philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


How ‘Maze Runner’ and Barco’s New Panoramic Format Could Alter Moviemaking

maze_runner_cover_p_2014[Philip Lelyveld comment: This immersive VR experience (4K front screen, 2K left and right screens) will be available the Cinemark Theatre, Howard Hughes Pkwy (formerly The Bridge and Rave Cinema) on Sept. 19th.]

In the case of The Maze Runner, the film was shot in a traditional way, before the decision to use Escape was made. The center screen will display the live-action film, and imagery on the side screens will be extensions of the scenes — i.e., a larger maze — created using visual effects.

“Based on the speed we needed to get this to market and the creative challenges, we tried a new way of rendering and creating the material,”Ted Schilowitz, who is Barco’s “CinemaVangelist” and also works as a futurist at Fox, tells The Hollywood Reporter. This pipeline was built around a Crytek gaming engine for rendering, and computing hardware from Devil & Demon (Schilowitz is president of D&D).

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The Rise and Fall and Rise of Virtual Reality

This seems to be an online book on Virtual Reality!



Facial recognition – the death knell of anonymity?

_76469420_20140710014453-step-36It is being developed for use on keyless doorbells, diagnosing genetic disorders, online education courses - to both verify identity and make sure you are paying attention - interactive carslongevity prediction for possible use in the insurance industry and yes, even make sure only your cat eats from their bowl.

"This kind of tracking can expose intimate details about our lives - details that we don't want the government, law enforcement, or data marketers to know."

"Our next step is to incorporate moods, so that we can look at you and say 'You are happy', meaning you are more likely to buy this sort of a product, or that 'You are sad' and the ad can react to your mood."

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Disney may use drones in theme park entertainment

MW-CS243_disney_MG_20140822134306Disney’s R&D department is working to create a multi-drone aerial display system and a ground control station that could choreograph repeatable movements.

The patents were published Thursday and applied for by Clifford Wong, James Alexander Stark and Robert Scott Trowbridge, all a part of Walt Disney Imagineering, Disney’s design and development arm.

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A Headset Meant to Make Augmented Reality Less of a Gimmick

augmented.realityx299_0Maimone’s device, called a Pinlight Display, does not use conventional optical components. It replaces these with an array of bright dots dubbed pinlights. “A transparent display panel is placed between the pinlights and the eye to modulate the light and form the perceived image,” says Maimone. “Since the light rays that hit each display pixel come from the same direction, they appear in focus without the use of lenses.”

The benefits of the approach over previous devices are significant. While state-of-the-art commercial augmented reality glasses have a field of view of 40° or less, early Pinlight prototypes have demonstrated fields of view of 100° or more. It’s an impressive breakthrough, as evidenced by this explanatory video, which shows the difference that a wide field of view makes when viewing, say, a holographic-style spaceship from Star Wars.

Problems remain for the team, which recently showed off the technology at theSiggraph 2014 conference in Vancouver. The prototype suffers from low resolution and image quality, far below the level of existing commercial augmented reality glasses. Additionally they must successfully implement tracking, networking, low latency rendering, various and other features.

See the video here:

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The Distortion of Sound (video)

Harman Int’l Industries this 22 minute video.  2.5M people have viewed it so far.  Check out minutes 14:30 to 15:30 in particular.



Digitizing oil and gas production

[Philip Lelyveld comment: bad title, good evaluation.  Oil and Gas has always been a big data user.  When I was at Arco, we were second only to the US military as IBM mainframe customers. This is an obvious extension of past practices, moved into the data-flow / big-data world.]

Exhibit 1

The highest-impact automation opportunities in upstream lie in production operations.

We believe further automation can play a major role in addressing the following industry-wide challenges. More complex operations. Increasing volume and complexity in hostile, remote locations (for example, arctic, offshore, and deepwater) require reliable remote and automated or semiautomated operations, and logistics optimized for efficiency. Mature assets with declining production need very efficient maintenance schedules to keep production profitable. Zero tolerance for health, safety, and environmental incidents. This is a nonnegotiable imperative. Recent industry experience has shown that in the current highly regulated environment, such incidents can threaten not only profitability but also the very existence of an operator. Automated production control, monitoring the condition of the equipment, and predictive shutdown systems are now basic requirements to prevent or mitigate catastrophic events in geographically dispersed remote operations. The talent and experience gap. The industry is in the most dramatic demographic shift in its history, commonly referred to as “the big crew change.” Thousands of petrotechnical professionals will be retiring soon, resulting in a knowledge and experience crisis for the industry. Retention and recruitment are unlikely to fill the gap completely. This development drives efforts to codify many routine analysis and decision-support processes and, where possible, to automate them.   See the full story here:


Report: In-Home IoT Device Ownership Could Reach 69% by 2019

samsung-smartwatch[Philip Lelyveld comment; they report consumer attitudes about know personal and home Internet of Things devices.  Having personally swallowed a camera capsule to map my gastrointestinal system, I can definitely see the potential for unknown ingestible and implantable IoT devices.]

While consumers are keen to find out how wearable tech can improve health and safety, they’re focused most “on how IoT products can provide integration to help them live more conveniently long term,” according to Acquity. That said, Acquity expects the following connected devices to be the most popular over the next few years:

  • Wearable fitness devices (Expected to have 22 percent adoption by 2015; Expected to have 43 percent adoption in the next five years).
  • Smart thermostats (13 percent projected adoption in the next year; 43 percent in the next five years).
  • Connected security systems (11 percent adoption in the next year; 35 percent in the next five years).

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Ready for YouTube’s Networks – VidCon reflects the Broadcast Yourself demo

...the YouTube universe unveiled plans that will solidify and inevitably expand the Google subsidiary’s role in the competitive viewing landscape, such as:

• The imminent debut of fee-based YouTube channels;
• Technical support programs from companies such as Dolby, RED and Samsung;
• Support for frame rates of 48- and 60-frames per second, which will boost the appearance of motion-intense scenes (especially valuable for video games);
• “Fan funding,” which enables supportive viewers to “tip” their favorite channels with sums from $1 to $500;
• “The YouTube 15,” a popular music hit list produced by SiriusXM. The weekly show, which debuted in early July, features the top music and video playlists, based on YouTube data;
• A plan by FullScreen, a YouTube network, to let “star” creators charge fans to see programs during an exclusive “viewing window” before non-paying viewers can access those videos;
• A service by Tubular, a digital marketing platform, that alerts YouTube creators via Twitter about how much viewing their content is receiving, and
• A subtitling translation service that will assist global viewers. With 60 percent of YouTube video views coming from outside a channel’s home country, YouTube wants to facilitate international access to content; field tests showed an 8 percent increase in views for the subtitled videos.

In addition to the activity in Anaheim, the week included updates at YouTube Space LA, a two-year-old production venue near Venice. The Dolby Institute, in collaboration with RED Digital Cinema, offered a two-day workshop on tactics and techniques to improve video images and audio. YouTube’s “Space LA,” like similar facilities in New York, London and Tokyo, supports the production of videos by up-and-coming producers.

Dolby Institute Director Glenn Kiser was quoted characterizing the training program as one that encouraged participants to “think much more critically about sound as they head out to shoot their next round of projects.”

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Using Oculus Rift to build immersive news experiences

[Philip Lelyveld comment: What Nonny seems to have discovered is that, in VR, it isn’t whether the uncanny valley has been crossed (whether everything is photorealistic) that matters, it is whether the experience ‘feels’ real and authentic, regardless of the quality of the visual rendering.]

A similar game allowed players to determine whether or not John Kerry deserved his military medal, by playing him during the Vietnam war. The idea appealed to de la Peña because, she says, as journalists "we're always trying to capture that moment in time".

Speaking at The Conference in Malmo, de la Peña explains how the first time the question of how people could feel like they were really in a virtual world, how they felt like they could be in two places at once, was raised by publication of the article A Rape in Cyberspace in The Village Voice.

The article concerned an online gaming community, members of whom described suffering real-life trauma after one of the players had used his avatar to rape another player's avatar in the virtual environment. Further research into the subject has revealed that we're hardwired as humans to adopt these virtual representations of ourselves and that traumatic events can cause us to respond as if real.

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