Japanese Companies Developing Technology for VR Broadcasts

Japanese telecom giant NTT and video network NicoNico Douga have co-developed a 360-degree broadcast video system designed to replicate live events such as concerts. The “interactive” system is expected to connect to existing head-mounted displays, so that viewers will enjoy some degree of personalized viewing. Through the collaboration, live video content recorded in Tokyo has been developed alongside broadcast tech intended to optimize both the video and audio quality. Continue reading Japanese Companies Developing Technology for VR Broadcasts

Arri Brings Amira Digital Camera to Burbank for Early Preview

In advance of Amira’s launch at NAB, Arri has sent four prototypes of its new digital camera on tour. One camera is visiting the company’s Burbank facility for early previews and limited testing. The $40,000 shoulder-mount Amira, which uses the same imaging sensor as Arri’s $75,000 Alexa digital cinematography camera, is expected to ship in April. Lighter and smaller than the popular Alexa, the Amira is intended for productions such as documentaries and TV news magazine programs. Continue reading Arri Brings Amira Digital Camera to Burbank for Early Preview

Two LA TV Stations Test Channel Sharing to Free Up Spectrum

KLCS and KJLA in Los Angeles will be the first television stations to participate in a pilot test to determine if sharing airwaves can be achieved effectively without reducing signal quality. Since the conversion to digital broadcasting, stations have been able to use their spectrum allotment of six megahertz more efficiently and broadcast multiple signals on a single band. The FCC hopes the experiment will encourage broadcasters to participate in spectrum auctions so that more airwaves can be used for wireless broadband. Continue reading Two LA TV Stations Test Channel Sharing to Free Up Spectrum

Google Tests Same-Day Delivery Service in Southern California

Google is expanding the test of its Google Shopping Express same-day delivery service by including company employees in the Santa Monica area. The test, which joins other similar programs such as eBay Now, Walmart to Go, and AmazonFresh, is an expansion of the pilot program it launched in the Bay Area last spring. Claiming it has received “great feedback” from shoppers and retailers in the San Francisco, Google has plans to eventually extend the service to the public. Continue reading Google Tests Same-Day Delivery Service in Southern California

Amazon Dedicates Resources to Draw Mobile Game Developers

While it is unclear if Amazon will release an Android-based gaming device besides the Kindle tablet, the company has been creating tools aimed at making game developers successful across Amazon’s various app platforms. The company launched its updated portal for app and game developers, and has been investing in tools for developers to create more Android games. Amazon now features more than 100,000 apps in its Android Appstore, a significant increase from one year ago. Continue reading Amazon Dedicates Resources to Draw Mobile Game Developers

YouTube Expanding Live Streaming Capabilities to All Users

YouTube is expanding its live streaming capabilities to all YouTube channels and now includes the option to launch a Google+ Hangout On Air. The launch began with a test period of a handful of users and YouTube partners, followed by a period including users with a certain number of subscribers. Now users with a verified account in good standing will see this feature available in the next few weeks. Users should also expect to experience a boost to their Google+ pages. Continue reading YouTube Expanding Live Streaming Capabilities to All Users

Twitter Runs Location Sharing Experiment with Nearby Feature

Twitter is testing a new timeline for its mobile app based on location, called “Nearby,” which shows users recent tweets that originated in the user’s vicinity. The Nearby feature has occasionally appeared on the smartphones of users who allow the service to use their location (users can also opt out of location sharing). Twitter has yet to comment on the feature, which some suggest could be attractive to advertisers, but says it experiments regularly to provide a better user experience. Continue reading Twitter Runs Location Sharing Experiment with Nearby Feature

Twitter’s Experimental Apps Focus on Fostering Conversation

Twitter has announced a plan to run experiments on some of its users. While there have been rumors of Twitter becoming more involved in messaging, it is probably more accurate to say that Twitter is interested in conversations. With Twitter’s experimental apps, conversation is moved to the forefront. Namely, the way you send and receive direct messages, monitor your friends’ behavior, and participate in public conversations are all a lot more obvious. Continue reading Twitter’s Experimental Apps Focus on Fostering Conversation

Valve Releases Steam Game Machine Prototypes for Testing

There are only 300 of Valve’s Steam Machine gaming PCs, and they’re being shipped to beta testers. But Valve’s production of the device will end there — this is just a prototype. Third party-manufactured machines will be revealed in January at the next Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, during which consumers will get more information about Steam’s specs. What we know now is that the device will have high- and low-end models. Continue reading Valve Releases Steam Game Machine Prototypes for Testing

Facebook Testing Mobile Payment Service, Rival To PayPal

Facebook is conducting tests with selected partners regarding a new payment product for online purchases on mobile apps. The service would allow any Facebook user that has provided their credit card to make purchases on partnering e-commerce mobile apps without having to enter billing information. The payment system could provide valuable data for itself and advertisers on shopper behavior and preferences in and out of Facebook. Continue reading Facebook Testing Mobile Payment Service, Rival To PayPal

Black Box Project: Intel Readies Internet TV Service and STB

We previously reported that Intel was moving forward with its planned Internet TV service and set-top box, and noted earlier this month that the chip giant was pursuing programming deals, reportedly offering to pay as much as 75 percent more for content than traditional cable rates. In March, the company started conducting closed trials, code-named the “Black Box Project,” with company employees. CNET has learned that “what they’re using is leaps away from the final product.” Continue reading Black Box Project: Intel Readies Internet TV Service and STB

Researchers Testing Text-Based DRM System for Ebooks

Researchers at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute are working on a new ebook DRM system called SiDiM that would change individual words of a story in an effort to combat piracy. The system would swap out text to essentially create individualized copies of an ebook that could then be tracked by the original owner. A subsidiary of the German book publisher’s association, interested in possible alternatives to the traditional lock-down approach of DRM, has joined Fraunhofer in its testing. Continue reading Researchers Testing Text-Based DRM System for Ebooks

Fraunhofer Experiments with LED Broadband Possibilities

Here is an example of what is sure to make you think differently about broadband connections: an emerging field of LED broadband aims to turn light bulbs into data transmitters by manipulating the rate at which they flicker. German company Fraunhofer is researching these types of optical communications technologies and has discovered a lighting system that delivers up to 3 Gbps. Continue reading Fraunhofer Experiments with LED Broadband Possibilities