Guggenheim Museum Testing Beacon Technology for Exhibits

The Guggenheim Museum, a premier art museum in New York City, is making its exhibits more interactive by integrating beacon technology. The beacons are small, box-like sensors that use Bluetooth technology to detect when a smartphone is in proximity. The museum will use its 20 to 30 beacons to track traffic flow through the building. In the future, the beacons may transmit informational alerts to visitors’ phones as they approach a painting or sculpture. Continue reading Guggenheim Museum Testing Beacon Technology for Exhibits

With Startup’s SDK, Movie Theater Ads Could Get Interactive

Audience Entertainment, a startup dedicated to making the big screen interactive, is launching a software development kit that would allow companies to create a new type of advertisement. New content developed with the SDK would allow audiences to control what is on the screen by jumping or performing certain arm movements in unison. The digital cinema company Barco and Audience Entertainment have teamed up to bring this experience, referred to as “iD,” to 3,000 screens worldwide. Continue reading With Startup’s SDK, Movie Theater Ads Could Get Interactive

Gear VR: Samsung Expected to Unveil New HMD at IFA 2014

It has been confirmed that Samsung, in collaboration with Facebook’s Oculus VR, is developing a virtual reality device called the “Gear VR.” The company is expected to announce the device, along with the Galaxy Note 4, at IFA 2014. The Gear VR will feature a modular design, allowing the user to plug in a Galaxy using USB 3.0. The device uses the smartphone’s accelerometer, gyroscope, and processing power for head tracking, which creates the VR effect. Continue reading Gear VR: Samsung Expected to Unveil New HMD at IFA 2014

Amazon Releases App Figures in Preparation for Launch Event

Following several hardware launches over the past year, including new Kindle Fire tablets and its Fire TV streaming box, Amazon is expected to unveil its first smartphone during a launch event in Seattle on Wednesday. To generate buzz, the company posted a YouTube video about a mysterious new product and announced that the number of apps in its Appstore nearly tripled over the past year. More than 240,000 apps are now available, and Amazon claims developers can make more money with its apps. Continue reading Amazon Releases App Figures in Preparation for Launch Event

Microsoft Will Offer Xbox One Without Kinect for $100 Less

Six months after the initial release of its Xbox One, Microsoft plans to offer a new version of the game console for $100 less. Beginning on June 9th, the company will offer a version that does not include the Kinect motion sensor, starting at $399. Microsoft also announced that it will begin offering new features to Xbox One and Xbox 360 owners in June. For example, Hulu and Netflix subscribers will be able to use the apps for free, without the need for an Xbox Live Gold membership. Continue reading Microsoft Will Offer Xbox One Without Kinect for $100 Less

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

In Strategic Move, Nike Lays Off Majority of FuelBand Team

Nike may be gearing up to shut down its wearable hardware efforts, after laying off the majority of its FuelBand fitness tracker team. The 70-person team, part of the tech-focused Digital Sport division, is responsible for developing and revising hardware including the FuelBand and Nike+ sportwatch. A person familiar with the matter told CNET late last week that about 70 to 80 percent of the team was let go. However, employees from Nike Digital Tech, responsible for Web software, were reportedly not affected. Continue reading In Strategic Move, Nike Lays Off Majority of FuelBand Team

Engineers Developing Emotion-Based Video Game Controller

Stanford engineers have created the next step in interactive gaming — a video game controller that can sense a player’s emotions. The handheld game controller can monitor a player’s brain activity to decipher when a user is extremely engaged or bored, which could trigger zombies or another element of the game to be thrown at them to catch their attention. Gregory Kovacs, a professor of electrical engineering at Stanford, created a prototype controller in his lab in collaboration with Texas Instruments. Continue reading Engineers Developing Emotion-Based Video Game Controller

Kinect Sports Rivals: Next Wave of Motion-Controlled Gaming

Since the launch of the Nintendo Wii in 2006, consumers have found the idea of motion-controlled gaming to be appealing. However, the actual product never seems to work as well as promised. The recently released $60 “Kinect Sports Rivals” game uses new technology that aims to change those performance concerns. The technology includes an upgraded Kinect sensor, bundled with Microsoft’s $450 Xbox One game console. The new Kinect can detect finer body movements such as the opening and closing of a hand. Continue reading Kinect Sports Rivals: Next Wave of Motion-Controlled Gaming

Consortium Seeks Engineering Standards for Internet of Things

The Industrial Internet Consortium — which includes AT&T, Cisco, General Electric, IBM and Intel — said last week that it plans to develop engineering standards for the connection of objects, sensors and computing systems in large industrial assets, such as oil refineries, factories and harbors. The consortium aims to establish standards for how machines will share information and move data. The group also plans to publish case studies, conduct forums and cooperate on security practices. Continue reading Consortium Seeks Engineering Standards for Internet of Things

NAB: Panasonic to Preview 4K VariCam with New Image Sensor

During the NAB show in Las Vegas in two weeks, Panasonic plans to preview a newly developed 4K version of its VariCam digital camera. The Varicam 35 — designed for film, TV production and live event coverage — will feature a new super 35mm MOS image sensor that supports 4096 x 2160 using Panasonic’s AVC-Ultra codecs for 4K. The company says the camera, scheduled for fall availability, offers 4K, 2K and HD capture, in addition to 4K RAW output. Continue reading NAB: Panasonic to Preview 4K VariCam with New Image Sensor

Sony Unveils its Project Morpheus VR Prototype at GDC 2014

Sony has plans to introduce virtual reality to its PlayStation 4 console with new hardware called “Project Morpheus.” During the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week, the company unveiled a prototype with two headset components — a closed display and what looks like a PlayStation Move sensor. The unit features HDMI and USB connections, a 1080p display and just over a 90-degree field of view. The prototype, three years in the making, will also serve as a developer kit. Continue reading Sony Unveils its Project Morpheus VR Prototype at GDC 2014

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

SXSW: Google on Chromecast Sales and SDK for Wearable Tech

During his SXSW keynote in Austin, Texas yesterday, Google SVP of Android, Apps and Chrome, Sundar Pichai said that the company has sold “millions” of its $35 HDMI Chromecast devices since the product’s launch last summer. Pichai’s comments mark the first time anyone from Google has publicly addressed Chromecast sales. Pichai also told the crowd that Chromecast will be available for “many more countries” in the coming weeks, and Google will release an Android SDK for wearable devices. Continue reading SXSW: Google on Chromecast Sales and SDK for Wearable Tech

Project Tango: Google Aims to Bring 3D Sensor Tech to Phones

Google recently announced a new initiative dubbed “Project Tango” that plans to integrate 3D sensor technology in a series of prototype Android smartphones. The venture involves a 5-inch phone built by Google that features sensors for tracking the device’s movement while modeling the surrounding space and landscape. “This could impact future game design, virtual set construction and location scouting,” notes ETC staffer Phil Lelyveld. “It could enable crowd-sourced 3D stitching of location modeling data.” Continue reading Project Tango: Google Aims to Bring 3D Sensor Tech to Phones

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