Archive for the ‘Hand Held Devices’ Category

If you are old enough to remember the Viewmaster

Hasbro Inc. is betting that iPod and iPhone users want 3-D viewing on the go.

The nation’s second-largest toy maker is set to unveil to investors on Tuesday a handheld device called My3D that attaches to the two Apple Inc. devices. It promises three-dimensional content that offers a 360-degree experience in gaming, virtual travel experiences and entertainment content. It’s aimed at both children and adults.

The device, which resembles a pair of binoculars with a slot in which users insert their iPod or iPhone, will be priced at $30. It will be available starting next spring at stores where Apple’s iPhones and iPod Touches are available.

Shoppers can then visit Apple’s App store, which will allow shoppers to browse for additional My 3D content. Content varies in price; some apps will be free.

Hasbro said it was guided by Apple during development and believes there’s nothing available that matches the quality and 3-D experience on the iPhone or iPod Touch.

If it catches on, it has big potential. More than 125 million iPod Touches and iPhones have shipped, according to Shaw Wu, senior research analyst at Kaufman Bros. L.P. He predicts that will hit 200 million by end of 2011.

“The issue with this is whether they are going to get enough content for it,” Wu said.

Hasbro is confident it will and says it has teamed up with Dreamworks Animation, whose movie “Megamind” hit theaters last weekend, to develop material.

Separately, Hasbro’s My3D will use content from a 3-D television network from Discovery, Sony and Imax scheduled to make its debut next year. Viewers will be able to see trailers and exclusive behind-the-scenes snippets from films for up to 20 minutes. Hasbro says the device will be a key way to market its own brands in a 3-D experience, though details haven’t been set.

Meanwhile, Hasbro worked with LA Inc., the Los Angeles Convention and Vistors Bureau, to create virtual travel experiences that include visits to the Wax Museum and the Santa Monica Pier.

Through other apps, users can feel like they’re immersed in deep water, exploring coral reefs or playing a shark attacking a tuna, while all along learning facts about sea life. There are also shooter games in a virtual galaxy.

“The idea of being able to be somewhere in Los Angeles, in this 360-degree environment, to be in the shark tank, to be able to swim with the fish and chase after the fish. These are really breakthrough immersive experiences,” said Brian Goldner, president and CEO of Hasbro.


Apple making noise like it may re-enter TV sweepstakes (or why I hate cable and satellite)

7.6.10  Apple employees are sworn to secrecy but somebody is talking over there.

“The people familiar with the company’s plans also said that Apple executives are well aware that the battle for the living room is going to be arduous, and that the company must get it right the next time.”

My wife gave me an Apple TV last Christmas but I asked her to return it to the store.  Looking at the home entertainment console groaning under the weight of the cable box, the Wii and the DVD player, I wasn’t ready to add another level of confusion not to mention a fourth remote.  But quietly I hoped that someday there might be  way to cut the cable cord and lose some of the expensive clutter.

UPDATE  8.22.10
A la carte television sounds like a wonderful thing particularly since I don’t want to pay for all those sports and home shopping channels and besides the “over-the-air” nets should be free, right?  So why has it taken so long to break the cable and satellite monopolies?  Perhaps we need the prophet Jobs and his army Apple to topple the old temple of Sodom and Gomorrah.  Kevin Rose swears it will happen but don’t hold your breath.
Hell, I will even buy an iPad if it will free me of the local cable bill.  Just get me out of this indentured servitude. Please.
Update: 8.25.10
According to the The Wall Street Journal:
The company is working on a new device that would allow users to stream video, such as rentals, to their TV sets, according to a person with knowledge of Apple’s plans. Unlike Apple’s existing Apple TV hardware, which stores downloads users can access on their televisions, the new device would act as a conduit for streaming media more directly, and could be announced as early as September, the person said.

Apple declined to comment.

Lower prices for TV shows, along with the new TV-streaming device, could help Apple in the pitched battle to pipe content into American living rooms. Traditional cable- and satellite-TV providers are already facing competition from companies including Netflix Inc. and Hulu LLC. Google Inc. soon plans to roll out its own Web-TV service, too.

Media companies, however, have been wary of pumping too much content online, worried that they could encourage viewers to cancel their monthly TV subscriptions. The tens of billions of dollars media companies make each year from monthly bills are a key source of profits


YouTube aims to be 800 lb. gorilla of broadcasting

Not content to dominate online video viewing, yesterday YouTube unveiled new initiatives for viewing on both TVs and mobile devices. Taken together they demonstrate how aggressive YouTube plans to be in the 3-screen viewership era.

First up, YouTube introduced the beta version of “Leanback,” the new 10-foot experience that it introduced at the recent I/O conference. With Leanback, you only need to use the 4 arrow keys and Enter key on your keyboard to navigate the YouTube experience. Video plays in full-screen mode and in automatically in HD when available.

There are different options for what content Leanback delivers: if you have set up subscriptions, it will give you a feed of those videos; in addition, if you’ve connected your YouTube account to your Facebook account you’ll also get a feed of videos your friends are watching/sharing; alternatively, if you’ve done neither YouTube will simply give you the most popular comedy, entertainment, news, etc. You can also easily search and browse.

It is easy to envision Leanback being a couch potato’s nirvana: just fire up Leanback and sit back and have all the day’s most interesting videos begin unspooling. As Will Richmond wrote in in early June, he continues to believe Leanback is a whole new “channel” experience and will give Google TV, when it launches, a huge tailwind.

“YouTube was a superb acquisition for Google. The deal looks more strategic by the day, especially in light of Google’s intensifying battle with Apple.”

Meanwhile, YouTube also rolled out a newly upgraded experience for mobile phones yesterday. The new site at promises to be faster and also more mobile-friendly, with larger buttons and additional features included from the web site. The effort builds on the mobile site YouTube has offered for several years. YouTube also revealed that playbacks grew by 160% in 2009 and are now up to an astounding 100 million per day. More interestingly, YouTube appears to be trying to migrate users away from the YouTube mobile app which Apple has offered on the iPhone for a while. YouTube is promising web site updates will be followed quickly on the new mobile app, “unlike native apps which are not updated as frequently.”

With the new Leanback and mobile initiatives YouTube is continuing to evolve from its roots as just a user generated content web site. YouTube appears to be firing on all cylinders: hitting a record 14.6 billion views in May, landing big-time advertisers like VISA/Toy Story 3 and Xbox’s Kinnect and adding popular premium content like World Wrestling Entertainmentnew project produced by Ridley Scott. YouTube’s biggest day is still ahead of it, when it will no doubt take center stage in the high-profile launch of Google TV later this year.


Trending toward oblivion. Internet as the ultimate distraction.

I love advertising but hate the interruption.  Does that make me a bad person?

We knew it would come to this…video editing on your iPhone!

A First Look at video editing for the iPhone

I can barely manage an editing session on my laptop.  Imagine my chagrin when   the client hands me the phone and asks to trim a few frames and add a new background and titles to the timeline.

Terrestrial 3D Coming… Aussie’s first to the table!

…………………Over-The-Air 3D Closer Than You Think

UPDATE 5.19.10

Australia is first to the table offering over-the-air broadcasts this summer.

Comcast CEO unveils jumbo remote using Apple iPad

It is fully expected that the other cable operators will follow suit.

Obama Disses iPod, iPad, Xbox, Playstation

Obama Disses iPod, iPad, Xbox, Playstation.

We refer to our current crop of students where I teach at Chapman, as the “millenials”.  They have mastered the social networking scene, they want their information 24/7 and up to the minute, and it is easier to raise them on Facebook then have them pick up the phone.  After four years, it is our goal to have shown them how visual storytelling is an effective tool to communicate and I think it is working.

I continue to canvass my students to get a sense if they are “distracted” or have short attention spans.  I’ve notice the abbreviated term “ADD” is something we all use but it was never known to be a common ailment until today. I think we can all admit that multi-tasking is required to get through the day and brevity in terms of communicating is always welcome.

We can look at this time and place and compare it to the beginning of the last century when the countryside was being electrified and the telephone was becoming a common appliance.  How did the advent of technology affect society then?  How did we manage to get through the day before without a phone answering machine, fax machine or pager?

- Scott Arundale

HD Video Phone Demo using Nokia N8

RealD comes up with the ultimate 3D App for iPad

Earlier this month I mentioned that 3eality’s camera utilized an app on the ipad that worked as a controller and display for the 3D metadata.  Now comes RealD’s Professional Stereo 3D Calculator featuring the ability to calculate:

  • Parallax – know the depth of a shot by seeing the actual positive and negative parallax values at any distance with the subject in focus
  • Separation – learn how various objects in each shot will affect the on-screen image quality based on separation and distance from the cameras (includes “Maximum Positive On-Screen Offset”)
  • Lens – determine the appropriate lens or zoom to achieve the desired 3D effect
  • Shooting style – choose “Converged” or “Parallel” style to customize shots and plan post-production workflow
  • Camera Setup – set camera model, lens type and interaxial range; test real shots with interactive shot settings and quickly rearrange the setup real-time
  • Stereo Solver™ Mode gives the exact settings needed to accomplish any shot while ensuring far objects’ parallax never goes over defined maximum on-screen offset
  • S3D Calculator Mode functions as a pure 3D reference calculator with interactive value tables.
  • You may order yours from the iTunes store for a mere $299.99
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    About 3D & Digital Cinema

    If you are a tech head, cinema-phile, movie geek or digital imaging consultant, then we'd like to hear from you. Join us in our quest to explore all things digital and beyond. Of particular interest is how a product or new technology can be deployed and impacts storytelling. It may be something that effects how we download and enjoy filmed entertainment. It may pertain to how primary and secondary color grading will enhance a certain tale. The most important thing is that you are in the driver's seat as far as what you watch and how you choose to consume it.