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

Report Finds Most Mobile Game Players Quit After First Day

According to a report from app testing firm Swrve, mobile free-to-play games tend to have dismal retention rates. In addition, many mobile game players rarely spend any money in these apps. Sixty-six percent of users stopped playing a new game after one day and 19 percent stopped playing after only opening the game app once. Swrve also found that players spent an average of 45 cents over 90 days, and 53 percent of the spending in games happened within the first week of playing. Continue reading Report Finds Most Mobile Game Players Quit After First Day

Trial Proves HD and SD Streams Can Share Same TV Channel

Channel sharing trials recently conducted by Los Angeles television stations KLCS and KJLA have determined that there are few technical barriers to two broadcasters sharing the same 6 MHz channel. The report should serve as good news for the FCC, which hopes to auction off a percentage of broadcast airwaves to mobile carriers in 2015. Key to the FCC’s plan is convincing broadcasters that they can efficiently consolidate feeds onto fewer television channels. Continue reading Trial Proves HD and SD Streams Can Share Same TV Channel

Newsbeat Creates Custom Radio Show Based on Your Interests

Last week the Tribune Company released a new iOS and Android app called Newsbeat, which plans to change how we consume our daily news by offering a more personalized podcast-like experience. Newsbeat has access to more than 7,000 sources from major newspapers to smaller blogs. Users can specify what types of stories and publications they are interested in, and the app will create a customized newscast by using Pandora-like artificial intelligence technology. Continue reading Newsbeat Creates Custom Radio Show Based on Your Interests

Twitter Introduces In-Line Video to Make Watching Clips Easier

Twitter rolled out a new platform this week for hosting video that provides iPhone and Android smartphone users with image previews of video clips in their feeds. “In-line video” allows users to play the clips with a simple click. The company has been working with TV networks and video producers over the past year to make watching video clips — such as sports highlights and show previews — easier for Twitter users. The new feature marks the biggest change to tweets since the automatic preview of photos was introduced. Continue reading Twitter Introduces In-Line Video to Make Watching Clips Easier

NAB 2014: First Trifocal 3D Film Will Be Shown in Las Vegas

Walt Disney Studios’ experimental live action 3D film “Make/Believe” will be shown at NAB in Las Vegas next month. Currently in the final stages of post production, the 10-minute 3D short was shot with a new trifocal camera system. “Make/Believe” was produced by German research institute Fraunhofer HHI with Disney and Berlin firm Real Life Films using Fraunhofer’s hybrid camera system and software. The film will be shown in the Fraunhofer booth at NAB. Continue reading NAB 2014: First Trifocal 3D Film Will Be Shown in Las Vegas

Facebook Plans to Roll Out its Premium Video Ads Next Month

Facebook announced that its autoplay video advertisements will be called Premium Video Ads. Beginning in late April, the marketing tool will deliver 15-second video clips into users’ feeds that will play automatically. According to a Facebook rep, the social media giant wants “to create a captive, but not interruptive experience.” Similar to videos on Instagram, the ads are activated when scrolled over, but audio does not play unless a user clicks on the ad. Facebook will test every video prior to approving them. Continue reading Facebook Plans to Roll Out its Premium Video Ads Next Month

NHK to Demo 8K Transmission Over Single TV Channel at NAB

During April’s NAB Show in Las Vegas, Japanese broadcaster NHK plans to demonstrate the latest version of its Super Hi-Vision 8K system, including the wireless transmission of 8K content over a single 6 MHz television channel. The broadcaster will also present the results of recent single-channel, over-the-air 8K test broadcasts performed in Japan. NHK has been promoting the move to 8K Ultra HD, which offers 16 times more resolution than current HD. Continue reading NHK to Demo 8K Transmission Over Single TV Channel at NAB

Instagram Flexes its Muscles with E-Commerce and New Ad Deal

Social photo- and video-sharing site Instagram has signed its first major advertising deal with an agency. Instagram is launching a paid ad program with Omnicom Media Group, which agreed to a year-long commitment of up to $100 million that will deliver ads from brands tied to Omnicom’s media and creative agencies. Instagram, which launched in October 2010, was acquired by Facebook in 2012. Today, Instagram says its 150 million active users upload 55 million photos daily. Continue reading Instagram Flexes its Muscles with E-Commerce and New Ad Deal

GameFly Will Take On Netflix with New Movie Rental Service

Video game rental service GameFly is launching a movie rental service (currently in beta) that aims to compete with the Netflix disc-by-mail business. GameFly will offer DVD and Blu-ray discs to subscribers, with the option of renting one or two movies at a time. While Netflix has predicted that shipping costs would bring an end to its own disc-based rental service, this may not be an issue for GameFly since mail rentals remain its core business. Continue reading GameFly Will Take On Netflix with New Movie Rental Service

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

QPlay TV Streamer from TiVo Co-Founders Expected to Debut

InVisioneer, the company created by TiVo co-founders Michael Ramsay and Jim Barton, is reportedly planning to release its anticipated QPlay video streamer very soon. While official plans have yet to be announced, an early adopter beta test is expected, based on a recently posted demo video and related documents online, including the company’s terms of service and privacy policy. The streaming box, about the size of an external hard drive, connects to a TV and is controlled via an iPad app. Continue reading QPlay TV Streamer from TiVo Co-Founders Expected to Debut

BitTorrent Live Plans to Go Mobile with Video Streaming App

BitTorrent Live was launched for the desktop in beta last year, offering a free peer-to-peer solution for broadcasting and streaming live video, as opposed to using a single company’s servers to record video and share with viewers. Now BitTorrent says users will be able to stream live video via smartphones with a mobile app it plans to launch later this year. However, the company has yet to reveal specific platforms or whether it will allow for broadcasting, merely viewing, or both. Continue reading BitTorrent Live Plans to Go Mobile with Video Streaming App

Digital Payment Company Square Signs Deal with Whole Foods

Square has announced a new partnership with Whole Foods, that will bring its payment technology to the upscale grocery store. Whole Foods will use iPads mounted in the Square Stand holder at the specialty food and beverage counters that line the stores’ walls. Customers will have the option to pay for their orders by card, or with payment credentials saved in the Square Wallet app on their smartphones. This is Square’s biggest deal since its partnership with Starbucks in 2012. Continue reading Digital Payment Company Square Signs Deal with Whole Foods

Google Acquires Audio-Based Password Company SlickLogin

Google has acquired sound-based password company SlickLogin, only five months after the startup launched at TechCrunch Disrupt. The service, currently in beta testing, was designed as a password alternative or an extra security layer for existing passwords. Google’s acquisition could lead to the audio-based technology being used to log in to Android phones, Chrome browsers, Gmail or Google+ in the future. Specifics of the deal have yet to be announced. Continue reading Google Acquires Audio-Based Password Company SlickLogin