Snapchat Aims to Compete With AR-Centric Digital Platform

Snap is planning to compete directly with Apple, Facebook and Google by creating a complete digital platform, with an app store, expanded games service and ability for third-party developers to build augmented reality experiences with its machine-learning models. Further, Snap is permitting other apps to integrate its camera software and include businesses and users’ friends into its maps. Snapchat has grown to 229 million daily users, versus Twitter’s 166 million, but is still smaller than Instagram and Facebook. Continue reading Snapchat Aims to Compete With AR-Centric Digital Platform

Snapchat Now Competing in the Multiplayer Gaming Arena

Snap Inc. announced yesterday that its popular Snapchat app now features multiplayer games, starting with “Bitmoji Party” and five other titles. The move is an effort to compete in a new social space dominated by “Fortnite” in which real-time, multiplayer games also serve as online communities. Snap plans to work with game developers such as Zynga and ZeptoLab. The combination of gaming and social networking is on the rise. According to Epic Games, its “Fortnite” had 250 million players as of March, while Netflix recently suggested that it competes with “Fortnite” more than HBO. Continue reading Snapchat Now Competing in the Multiplayer Gaming Arena

Fandango to Feature Scannable Movie Tickets via Apple Watch

Ticketing company Fandango plans to launch one of the Apple Watch’s first entertainment apps this Friday when the wearable starts its initial shipments. Similar to its mobile app, Fandango’s watch app will feature scannable movie tickets. The app also offers movie trivia and helpful screening information such as theater directions, seat details and a countdown clock to showtimes. Fandango, which developed an early iPhone app and was one of the first Passbook app partners, already has more than 36 million monthly online visitors. Continue reading Fandango to Feature Scannable Movie Tickets via Apple Watch

Amazon Debuts its Digital Wallet App in Time for Fire Release

Amazon’s first smartphone, the Amazon Fire, hit stores on Friday preloaded with a digital wallet app that can store users’ loyalty cards and gift cards. About 70 retailers, including stores such as Whole Foods, GameStop, and AMC Entertainment are participating in the service. Customers can redeem their gift cards and rewards at stores by using the app-generated scanable barcode. The Amazon Wallet app is also available for download through the Google Play app store. Continue reading Amazon Debuts its Digital Wallet App in Time for Fire Release

Amazon Unveils New 3D Fire Phone with Dynamic Perspective

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled the company’s new Fire Phone yesterday in Seattle. The 4.7-inch smartphone, which features a 3D display that detects where eyes are looking on the screen with “Dynamic Perspective,” will be available July 25 starting at $200. The device includes a scanning feature with its Firefly app, which allows users to scan products, signs, UPC or QR codes (ideal for shopping on Amazon), and Shazam-like features to identify songs and pinpoint scenes in movies or TV shows. Continue reading Amazon Unveils New 3D Fire Phone with Dynamic Perspective

New Samsung Smartwatch Runs Tizen, Bypasses Smartphone

Samsung is expanding its smartwatch offering to include a smart watch-phone that can send and receive calls without the need for a separate smartphone. The new Tizen device, which the company hopes to unveil this summer, will also feature a camera, GPS, email management, Bluetooth and heart rate monitor. Samsung also filed a patent last week that details another smartphone project, which includes a camera that can be operated by touchless gestures. Continue reading New Samsung Smartwatch Runs Tizen, Bypasses Smartphone

Samsung Works to Stay Atop Competitive Smartphone Market

Top smartphone maker Samsung Electronics lost global market share for the first time in four years, falling to 31.2 percent of the market. Samsung’s profit margin on smartphones remained at the same 19.8 percent from last year, but the rising costs of smartphone component parts will make it difficult to maintain the same profits. Meanwhile, Apple’s market shares are also slipping, as affordable alternatives from Lenovo and Huawei are on the rise in the smartphone market. Continue reading Samsung Works to Stay Atop Competitive Smartphone Market

Amazon Dash Makes No-Click Online Shopping Dangerously Easy

Amazon recently announced Dash, a barcode scanner and microphone that makes no-click online shopping possible. Dash is also connected to Amazon’s same-day delivery grocery service, and basically transforms a person’s house into a showroom. A user can easily scan a product to order it, and even speak into the microphone and Dash will put the item in the user’s cart. The mic puts Amazon ahead of Apple’s Siri and Google Now, since Amazon directly profits from its use. Continue reading Amazon Dash Makes No-Click Online Shopping Dangerously Easy

Startup Develops Secure Method to Access Data on Your Phone

Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint reader, released with the iPhone 5s, includes a sensor the thickness of a human hair, a sapphire crystal button, capacitive tech and complex data analysis. Alabama-based startup IDair believes it can replicate the quality of the Touch ID with a simpler approach that uses existing smartphone cameras to capture images of users’ fingers. IDair’s tech uses an algorithm the company has patented to convert the image into a means of identification. Continue reading Startup Develops Secure Method to Access Data on Your Phone

Amazon’s Flow Plans to Enhance Shopping by Scanning Objects

Amazon’s newest app feature will make it even easier to never have to leave your home to purchase media, gifts and common household goods. The new feature, “Flow,” will soon be available in Amazon’s shopping app for iOS, and it will allow users to simply scan any object with their iPhone camera and place an order for that specific product. The app does not require barcodes to work — just a clear image — and it takes less than 30 seconds to place an order. Continue reading Amazon’s Flow Plans to Enhance Shopping by Scanning Objects

3D Systems Portable Handheld Sense Scanner Now Available

The Sense 3D scanner is now available, with a $400 price tag and scanning abilities for objects up to 10 x 10 feet. The handheld device can even digitize a person, and within the next few years, it is expected to become a mainstream consumer product. Sense reviewers are enthusiastic about the scanner, praising its attention to detail and ease of use, although there is a minor learning curve and some have questioned the need for a USB cord. Continue reading 3D Systems Portable Handheld Sense Scanner Now Available

Smithsonian X 3D Collection Brings Historical Objects to Life

The Smithsonian has launched an online collection called the Smithsonian X 3D. The site includes a browser-based 3D viewer that allows users to experience objects that have been scanned, such as artifacts and fossils, up close. In addition, users can download related files in order to print models using their own 3D printer. The project supports 19 museums, 9 research centers and the National Zoo in its goal to expand Smithsonian digital assets. Continue reading Smithsonian X 3D Collection Brings Historical Objects to Life

New Sense Scanner Brings Mainstream 3D Printing Potential

3D Systems’ Sense scanner is one step closer to bringing 3D printing to the consumer’s desktop. The $400 scanner is a small, handheld device that users wave around the desired object for printing. The printing process itself is still time-consuming and costly, making the mainstream possibilities for the technology limited for now. But the new product is a significant advance for the industry and captures good detail with greater ease than ever before. Continue reading New Sense Scanner Brings Mainstream 3D Printing Potential

Lucasfilm Combines Video Game Making and Film Production

Lucasfilm is developing real-time motion capture technology used in video game development that it believes it can combine with film production. In the long term, these combined technologies could eliminate the need for much of the post-production process as most of the work can be done in real-time. In addition, the potential exchange of elements in video games and films will allow viewers to tailor their movies while they watch. Continue reading Lucasfilm Combines Video Game Making and Film Production

Turn Your iPad into a 3D Scanner with New Structure Sensor

San Francisco-based startup Occipital, creator of the 360 Panorama app and RedLaser barcode-scanning app acquired by eBay, is developing a 3D scanning accessory for iPads called the Structure Sensor. Inspired by the sensor technology of Microsoft’s Kinect, CEO Jeff Powers decided to change the direction of Occipital to develop a new scanning tool. The result is the Structure Sensor, which earned the company more than $250,000 in a single day through its Kickstarter campaign. Continue reading Turn Your iPad into a 3D Scanner with New Structure Sensor

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