Augmented Television: InAIR Layers Web Content with Your TV

A $99 device called InAIR from startup SeeSpace hopes to combine the best of your laptop, smartphone and TV all in one place by layering social media and Web content inline with the programs you are watching. Billed as “the world’s first augmented television,” the project exceeded its $100,000 goal on Kickstarter by nearly $78,000 a few days ago. InAIR plugs directly into the TV through its smart HDMI cable, connects to the set-top box, and pulls data from the movie or TV show currently airing. Continue reading Augmented Television: InAIR Layers Web Content with Your TV

Expect an Emphasis on Privacy and Security at SXSW Festival

The SXSW Music, Film and Interactive Festival kicks off in Austin, Texas today. The interactive portion of the conference, now in its 21st year, has grown to hundreds of sessions. Privacy, security, wearable tech, the Internet of Things and 3D printing are expected to be hot topics. On Monday, the show will host a conversation between NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden (via videoconference) and Christopher Soghoian of the American Civil Liberties Union. Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, is also scheduled to speak. Continue reading Expect an Emphasis on Privacy and Security at SXSW Festival

IEEE Predicts That Our Daily Lives Will Be Gamified by 2020

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) suggests that 85 percent of tasks in an average person’s daily life will include game elements by 2020. Gamification is already being integrated into social media, data collection, the healthcare industry and more. Social media sites including Foursquare, Yelp and Facebook are incorporating game and reward features. For example, they encourage users to check into restaurants by rewarding them with badges and titles, such as “mayor” of a restaurant. Continue reading IEEE Predicts That Our Daily Lives Will Be Gamified by 2020

Update: Ellen and Samsung Stir Up Oscars with Tweeted Selfie

Ellen DeGeneres helped the Oscars take over Twitter on Sunday night, with her selfie taken with several Hollywood celebrities. Overall, there was a 75 percent jump in tweets related to the Oscars since last year. Although Samsung sponsored the Oscars, and spent an estimated $20 million on ads, the company may have gained its largest promotional value from DeGeneres’ pre-planned selfie with Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Lawrence and others. Continue reading Update: Ellen and Samsung Stir Up Oscars with Tweeted Selfie

Early Oscar Numbers Look Strong, Ellen Breaks Twitter Record

While total viewer numbers will not be available from Nielsen until later today, last night’s telecast of the 86th Academy Awards from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood scored impressive numbers in the major markets, up 7 percent from last year. In addition, host Ellen DeGeneres set a new social media record by taking a celebrity-filled selfie during the broadcast that has been retweeted more times than any photo in Twitter history, besting President Obama’s tweet after he won the 2012 presidential election. Continue reading Early Oscar Numbers Look Strong, Ellen Breaks Twitter Record

ABC to Live-Stream Academy Awards via Web and Mobile Apps

ABC plans to live-stream Sunday’s Oscars telecast in eight markets via online and Watch ABC apps for customers of participating pay TV partners including AT&T U-verse, Cablevision, Charter Communications, Comcast, Cox Communications, Google Fiber, Midcontinent Communications and Verizon FiOS. ABC also announced it has retired its standalone Oscars app; red carpet and backstage action will be folded into Watch ABC, available to Oscar fans for free. Continue reading ABC to Live-Stream Academy Awards via Web and Mobile Apps

Actress Generates Pre-Oscar Buzz Using Twitter and Instagram

Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o, currently generating buzz for her performance in “12 Years a Slave,” is the only actress who is campaigning for an Oscar through social media engagement this year. Nyong’o has gained a significant number of followers on Twitter and photo-sharing site Instagram. She has been actively linking photos of herself in magazines and retweeting mentions of her appearances on both sites, which has helped her gain publicity during the ramp-up to this weekend’s Academy Awards.  Continue reading Actress Generates Pre-Oscar Buzz Using Twitter and Instagram

Puzzle & Dragons: First Mobile Game to Top $1 Billion in Sales

Japanese game developer GungHo Online recently released its 2013 financials, revealing sales of $1.5 billion, 91 percent of which came from the game “Puzzle & Dragons.” This marks the first mobile game to officially earn over $1 billion. The company noted that $775 million of these sales were generated through Google Play, and $650 million through the Apple App Store. GungHo also announced that the game generated $155 million in January this year.  Continue reading Puzzle & Dragons: First Mobile Game to Top $1 Billion in Sales

Digital Music and File Sharing Addressed at DEW Conference

At Digital Entertainment World, Jake Katz and Amrit Singh of Revolt TV discussed how they are reaching their millennial peers. Curation is key, said Amrit. For news, his goal is to be first, right, and “identify the relevant narrative.” Although they call themselves a cable network, they have a large bicoastal (LA, NYC) staff working on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and other social media in real time during the broadcasts. Millennials prefer phones and tablets; 34 percent of the Revolt TV audience won’t watch a television screen. Continue reading Digital Music and File Sharing Addressed at DEW Conference

Digital Entertainment World Conference Debuts in Los Angeles

The first Digital Entertainment World conference proved to be an excellent opportunity for a quick dive into current key topics of interest to the entertainment industry. DEW was held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles February 18-20. Topics included the states of all major media verticals, issues related to reaching millennials, alternative revenue streams and payment options, current developments related to metadata and content discovery, and the technologies and costs associated with using cloud-based tools and resources. Continue reading Digital Entertainment World Conference Debuts in Los Angeles

DEW Conference: Futurist Rob Tercek on Internet Companies

Millennials, who typically get their video from Vine, Instagram, Snapchat and other social and online sources, are developing a new vernacular for viewing, said futurist Rob Tercek at the Digital Entertainment World conference in LA last week. He believes that the DreamWorks deal to produce children’s content for Netflix is a play by Netflix to capture and cultivate a generation of viewers, similar to the way Apple seeded schools with Apple computers. Similar trends are playing out with various Internet companies. Continue reading DEW Conference: Futurist Rob Tercek on Internet Companies

WhatsApp Announces New Voice Service After Facebook Deal

During a keynote at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum announced that the mobile messaging service would start to offer voice calls. The move could help justify the massive $19 billion price tag of the recent Facebook deal. While the marketplace for Internet phone services is already crowded, WhatsApp could become competitive since it is now backed by social giant Facebook. The voice service is planned to launch in April. Continue reading WhatsApp Announces New Voice Service After Facebook Deal

Biz Stone Aims to Revolutionize Social Search with Jelly App

Biz Stone has an impressive track record with helping launch various social products, including Xanga, Blogger, Twitter and Medium. Stone’s most recent undertaking is Jelly, a question-and-answer app though which users can ask their social media friends — and friends of friends — questions about anything, using text and images. While the app has the potential to change the makeup of Internet searches, some critics have been skeptical of the need for what essentially serves as a mash-up between Quora and Instagram. Continue reading Biz Stone Aims to Revolutionize Social Search with Jelly App

Pandora Aims to Build Ad Revenue Based on Voting Patterns

Pandora is starting a new advertising service that would allow political organizations and candidates to target the majority of the Internet radio service’s listeners based on their likely voting preferences. Pandora is doing this by comparing election results with subscribers’ ZIP Codes and musical preferences. Then Pandora is labeling subscribers’ political preferences based on their musical taste, and if an artist is more popular in a largely Republican or Democratic area. Continue reading Pandora Aims to Build Ad Revenue Based on Voting Patterns

“Veronica Mars” To Be Released in Theaters, VOD on Same Day

Warner Bros. is planning to release its Kickstarter-initiated “Veronica Mars” movie, starring Kristen Bell, in 270 theaters on March 14, the same day the film will be made available to rent or purchase online. While independent studios and theaters have been experimenting with same-day releases in recent years, the move will mark the first time that a major Hollywood studio has distributed a movie theatrically and for home viewing simultaneously in the U.S. Continue reading “Veronica Mars” To Be Released in Theaters, VOD on Same Day

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