Skimo App Allows Users to Quickly Catch Up on TV Episodes

A new app called Skimo, short for “skim the video,” allows users to skim a 20-minute video in about two minutes, straight from their smartphone or tablet. The Skimo video summarization engine uses an algorithm that analyzes the scenes, shots and frames of videos and summarizes them, letting users catch up on television series in a fraction of the time. The service focuses on the formula that writers and filmmakers use to create a captivating show, focusing on the six crucial scenes from each episode.

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Future of Entertainment: Hollywood Considers Virtual Reality

A growing number of Hollywood filmmakers, entertainment industry executives, and video game producers believe virtual reality will be the next big revolution in mass entertainment. Facebook, Sony, and other tech companies are developing the necessary technologies, while entertainment startups and major studios are developing the content. In addition to video games, entertainment professionals are also looking to use VR for marketing, social, and storytelling purposes. Continue reading Future of Entertainment: Hollywood Considers Virtual Reality

Publicis Groupe and Facebook Announce New Ad Partnership

Facebook and Publicis Groupe, the advertising holding company with clients such as Procter & Gamble, Verizon and Coca-Cola, have struck an advertising deal reportedly worth “hundreds of millions of dollars.” The partnership will give Publicis increased access to Facebook’s user data, ad inventory, and opportunities to advertise on Instagram and to utilize video ads. The deal is the largest to-date between an agency holding company and a tech company. Continue reading Publicis Groupe and Facebook Announce New Ad Partnership

CENTR Camera Records Everything Around You All at Once

Startup CENTR Camera, comprised of former Apple employees part of the iPhone camera team, has created a camera that allows users to capture everything happening around them simultaneously. The camera combines smartphone hardware and imaging software. The circular shaped camera combines footage captured by four 5-megapixel cameras into one 360-degree panoramic video. The device can easily fit in a user’s hand, weighs about the same as a first generation iPod, and will cost $399. Continue reading CENTR Camera Records Everything Around You All at Once

Pinterest Touts 30 Billion Pins, Sees Big Hit in Related Pins

Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann announced during an event in San Francisco last week that users of the social visual discovery tool have created more than 750 million boards and contributed more than 30 billion Pins since Pinterest was founded in 2010. Acording to Silbermann, the number of Pins has grown by nearly 50 percent during the past six months, due in part to the introduction of Related Pins about a year ago. More than 90 percent of current Pins are connected to Related Pins. Continue reading Pinterest Touts 30 Billion Pins, Sees Big Hit in Related Pins

Twitter Acquires Gnip, Could Provide More Data to Advertisers

Twitter has agreed to purchase data partner Gnip, in a move that could lead to an expanded role by Twitter in analyzing tweets for businesses that are seeking new insights from social media. While financial terms of the deal have yet to be released, Gnip has reportedly raised $6.6 million in funding. Twitter also announced that it has hired Daniel Graf as its new product chief. Graf, an expert in mobile apps, most recently served as a director at Google where he oversaw Google Maps. Continue reading Twitter Acquires Gnip, Could Provide More Data to Advertisers

Cloud Computing Proves an Asset for Productions on a Budget

Today’s cloud services — including CGI, digital intermediate, asset management and storage — are allowing small productions to realize their big visions with less money. Independent films and live events are more frequently using cloud computing to get the rendering and storage services they need without the high costs of traditional physical infrastructure. Productions can also save money because cloud computing helps speed up the long shooting and filmmaking process. Continue reading Cloud Computing Proves an Asset for Productions on a Budget

USC Cinematic Arts Professors Installed in New Endowed Chairs

In a ceremony at the Ray Stark Theater on USC’s Cinematic Arts campus last Thursday, Dean Elizabeth Daley joined George Lucas in welcoming three USC film professors to their new endowed chairs. Made possible by a generous gift from Lucas, the three new chairs — The Sergei Eisenstein Endowed Chair for Cinematic Design, the George Mélies Endowed Chair in Visual Effects, and the William Cameron Menzies Endowed Chair in Production Design — are now held by Bruce Block, Michael Funk, and Alex McDowell respectively. Continue reading USC Cinematic Arts Professors Installed in New Endowed Chairs

Will the Future of Visual Effects be Modeled on TV Production?

ETCentric member and contributor Adrian Pennington recently posted an interesting perspective on the direction of visual effects in TV production, including an interview with Adobe’s Steve Forde. “While the feature film visual effects business is in flux, the TV VFX business is thriving by delivering creativity to tight timescales on a budget,” writes Adrian. “Indeed the future of all VFX production could be modeled on the workflows built to support CGI-intensive series like ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Doctor Who.'” Continue reading Will the Future of Visual Effects be Modeled on TV Production?

K-Glass: South Korea Developing Alternative to Google Glass

South Korean researchers at public university KAIST have developed an alternative to Google Glass called the K-Glass. Although similar to Google’s electronic eyewear, KAIST’s wearable alternative is equipped with a special AR chip that enables the device to recognize objects without relying on barcodes or other markers. While currently bulkier than Glass, KAIST explains that its processor “duplicates the ability of the human brain to process visual data.” Continue reading K-Glass: South Korea Developing Alternative to Google Glass

Product Placement Most Effective When Viewers Are Scared?

When mapping out product placement strategies, marketers often avoid scary movies so that consumers will not associate their brands with fear. However, a recent study from the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business suggests that viewers, especially when alone, are actually more likely to remember products and think of them favorably when they see them in a scary movie. When subjects of the study experienced fear, they also experienced an emotional attachment to familiar brands. Continue reading Product Placement Most Effective When Viewers Are Scared?

VFX Industry Plans Oscar Demonstration to Protest Offshoring

PandoDaily and TheWrap are among those reporting that visual effects industry workers are planning a demonstration outside the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood during Sunday’s Academy Awards to protest ongoing efforts to send post-production work overseas. The group believes that offshoring has led to a slow collapse of the VFX industry in the U.S. While there was little the effects industry could do about this in the past, it may now be armed with a new weapon based on the MPAA’s attempts to combat Internet piracy. Continue reading VFX Industry Plans Oscar Demonstration to Protest Offshoring

ILM Has Plans to Open New Visual Effects Facility in London

Carolyn Giardina of The Hollywood Reporter forwarded us news that Industrial Light & Magic, the visual effects division of Lucasfilm, has major expansion plans including a new facility in central London, just outside of Soho, and a move for the Vancouver team to a larger space that will allow the group to double from 100 to 200 employees. Lucasfilm also recently opened an ILM facility in Singapore. The VFX arm is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. Continue reading ILM Has Plans to Open New Visual Effects Facility in London

Google Music Timeline Helps Visualize Trends in Popular Music

Google has introduced a new way to look at music with its launch of Music Timeline. The tool allows people to see the trends in music through time. Music Timeline draws on the song collections of millions of Google Play users to create a visualization of the popularity of various artists and genres from 1950 to today, through interactive charts. Besides tracking music patterns, it can also chart the careers of individual artists with some accuracy.

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Fitness Tech Summit: Reebok Carves Out a Space in Wearables

In a keynote address to the Annual Fitness Tech Summit, Reebok VP of Advanced Concepts Paul Litchfield showed off the company’s first consumer electronics wearable: the Reebok CheckLight. The result of more than four years of R&D, the CheckLight acts as a head impact indicator, in the form of a wearable skullcap with flexible electronics. “There’s been so much talk about head trauma and brain injury,” said Litchfield. “We identified a gap and, with MC10 as our electronics partner, created the CheckLight.” Continue reading Fitness Tech Summit: Reebok Carves Out a Space in Wearables

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