat Boasts 350 Million Snaps Per Day, Looks to Expand

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel recently announced that the company’s messaging app is processing more than 350 million snaps a day, which is an increase from 200 million in June. The popularity of the app stems from the fact that one can send pictures that are instantly deleted after being opened. Facebook’s Poke app may have been a potential threat to Snapchat, but while the Poke app has lost popularity, Snapchat is number 12 among Apple’s free apps. Continue reading Snapchat Boasts 350 Million Snaps Per Day, Looks to Expand

Pixar Veterans Create Interactive Talk Show App for Kids

Kids who watch shows such as “Dora the Explorer” and “Blue’s Clues” are often asked questions that encourage responses, but the TV of course does not interact beyond that point. This problem is being solved by San Francisco startup ToyTalk, a company launched by former employees of Pixar Animation Studios. Their first iPad app, “The Winston Show,” features Winston and his sidekick Ellington posing questions to their young viewers and then responding intelligently. Continue reading Pixar Veterans Create Interactive Talk Show App for Kids

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

Vine Marketing: Airbnb Launches Video Crowdsourcing Campaign

The Airbnb travel accommodations website teamed with ad agency Mullen San Francisco to launch a new experiment in Vine marketing this past week. The “Hollywood & Vines” campaign will result in a short film composed of six-second Vine videos submitted by consumers. Shooting days ran August 22-25, with assigned shots posted hourly. “If your Vine is selected it will be featured on the Sundance Channel and you’ll receive a $100 Airbnb coupon,” explains the campaign’s site. Continue reading Vine Marketing: Airbnb Launches Video Crowdsourcing Campaign

NBC News to Purchase Stringwire for Streaming Phone Video

NBC News is looking to leverage on-the-scene user generated content for its news coverage, envisioning a day when live video could be streamed directly to its New York control rooms from the camera phones of witnesses to newsworthy events. This approach could replace or complement footage by professional crews and ease the pressure of producers frantically searching Twitter and Facebook to locate eyewitness accounts. The network is acquiring Web service Stringwire as its first step toward this goal. Continue reading NBC News to Purchase Stringwire for Streaming Phone Video

UTA Draws Developers for Third Annual Hollywood Hack Day

The third annual Hollywood Hack Day took place last weekend, bringing a hackathon — a timed collaborative event during which software developers create new apps or Web services — to Los Angeles. United Talent Agency hosted the event and provided increased bandwidth for the 135 developers and designers involved in the 2-day competition. Because the event was in LA, several teams chose to create apps about the art and business of entertainment. Continue reading UTA Draws Developers for Third Annual Hollywood Hack Day

Yahoo Continues Shopping Spree of Mobile App Companies

Following its recent acquisition of Tumblr, Yahoo is in advanced talks to purchase social video app Qwiki for $50 million, according to sources familiar with the matter. The New York startup’s iPhone app allows users to create short movies from photos, music and video clips. Yahoo paid more than $1.1 billion for Tumblr several weeks ago and is reportedly close to purchasing San Francisco-based address book app creator Xobni for $30-$40 million. Continue reading Yahoo Continues Shopping Spree of Mobile App Companies

Fresh: Amazon Brings Online Grocery Shopping to Los Angeles

Amazon recently announced plans to offer online grocery shopping in Los Angeles. While the $79 Amazon Prime provides customers with two-day shipping and streaming TV shows and movies, the $299 AmazonFresh Service, originally tested in Seattle, will additionally enable members to order groceries that will be delivered to the door in hours. Retail giants such as Walmart and Costco have suggested that online grocery delivery is a nearly impossible business. Continue reading Fresh: Amazon Brings Online Grocery Shopping to Los Angeles

Apple Plans Support for Third-Party MFi Game Controllers

Apple has created software specifications that it hopes will encourage developers to build game controllers for its computers and mobile devices including iPads, iPhones and iPod touches. The company says the specs are designed to ensure that controllers “have consistent sets of control elements that both players and game designers can rely on.” According to the document, “Controllers must enhance gameplay — they must not be required.” Continue reading Apple Plans Support for Third-Party MFi Game Controllers

WWDC: Apple Unveils New iOS, Cylindrical Mac Pro and More

Apple opened its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco yesterday with a 2-hour keynote address that re-emphasized the company’s coolness factor, its ability to innovate and a return to a focus on design. Apple introduced its much anticipated iTunes Radio music service, new MacBook Airs with improved battery life, a super-fast cylindrical Mac Pro, the Jony Ive-designed iOS 7 with redesigned icons and distinct functional layers, and a new Mac operating system dubbed “Mavericks.” Continue reading WWDC: Apple Unveils New iOS, Cylindrical Mac Pro and More

WWDC: Apple Introduces Ad-Supported iTunes Radio Service

During yesterday’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, Apple introduced its much anticipated streaming music service. The free, ad-supported iTunes Radio will feature a sizable music catalog, thanks to deals Apple has made with all the major record labels. The service features algorithmically programmed stations, more than 200 genre-based stations and a station that reflects music currently trending on Twitter. Continue reading WWDC: Apple Introduces Ad-Supported iTunes Radio Service

Apple Expected to Unveil New Streaming Music Service Today

At its annual developers conference in San Francisco today, Apple is expected to unveil its ad-supported streaming music service. The company is also expected to introduce new Mac notebooks and a redesigned iOS featuring a simpler interface. Apple’s new Internet radio service will compete with online music services such as Pandora, Rdio and Spotify. The move into streaming music could also help it compete with rival Google, which has been successful with robust Internet services. Continue reading Apple Expected to Unveil New Streaming Music Service Today

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