philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology

21Aug/14Off

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.

See the full story here: http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-08/20/oculus-rift-journalism?curator=MediaREDEF

21Aug/14Off

Jaunt Aims to Kick-Start Hollywood Virtual Reality With $27.8 Million in New Funding

jaunt_prototypeThe company's board includes Highland partner Alex Taussig, Redpoint partner Tim Haley, Gotcher and board observer Stuart Murphy, director of entertainment at Sky. In addition, Jaunt has assembled a team of advisors including Academy Award-winnerJared Leto, director Mark Romanek, Fox futurist Ted Schilowitz and IMAX chairBrad Wechsler.

Jaunt is taking aim at supporting what it calls "cinematic VR," or narratives and content such as music videos (compared with games). “We see ourselves as an engineering company,” Christensen said. “We’ll provide the technology and services, and rely on the creative community to execute the production. Once people have access to the [VR goggles], there’s going to be a tremendous need for content. We want to establish partnerships with the creative community.”
See the full story here: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/behind-screen/jaunt-aims-kick-start-hollywood-726666
20Aug/14Off

Dolby Readying Atmos for the Home Come Fall

The iconic sound company has been working with partners to develop the consumer electronics and the content to bring Atmos — a theater system that uses "objects" rather than channels to precisely place sound around a room — to home entertainment.

Separately, Dolby has been working on a new format, Dolby Vision, to improve the images that can be viewed in the home with a wider dynamic range, meaning the range between the brightest and darkest colors that can be reproduced on a display.

See the full story here: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/behind-screen/dolby-readying-atmos-home-come-724563

20Aug/14Off

Bendable Displays Are Finally Headed to Market

flexible.display.1x299Kateeva has developed an inkjet printing process that can apply a protective coating to OLEDs far faster than previous methods. This promises to cut manufacturing costs in half, and make it possible to integrate the process into existing production lines more easily.

Canatu, based in Helsinki, Finland, makes thin films covered with a network of carbon nanobuds (a nanotube with a sphere of carbon atoms attached to it) for flexible touch displays. The nanobuds have better conductivity than conventional nanotubes, and can be both stretched and curved around a radius as thin as a millimeter.

Raupp says Samsung and other phone makers are taking a conservative approach, starting with curved displays that can’t be bent to make sure the flexible screens inside them work well. He says the first truly flexible displays will probably be in designs that control how much they can be folded, to prevent damage to the display.

See the full story here: http://www.technologyreview.com/news/529991/bendable-displays-are-finally-headed-to-market/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-daily-all&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20140820

20Aug/14Off

Chinese Theaters Test System of Onscreen Text Messages During Movies

bullet-screenTheaters across major cities in China have begun experimenting with "bullet screens," allowing audience members to interact with films by sending text messages that are displayed directly on the big screen, according to a recent report in China Youth Daily. Great.

If listening to people close business deals on their cell phones mid-movie isn't enough, patrons to some cinemas across China will soon have the privilege of hearing (seeing, really) other audience members' every thought on the film in front of them thanks to the bullet screens. The system is set to be institutionalized during various movies for young people who can't seem to fathom the thought of staying off their phones for two hours,...

See the full story here:http://shanghaiist.com/2014/08/20/bullet-screens-chinese-theaters.php

and here: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/chinese-theaters-test-system-onscreen-726204

15Aug/14Off

Nielsen Report Finds Live Viewing Alive and Well

The study focusing on device penetration and consumption habits found that throughout the country daily live-viewing still heavily out ranks time-shifted viewing for adults 25-54. Pittsburgh watches the most live TV daily, clocking in at 5 hours and 19 minutes, while San Francisco watches the least: 3 hours and 27 minutes. Cities average between 27 and 49 minutes of time-shifted viewing daily, and 3 minutes to 15 minutes of OTT viewing. 

See the full story here: http://www.broadcastingcable.com/news/currency/nielsen-report-finds-live-viewing-alive-and-well/133194

15Aug/14Off

Scientists build ‘army’ of robots capable of swarming into 3D formations

The robots are simple, free of many of the sensors and state-of-the-art hardware typically found on other bots. While that means that the Kilobots are somewhat limited in function — they have trouble moving in a straight line, for example — it also means that each bot is inexpensive and easy to build, said Michael Rubenstein, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University and lead researcher for the Kilobot project.

But Rubenstein and his colleagues have big plans for their tiny robots. One day, they'd like the bots to function as "programmable matter," which is based on a concept similar to 3D printing — only without the printer, he said.

See the full story here: http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2014/0815/Scientists-build-army-of-robots-capable-of-swarming-into-3D-formations

14Aug/14Off

Samsung is taking on the Oculus Rift

As early as Sept. 3, at the product launch for its new Note line of smartphones, Samsung is reportedly set to announce a virtual reality headset which has been developed under the codename Project Moonlight.

A report in The Verge states the headset is made up of a focus dial which could connect to a user’s smartphone via USB and a handheld controller that could possible connect to other devices such as gaming consoles or TVs.

Oculus and Samsung are not alone in their pursuit of the virtual reality space. Google Cardboard is a DIY approach to VR that allows consumers to create their own headsets using cardboard and their smartphone.

In March, Sony announced Project Morpheus, a VR headset whose intention was to extend the power of its Playstation gaming ecosystem. The Japanese electronics company has become sending our development kits to developers but has yet to announced pricing or availability of the headset.

See the full story here: http://www.dailydot.com/technology/samsung-virtual-reality-oculus-rift/

14Aug/14Off

New Form Digital Studio to Launch Program at USC This Fall

Director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer’s newly launched digital studio, New Form, will team up with students from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts to develop digital content. Two-person teams of students will participate in the year-long program to develop scripted series for the Web and pitch their projects. At the end of the first semester, three of the pitches will be selected for production to take place during the second semester.

videostreamNew Form Digital, the multiplatform studio from Discovery, will contribute to the students’ exercises and guest lectures at USC. Jack Epps Jr., the chair of the cinema school’s screenwriting program, and Michael Fink, the chair of the school’s TV and film production program, will direct the new program.

See the full story here: http://www.etcentric.org/new-form-digital-studio-to-launch-program-at-usc-this-fall/#more-83192

14Aug/14Off

Vine Competitor Groopie Lets Vloggers Create TV-Style Shows Together

He envisioned a service that would let vloggers create video “episodes” together, which would be like independently produced reality TV shows.

...with Groopie, friends can shoot the episode at the same time, then merge their videos together with a built-in editing tool where you can select which camera angle and audio source you want to use for each shot in order to create one continuous video.

Groopie users each get their own profile which lets them feature their shows, each of which can have an unlimited number of episodes. This setup lets viewers follow the individual shows they like, as opposed to a vlogger’s whole channel. Shows can be shared to Facebook and Twitter, but not published to YouTube, which is by design for this startup itching to become the “YouTube of mobile.”

See the full story here: http://techcrunch.com/2014/08/08/vine-competitor-groopie-lets-vloggers-create-tv-style-shows-together/