philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


YouTube Stars Hire Agents, Managers in Traditional Media Push

More than 20 talent agencies and management companies are vying to represent some of YouTube’s biggest celebrities with the promise of growing these stars’ online audience and traditional media presence. Agents often negotiate endorsement deals, acting gigs, music deals and book deals. They can also help the young-adult and teenage stars navigate licensing contracts. YouTube stars have started attracting traditional media companies, and now traditional management companies.

Big entertainment companies could take advantage of young online stars by signing them for much less than their worth. That’s where management’s advocacy role comes in. For example, the sister-duo behind the Eleventhgorgeous YouTube username went from $500 brand deals to $5,000 deals in only five months of working with Lennon Management, a company that focuses on representing YouTube personalities.

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Vrvana tosses its Totem headset into the VR ring

vrvana-totem-970x0[Philip Lelyveld comment; since Oculus has said they want to develop the Rift with AR capabilities including cameras, the issue is can a start-up build a community that can overpower the Facebook marketing machine.  See Vrvana's home page for tech specs]

The Totem separates itself from the pack by having onboard cameras and acceleration tracking to replace the need for an external tracking camera. The front-facing cameras also open up interesting possibilities like integrating augmented reality and tracking the users actual hands. It also sidesteps the tedious problem of needing to remove the snugly-adjusted headset whenever you need to deal with the analog world.

The headset features powerful onboard processing and control emulation to offload a lot of the work that is often left to another device, increasing the range of compatible systems, which includes tablets, PCs, mobile phones, and gaming consoles. Oversized, individually focused lenses allow for crisp, legible text and negate the need for wearing glasses, though the foam-cushioned headset still leaves enough room for most specs if the user prefers.

The company was formed by French Canadian engineers in 2005 as True Player Gear and have been gradually developing the technologies necessary to achieve their VR dream ever since. Boutique PC maker VoodooPC’s founder and CEO Rahul Sood makes an appearance in the video and on their advisory board for a bit of high profile endorsement.

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Samsung Gear VR Heads to Hollywood

Shiraz Akmal ai_623Samsung is the latest huge company to commit to virtual reality. Oculus VR has spent the past 12 months working with Samsung on the just-announced Gear VR. But Hollywood studios like DreamWorks Animation has also been experimenting with the Oculus Rift DK2 technology. In Berlin last week Samsung, Oculus and DreamWorks unveiled new mobile VR experiences that will be available this fall.

Shiraz Akmal was in Berlin to showcase what DreamWorks Animation Studios’ new DreamLab has been up to. Akmal spent 25 years developing games, including nine years at publisher THQ as vice president of operations in product development. He was also a founding member of Heavy Iron Studios, which THQ acquired in 1999. These days, Akmal is the head of business and product development for DreamLab, the new division at DreamWorks Animation that creates mobile, immersive and interactive experiences.

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Notion: Be home, even when you’re not.

0287c4134def105abed3c0f20d895f7f_large 64e9a208bfb67290e224f4cf3ee8de5f_large[Philip Lelyveld comment: Notion is a great example of the Internet of Things.  It senses multiple this in its environment, and uses your personal secure network to notify you of changes in the environment that you have asked to be notified about.]

Home intelligence is a concept that hasn’t been possible until now. For years, security systems have only detected things like doors opening, windows breaking or alarms going off. These alerts only skim the surface of what Notion is capable of.

With Notion, you can know things like how full a propane tank is, when your child returns from school, the second there is a water leak, if a gun safe has been accessed and much more. In fact, this is exactly why we built Notion; to allow you to monitor what you want in a way that makes sense for you and your family.

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DisplayPort 1.3 allows people to use a 5K monitor with a single cable without using compression. DisplayPort 1.3 will also permit you to use two 4K monitors simultaneously through one connection with the use of DisplayPort’s Multi-Stream tech. On top of that, DisplayPort 1.3 supports future 8Kx4K screens.

“These new enhancements to DisplayPort will facilitate both higher resolution displays, as well as easier integration of DisplayPort into multi-protocol data transports, which will satisfy consumer’s desire for simplicity and ease-of-use,” VESA Board of Directors Chair Alan Kobayashi said.

Dell recently teased a 5K monitor, though there’s no indication when exactly it will be released. Plus, the company targeted a business-oriented audience for that display. That monitor, dubbed the UltraSharp 27 Ultra HD 5K Monitor, will go for $2,499.99 once it launches sometime in the “fourth quarter of this year.”

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NextVR Unveils 360-Degree 3D VR Camera System

NextVR_3D_VR_Digital_Cinema-2NextVR, a virtual reality technology and content company, introduced a 360-degree 3D virtual reality rig outfitted with six RED Epic Dragon cameras at IBC in Amsterdam last week. The “NextVR Virtual Reality Digital Cinema Camera System” supports the recording and live streaming of immersive, ultra high definition, stereoscopic content at 60fps and includes spatial audio capture. NextVR also unveiled VR content acquired with the equipment, displaying it on the new Samsung Gear VR headset.

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Oculus CEO Announces $31M Donation to Build a Virtual Reality Lab at His Alma Mater, UMD

Screen-Shot-2014-09-12-at-10.04.47-AMAccording to TechCruch, the building will house labs for artificial intelligence, augmented reality, computer vision, robotics and virtual reality. Iribe believes the virtual reality industry “is about to completely take off, and to put a building in place that’s largely focused on this…will help inspire a lot of students and incredibly brilliant engineers to become part of the industry and solve the next set of difficult problems.”

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The rise of the anti-facial recognition movement

Selvaggio9[Philip Lelyveld - URME - You Are Me.  This is a creepy solution to a mounting problem.  I'm still working on a westernized hijab]

While the technology behind facial recognition continues to develop as its presence increases, some artists are trying to give citizens their privacy back the best way they know how—by designing contraptions that help ordinary citizens avoid detection.

You might not know Leo Selvaggio, but there’s a chance you’ve seen him—or someone strikingly identical to him. He’s white, male, and young. To be frank, there is nothing remarkable about his appearance, but that’s precisely the point.

Selvaggio’s the artist behind the URME Personal Surveillance Identity Prosthetic, a photo-realistic recreation of Selvaggio’s face that allows others to be able to assume his identity to protect their own. The mask is made from a pigmented hard resin using 3D-printing technology that allows for the replication of Selvaggio’s skin tone and hair. It’s detailed enough to fool the technology and inconspicuous enough to avoid drawing attention from people in a crowd.

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Could a “Hybrid 3D” Trifocal Camera Be on the Way to Hollywood?

trifocal_camera_a_p[Philip Lelyveld comment: the idea has been around for a while.  It really does simplify things.]

The system uses a camera rig that holds three cameras: a main camera, the Arri Alexa; and two small cameras used to capture depth information. The goal is to allow the filmmakers to focus on the 2D shoot, and make depth decisions at a later time.

Siegfried Foessel, head of Fraunhofer's department of moving picture technologies, told THR. "Effectively, you can do what you normally can only do in a CG environment, but now you can do it with live scenery.”


This Is The Best 3D Food Printer We’ve Seen Yet — And It Makes Stunning Desserts

[Philip Lelyveld comment: I hope they get there soon.  Too much sugar!]

“We think that sugar is a great place to start 3D printing food,” Liz said. “But beyond sweets, we see tons of potential for other edible substrates. We’re really excited to continue to experiment with starches, spices, or even proteins down the line. And even further down the road, we see potential for things like personalized nutrition and pharmaceuticals." 

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