Photo/Video Sharing and Backup App Odysee to Join Google+

Google has confirmed that it is acquiring Odysee, an Android and iOS app created by Nimbuz Inc. that enables users to privately share smartphone and tablet photos and videos with select groups of people and automatically back up content on their home computers. Odysee also features an API for integration with other apps. The Odysee app will be shut down as of February 23, when its team joins Google+ and all the photos and videos that have passed through the service will become available as a downloadable archive. Continue reading Photo/Video Sharing and Backup App Odysee to Join Google+

Cyanogen: Microsoft Plans to Invest in New Version of Android

Microsoft is planning to invest in Cyanogen, a startup that is building another version of the Android mobile operating system independent of Google. While Google requires smartphone manufacturers to feature Google apps and Google search, Cyanogen’s new operating system does not plan to have any similar requirements. For Microsoft, that means its Bing search engine and other software has a better chance of succeeding on smartphones with the alternative Cyanogen-built operating system. Continue reading Cyanogen: Microsoft Plans to Invest in New Version of Android

New VR Content Shows the Future of News and Documentaries

Virtual reality is poised as the next revolution in storytelling, and the creators of VR content are not picking the easy stories. For example, Vice News is using VR to cover the New York Million March, a demonstration in which 25,000 people protested police violence. The United Nations’ campaign to raise awareness of vulnerable communities includes a VR film that follows the plight of 12-year-old Syrian refugee. Both the news report and the film are available on the VRSE platform, which makes such stories readily accessible.  Continue reading New VR Content Shows the Future of News and Documentaries

Samsung Sets High Goals for Future of Tizen-Powered TVs

Samsung has ambitious plans for its Tizen operating system, which the South Korean manufacturer is promoting as an alternative to Google’s Android. After launching an affordable mobile phone powered by Tizen in India, Samsung’s next goal is to equip half of all its TV sets with the Tizen operating system this year. At CES this month, Samsung said it aims to sell 60 millions TVs in 2015, 30 million of which would be powered by Tizen. The company hopes that by 2017, all of its Internet-connected TVs will be Tizen-enabled sets. Continue reading Samsung Sets High Goals for Future of Tizen-Powered TVs

Facebook Aims to Make Social Media a Tool for the Workplace

Facebook is launching a new service designed to be appropriate for the workplace called Facebook at Work. The service is almost identical to the regular social network, except for a white color scheme that replaces the iconic blue layout. The difference in colors is to help employer’s distinguish when someone is using a work account as opposed to a personal one. Facebook at Work will allow users to connect with colleagues to become more efficient around the office. Continue reading Facebook Aims to Make Social Media a Tool for the Workplace

Research Points to Millennials Spending $62 Billion on Media

Deloitte forecasts that the 83 million 18- to 34-year-old consumers in North America will spend about $62 billion on media consumption in 2015, an average of $750 per person. Roughly 80 percent of millennials are projected to spend an average of $80 per month on pay TV, with another $40 per year for streaming video services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime. The same demographic is likely to spend about $100 on concerts and $25 a year on music downloads and streaming services, according to Deloitte. Continue reading Research Points to Millennials Spending $62 Billion on Media

Chinese Company Offers Unbreakable Sapphire-Screen Phone

Desay, a Chinese manufacturer that supplies companies like Ford and Apple, has released an “unbreakable” smartphone. The display is made with sapphire, the second hardest mineral after diamond. The 5-inch Magical Mirror X5 costs $160, which reportedly does not cover the production costs of the phone. Apple had previously planned to use sapphire screens in the iPhone 6, but the company they were working with failed to produce enough of the mineral. Continue reading Chinese Company Offers Unbreakable Sapphire-Screen Phone

DJI Inspire 1 Flying Platform: 4K Dual Control Drone System

At CES in Las Vegas, DJI introduced a really well thought out production tool — the new Inspire 1 flying platform. With a transforming aerodynamic shape, the ship moves the landing gear up and away from the camera allowing the operator an unprecedented motion-compensated, unobstructed view of the scene below. The modular camera/gimbal support system can be removed for transport and future upgrades. It can even be used with an accessory hand mount to become an instant steady camera system. Continue reading DJI Inspire 1 Flying Platform: 4K Dual Control Drone System

CES: Melomind Aids Relaxation with Mind-Controlled Audio

Paris-based myBrain Technologies introduced its first product at CES this week — the audio-based stress reducer Melomind. The electroencephalograph (EEG)-measuring headset connects to your phone and gives an indication of your “stress level” recorded in real time. The accompanying app then chooses a selection of music composed by the team’s sound designers to improve and control the user’s mental state. The 15-minute relaxation sessions help teach the users how to relax by employing their brain activity to modulate the music. Continue reading CES: Melomind Aids Relaxation with Mind-Controlled Audio

Epson Moverio BT-200 Making Strides Toward Immersive AR

Several augmented reality devices debuted at CES this week, but Epson’s Moverio BT-200 offers one of the more complete experiences to-date. The glasses run Android 4.0 from a wired smartphone-like controller and provide a full-color image in the center of the user’s field of view. Sensors for the device include a camera, accelerometer, gyroscope, microphone and compass. The product is not consumer ready, but priced at less than half that of Google Glass ($699.99), it is a promising platform for developers to build an app library for AR. Continue reading Epson Moverio BT-200 Making Strides Toward Immersive AR

ONvocal Introduces its Mix360 3-Way Control Headset at CES

The ONvocal Mix360 Bluetooth headset and phone app allow you to easily balance the volume of your music player, phone, speaking voice, and the ambient noise around you. This is an elegant solution for people who spend a lot of time on the phone while on the go. According to the company, the tech allows Mix360’s “playback to rival the sound quality of a wired connection, and high-performance speakers deliver deep bass, clear vocals, and sparkling highs.” The Mix360, which worked well during its CES demo, sells for $299. Continue reading ONvocal Introduces its Mix360 3-Way Control Headset at CES

Liquid Image Ego LS to Live Stream Video Over Verizon LTE

Liquid Image, maker of camera-equipped masks and goggles, has updated its Ego LS 800 wearable action camera with plans to ship this spring. The camera features the ability to record 1080p video at 30 fps, or 720p at 60 fps, while simultaneously live broadcasting over LTE — a first for the camera category. The onboard LTE chipset has been upgraded so that it can stream video over Verizon’s LTE network. The Ego LS is not the first action cam to live-stream video, but other cameras use Wi-Fi. Continue reading Liquid Image Ego LS to Live Stream Video Over Verizon LTE

CES: The Quantified Self – Is There a Model for Making Money?

Is there a practical business model for wearables? A CES panel on “What’s New in the Quantified Self” did a deep dive on that question, with panelists drawing from their own early experiences. Engaging consumers with wearables is proving to be much more difficult than anticipated, say the panelists, who report that 85 percent of wearables are abandoned after one month. Success may rely on the industry identifying models that address interaction with data and long-term consumer engagement. Continue reading CES: The Quantified Self – Is There a Model for Making Money?

AMC Teams with MoviePass to Get Millennials Back in Theaters

Theater chain AMC has partnered with MoviePass, a company that charges moviegoers a subscription fee to attend movie screenings at participating theaters (up to one film per day for a monthly fee). Subscribers will have the option to pay $35 for standard screenings or a $45 premium fee for access to IMAX and 3D features. AMC announced the partnership with MoviePass shortly after reports from Nielsen showed that attendance for young moviegoers continued to drop this year.  Continue reading AMC Teams with MoviePass to Get Millennials Back in Theaters

Chinese Smartphone Maker Xiaomi Wants to Go International

Xiaomi is the most popular smartphone maker in China and the third largest phone maker in the world. During the next year, the company hopes to expand its presence outside of China to developing markets in India, Brazil, and Indonesia. The company specializes in manufacturing low-cost, well-designed phones that they sell primarily online. Xiaomi is also hoping to increase profits by selling apps and entertainment for the phones, along with other electronic devices like a tablet and smart TV. Continue reading Chinese Smartphone Maker Xiaomi Wants to Go International

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