Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Google Glass for Movie Making & other Possibilities

What would you do with $1,500? Well over 10,000 so-called Google Glass explorers are using them to search the Internet, write emails, check schedules, take pictures and shoot video in new ways never conceived. Now Google is enlisting film students from five Film colleges to help it explore how its wearable computing device can be used to make movies.  The participating schools are American Film Institute, California Institute of the Arts, Rhode Island School of Design, University of California, Los Angeles, and University of Southern California are the participating schools. As part of its moviemaking experiment, Google will lend each school three pairs of Google Glass which the company says the schools will explore how to use Glass for documentary filmmaking, character development, location-based storytelling.

Obviously there are no limits to what they might do and according to Norman Hollyn, a professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, "students will be encouraged to use Glass to tell stories incorporating the first-person point of view." He elaborated by stating that one model that students might follow is one explored in the film, "Timecode," by director Mike Figgis, which uses multiple cameras to capture different people simultaneously. Students will also be encouraged to try to use Glass's data overlays as a way of revealing elements of a story. At least two short films are expected to be done by the beginning of next year and Google plans to share an update in the fall of how the students have progressed.

Students are not the only ones experimenting with Glass. Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America wants to integrate Glass into its cars to give consumers a door-to-door transition between pedestrian directions and in-car GPS. Earlier this month Qualcomm Life and Palomar Health announced an incubator they have called "Glassomics. The goal of the project is to explore the potential of wearable computing in medicine by designing and building a Glass app which empowers physicians with real-time access to information about their patients, such as laboratory results and genomic information."

 Dan McNelis, co-founder of Dito, a company involved in application development for Google glass said that "a client has them working on using Glass to build information modeling", basically allowing to move from the whiteboard to an in the field 3D imaging system. Dan when on to say "imagine the benefit that a Google Glass’ point-of-view system offers to a construction worker who could walk around a work site, look at a support column and confirm through Google Glass that it’s in the right place and set at the right angle."

I would be remiss if I didn't mention this here. We talk about the "second screen" here on SMM quite a bit and those interactive apps for television, movies and videogames are very likely to finally take off through Glass. Currently, most of us (except me and some of my readers) don’t want to be messing with their smartphones or tablets to get the second screen information, because they have to look away from the program they are trying to watch. Google Glass eliminates this challenge by displaying the information through an overlay. Social interactions, box scores, actors information, popup video style content, all delivered over what you are watching personalized by what you choose to see and know.

Bottom line, this is game changing technology and it has many potential uses. Google Glass will ultimately speed up and personalize the way we receive and process information in ways we never thought possible. It is an exciting technology that will continue to evolve until it becomes firmly entrenched in our everyday lives. Like any new, game changing, technology, there will be bumps in the road as technical’s get ironed out and people adjust to new social norms. This will only serve to improve Glass and make it an even greater experience.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Cord Swapping replaces Cord Cutting

Interesting data has been made public in the FCC’s annual video competition report released this past Monday.  Comcast, Time Warner Cable and other cable operators lost about 2.5 million video subscribers between 2010 and 2012. As anticipated the Satellite and Telco side of the industry are still in the growth mode for the most part.  AT&T's U-verse TV posted the biggest video subscriber gain, growing its subscription base from 3 million to 4.1 million during the same period. Verizon's FiOS TV expanded from 3.5 million to 4.5 million subscribers during the same period while DirecTV Inc. grew its subscriber base by 700,000 to 19.9 million during the same period, and Dish Network  remained flat at 14.1 million.
Total gain of 2.8 million reflects a modest net gain of 300K for the overall industry, so is it safe to assume that the feared cord cutting rumor is untrue and frankly should be renamed cord swapping.
Other note worthy items listed in the report:
 The FCC said cable operators installed 38,000 CableCARDs in retail devices such as TiVo DVRs and connected TVs in 2012.
  The number of households that rely solely on over-the-air antennas to watch TV remained flat at 11.1 million in 2012.
  Deployments of DVRs in pay TV homes increased to 50.3 million in 2012, up from 46.3 million in 2011. DVR penetration in TV homes has increased to 43.8 percent.
 More on this topic: See the FCC Report.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Aereo Can Stream in New York for the Foreseeable Future

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit denied a broadcaster request that the full court review a three-judge panel of that court's April decision not to stop Aereo from delivering broadcast signals over the Internet while a lower court considers a broadcaster challenge to the service's legality. The central issue in the Aereo case is whether the start-up’s decision to provide one antenna for every subscriber makes it a legal private transmission under copyright law or, instead, an illegal public broadcast so the broadcasters claim.
Meanwhile Fox Broadcasting isn't taking no for an answer, "We will now review our options, and determine the appropriate course of action," said a statement from Fox. CBS has also vowed to fight the company wherever it launches its service, which is available in New York, Atlanta and Boston (where it's already been sued by Hearst).
Aereo is a well funded startup that is challenging the current broadcasting model. While this ruling is another win for Aereo in its ongoing battle against broadcasters, their time in court is far from over. More on this to come...

Friday, July 12, 2013

Intel's TV service is named OnCue

Hot scoop from Gigaom is out today. According to Janko Roettgers, Intel's forthcoming TV service, which is expected by the end of the year, will be called OnCue. Branding and advertising for the service will likely be handled by OMD, Roettgers adds. The patent applications also reveal a logo and a potential tagline: "TV has come to its senses." More: 07/12/13 - Scoop: Intel’s upcoming TV service is going to be called OnCue