philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


CES 2018, Fox Innovation Lab Highlights Movies Anywhere

Movies_Anywhere_Logo_2018Engadget reports that, “according to general manager Karin Gilford, people have already moved around 80 million movies onto the new platform, which unlocks titles across iTunes, Amazon Video, Vudu and Google Play.” These users have also streamed more than three million hours.

The service debuted “with backing from 20th Century Fox, Disney, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, and Warner Bros. and a catalog of 7500 titles.” Disney’s previously offered Disney Movies Anywhere will be replaced by Movies Anywhere. Sony’s Ultraviolet also tried to do something similar, “but didn’t have its own apps — or a buy-in from Disney, for that matter.”

Movies Anywhere also plans to add exclusive content, “a recipe that is working, according to 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment president Keith Feldman.” He reports that the studio has over 1,250 movies, almost 1,000 hours of “additional content,” including an extra action sequence for “Kingsman 2,” exclusively on Movies Anywhere, and plans to add future releases to the service.

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Occipital has a self-contained solution to room navigation

The technology is called Occipital Tracking. Its aim is to replace external room-sensing hardware completely, like the Oculus Rift'scumbersome stands or the Vive's light-emitting Lighthouse system, in favor of all in-headset tech.

Inside-out tracking, as in-headset room-tracking tech is called, has been in place on Microsoft's VR headsets and upcoming hardware like the Lenovo Mirage Solo with Daydream as well as AR devices like the Microsoft HoloLens, but Occipital Tracking aims to make that tech even better for VR with far more room-aware scanning.

Much as Apple's ARKit or Google's ARCore can scan a room and sense edges and surfaces using a camera and the phone's motion sensor, Occipital's tech pinged my demo space and found glowing points in space that formed a map. The test demo alternated between the real world via pass-through cameras and a fully closed-off VR world with edges of the room overlaid. The VR hardware I tried had stereo cameras, but Occipital says the tracking will work with a single camera, too. It really does seem like ARKit/ARCore for VR.

Like a rough sketch, I could make out a table's edge, a line and corner indicating another obstacle (a chair).

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VR System maps brain down to neuron level.


This new virtual reality system is taking researchers inside microscopic images


LUCYD and INDE Form Strategic Alliance INDE to Provide Augmented Reality Apps for Lucyd

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About Lucyd

Lucyd PTE Ltd is developing ergonomic smartglasses and a decentralized app store. The Lucyd blockchain platform will make it easy to create, share and experience AR content. It’s time to look up from your phone and see the world. To learn more please visit

About INDE

INDE creates products and experiences that inspire, entertain, inform and educate using Augmented Reality and Computer Vision. Since 2011 we have developed location-based and mobile products and experiences in over 40 countries for the world’s leading entertainment and education brands.

Companies and institutions such as National Geographic, The Smithsonian Institution, BBC, Universal, 20th Century Fox, WWF and numerous others have chosen INDE to reimagine how they speak to the world. To learn more please visit


Montreal firms find practical and fanciful applications for augmented reality

9999-biz-ar-1242He’s the CEO of Sensopia, a Montreal and Munich, Germany-based company that makes Magic Plan, an augmented reality application for making blueprints.

“With Magic Plan, you can sketch out a floor plan and, suddenly, you know what is the surface area of your walls. And when you know the surface area of you walls, you know how much paint you need. And when you know how much paint you need, you know how long it’s going to take,” he said.

“But, when in June, Apple announced ARKit,” he said, “not only did it make putting augmented reality tech into your apps very, very easy, it also removed that need for an external item to anchor to.”

Rather than building a stand-alone AR application, Budge added an AR mode to an app it was already working on, Thomas & Friends Minis, a virtual train set.

“You have a button, and the trains that you’ve made get projected on any surface that you want, so it could be on your desk, on the floor of your room, or it could even be outside in a park,” he said.

He said kids using the AR mode tend to be more active.

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Blockchain Technology Readies Live Entertainment for Virtual Reality

VR.width-800The emergence of virtual reality (VR) has created a new channel for artists to connect with their audiences. Live performances can now be streamed directly to virtual headsets. Companies like NextVR , CEEK and Enosis  have all been working on platforms and projects to produce interactive and multimedia experiences. A growing number of production outfits and artists are already trying out the technology.

CEEK has turned to blockchain technology for answers. Aside from its own VR platform, the company is working on a blockchain-driven coin minting platform that allows artists to create their own crypto tokens to facilitate transactions. The feature, dubbed "Celebrity Coin Cast Minting," leverages blockchain technology to create an immutable record of the existence and trade of these virtual items. Artists could even cryptographically sign items to give them additional value as unique memorabilia.

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moneda_preview-1 Partners_360CEEK virtual reality environments are governed by Ethereum Smart Contracts, allowing token holders ability for flexible, tokenized ‘in-world’ interactions, rewards, voting, contests, virtual goods and more ‘in-world’ transactions utilizing ERC20 compliant Tokens called CEEK.


Each CEEK Token holder will be able to participate in virtual reality space for real world celebrity concerts, charity fundraisers, sporting events, VR commerce, classroom learning and much, much more as the exciting world of virtual reality meets real world opportunity through Smart Contract governance.

By utilizing the blockchain, CEEKERS will be able to access, manage and exchange digital assets at a fraction of the cost. Using the ERC232 standard for multi-token transfer will reduce gas cost down to approximately 1/10th of a cent. Open Standards allow CEEKERS the ability for true ownership of digital items that will traverse multiple digital reality environments.

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AR Glasses Coming Soon To A Face Near You (ODG)

On business trips, Pete Jameson gets odd looks from fellow airplane passengers when he's in his seat typing on a keyboard with no screen to be seen.

But Jameson is looking at a jumbo-size display, thanks to augmented reality glasses that project images for his eyes only. His headset looks like slightly oversized sunglasses and what he sees is not visible to others.

Jameson is chief operating officer of ODG, one of a host of companies pursuing the emerging market of augmented reality, or AR, glasses.

Commuter privacy and productivity likely will be one of the early consumer uses of AR glasses, said Jameson.

The nice part about the experience is that the AR glasses wearer is not disconnected from the environment as they would be with virtual reality goggles. With AR headsets, you can still see and hear what's happening around you, he said.

Jameson elicits some raised eyebrows when he's using a wireless keyboard with his AR glasses.

Most of the current AR headset makers, including Daqri, Meta, ODG and Vuzix (VUZI), are focused on enterprise markets because the hardware is expensive, as are the software and services, IDC analyst Tom Mainelli said.

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Heathrow’s new augmented reality app exceeds family use target

712915089The free app allows children and parents to pose and take pictures with the characters, by scanning markers that are placed in each terminal, on their smartphones.

So far, the campaign revealed impressive engagement results, which superseded initial targets. More than 3,600 travellers downloaded the app across Android and IOS devices and spend almost 800 hours engaging with the app in its first month.

Heathrow is the second major UK airport to dabble in apps. Previously, Gatwick has launched a passenger-facing app, one of the several digital innovations that e-retailers can use to their advantage to target the airport’s travellers. 

Gatwick’s free app is aimed more at practicality than fun, offering personalised flight alerts, real-time queue updates for check-in and security, intuitive navigation using beacon technology and shopping, restaurant and airport offers instantly redeemable just with a touch of a button.

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New iPad Pro ads highlight augmented reality and the Apple Pencil

Apple over the weekend released two new ads for the iPad Pro, one of which highlights augmented reality and another which focuses on what one can do with the Apple Pencil. Both ads are relatively short and arguably have an 80s themed vibe.

The first ad, which focuses on augmented reality, features a girl riding her bike across a city street whereupon she comes across an older man quietly reading a newspaper on a bench. She quickly takes out her iPad, and thanks to the power of iOS 11’s augmented reality features, she explores what the scene would look like if a couch was suddenly dropped nearby. Apple’s tagline for the ad reads: “With iPad Pro + iOS 11, you can use augmented reality to literally transform the world around you. Your next computer might not be a computer.”

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International Storytelling with AR: An Interview with Asad J. Malik

Asad & Assad (Private Teaser) from on Vimeo.

To gain a better understanding on the benefits and flaws of VR and AR storytelling with international stories, I reached out to Asad J. Malik, founder and head developer of the AR project Asad and Assad, which explores the Muslim experience in America as an “Augmented Reality interactive documentary” project. As the viewer walks into a space, they will be able to “meet holograms of numerous human beings” talking about their experiences with Muslim identity.

I started focusing on and realizing the whole concept of holograms, where removing barriers might keep two people from being separate or distant. I started focusing on bringing images from two distant parts of the world, to juxtapose two realities. I did a project called Holograms from Syria, and displayed them in places in the US, and the impact for people to see those images.

There a lot challenges. One of the challenges is that the best practices aren’t established yet.

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