Facebook is buying virtual-reality company Oculus VR for $2 billion — and the Internet has exploded in response.
Originally introduced on Kickstarter in 2012, Oculus VR's gaming headset Oculus Rift is the biggest development in the virtual-reality space since it was just a dystopian dream. Since Oculus development kits went on sale in March 2013, 75,000 units have been sold — even though the product is not yet available in retail stores.
Smart watches such as those made by Sony and Pebble were very limited in their functionality, battery life and technical specifications. When Project Glass was announced in 2012, it was seen as a revolutionary technology. It was wearable computing to the next level. Google Glass enabled people to have the information they “needed” in the corner of their eye and gave them instant access to the world wide web with just a simple voice command.
In theory, the technology is great. However, in practice, it’s a different story.
When was the last time your checked your mobile device? Ten seconds ago? A minute? An hour? (Wow, you have strong willpower.) Whatever the case, you know that mobile is already a significant influence in our lives. For businesses, it’s fast becoming a necessity for content marketing: 57 percent of mobile users wouldn’t recommend a business with a poorly-designed mobile website.
However, creating an effective mobile content strategy involves more than repurposing desktop content to fit on a smaller screen. The magic formula, according to MobileMixed podcast host Greg Hickman, involves a restructuring of control between businesses and customers.
Last year, global mobile ad spending increased 105.0% to total $17.96 billion, according to new figures from eMarketer. In 2014, mobile is on pace to rise another 75.1% to $31.45 billion, accounting for nearly one-quarter of total digital ad spending worldwide.
A report released this week by Millward Brown takes a quantitative and qualitative look at multiscreen activity from a number of perspectives. The report is based on a global survey (n=12,000 respondents, 30 countries). The US sample was 444 people, with some behavioral monitoring and interviews. There’s a great deal of interesting material in the report, which is free.
While this has been asserted by others in the past, Millward Brown confirmed that in the US daily smartphone screen time has now surpassed TV. That’s also true worldwide. If one combines smartphone and tablet screen time the total exceeds TV by nearly an hour per day.
Digital? Print? Book lovers don’t really care; we just want more books. A digital-print combo, however, is certain to capture our attention. Portugal-based engageLab unites the two modes of reading with Bridging Book, and app that allows the reader to turn the pages of a printed book while, through the magic of magnets, the app follows along, extending the book into the iPad’s screen.
When used with Bridging Book, the ipad acts as a book-extender, bringing interactive elements, sound, and animation to the story told on the printed page. File this great idea under “must purchase” and “ridiculously cool.”
Pepsi takes on London with this new branded experience on New Oxford Street, where they’ve taken a busy bus stop and fitted it out to make it a seamless augmented reality experience for the people who happen to stop by!
Hewlett-Packard has found some success with a platform, called Aurasma, that provides augmented reality services to portable devices.
"We're seeing a huge growth spurt within the augmented reality market, particularly in the last six months," said Annie Weinberger, the HP general manager overseeing Aurasma.
Aurasma now has 40,000 customers, more than twice than it had six months ago, HP has reported. Over 6 million people have downloaded the free app, which is available for both Android and Apple iOS devices.
Technology has altered human physiology. It makes us think differently, feel differently, even dream differently. It affects our memory, attention spans and sleep cycles. This is attributed to a scientific phenomenon known as neuroplasticity, or the brain's ability to alter its behavior based on new experiences. In this case, that's the wealth of information offered by the Internet and interactive technologies.
Some cognition experts have praised the effects of tech on the brain, lauding its ability to organize our lives and free our minds for deeper thinking. Others fear tech has crippled our attention spans and made us uncreative and impatient when it comes to anything analog.
The Tribune Company has launched an app that allows the user to read or listen to news articles. The app has an emphasis on customization including story length and areas of interest.
Users can customize the selections by media outlet, topic and keyword, and the app will then generate a playlist of stories that you can either read or listen to.
Google’s revenue from search ads on U.S. computers fell for the first time last year and will decline another 7% this year, according to a new report, but overall U.S. advertising revenue will continue to rise due to the rapid growth of the mobile ad market.
The report by research firm eMarketer underscores how dramatically the rise of smartphones and tablets is reshaping Google’s business.
Italian fashion label Gucci geared up its awareness initiatives for International Women’s Day on March 8 by releasing an iOS application for its Chime for Change organization.
The app allows users to easily share a tweet about the organization’s missions just by shaking their device. By prompting social media sharing through this app, Gucci will likely see more of a conversation develop around Chime for Change than they would by soliciting organic social media posts.
Designers often talk about doing good, but Artefact actually backs it up.
In between crafting elegant set top boxes and mobile UIs, the Seattle studio dedicates time to healthcare concepts that could literally save lives. The latest is Dialog, a wearable platform designed specifically for treating epilepsy.
Current solutions for epilepsy–which afflicts some three million people in the U.S. alone–fall roughly into two categories: wearable sensors that can detect seizures and alert family members, and journals, both paper and digital, that patients use for logging daily data points like mood and medication.
Augmented reality—a technology that enables mobile devices to recognize live objects and then activate video or graphics—has been stuck for years in new-tech purgatory, where ideas loll in the hope of finding mainstream applications.
That may be changing, at least in the eyes of marketers, print publishers and retailers, who are testing new ways to promote their brands on ever-present mobile devices.
Startups like Blippar, Layar and Daqri are beginning to make inroads, offering technology that lets people point their smartphones or tablets at objects—whether a can of soda, a magazine cover or an in-store display—and then watch video or high-tech graphics unfurl on top of the objects on screen.
It is quite an art to make a web site look good on your much smaller phone screen, but it is absolutely essential for any site or business. A website’s degree of responsiveness – in other words, ability to recognize their environment (such as tablet vs. phone) and adapt to the screen in which they are being viewed – can make or break a company.
Coca-Cola, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Urban Outfitters are among a growing number of brands tackling mobile and user-generated content to connect to marketing-averse millennials.
With more marketers leveraging mobile to hook millennials when they are sharing and accessing content with friends, user-generated content is generating significant buzz with brands in building brand affinity and loyalty. At the same time, these campaigns can have the reverse effect if millennials feel like they are being marketed to.
Paper, Facebook’s new iPhone app, is a confident product from a company that’s been slow to master the nuances of creating a fine mobile app. Out today, it’s probably the best Facebook has ever looked. But behind those looks lies a smart strategy to turn Facebook into a publisher of original content. Maybe, like Facebook Home, it will crash. But it’s still a fascinating window into how the company might eventually face off against media brands and content publishers.
Created by a small group of star designers and engineers operating as a sort of startup within the company itself, Paper isn’t a replacement for the official Facebook app so much as an alternative to it. Nevertheless, it’s far more polished and satisfying than Facebook’s other offerings, letting status updates and pictures luxuriate in a fullscreen layout instead of relegating them to a cramped vertical feed.
Mike Matas was sitting on an L-shaped couch inside one of the largest offices at Facebook, holding an iPhone that plugged into a Mac laptop through a long, black cord. It was the early afternoon, and he was surrounded by several Facebook colleagues, including Chris Cox, who oversees the development of new products at the social networking giant as one of the top lieutenants to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
The office belongs to Cox, and it often hosts meetings like this one, where Matas was about to reveal something he’d hacked together earlier that morning, after the idea came to him the night before. As the others watched, Matas tapped on his iPhone and opened a digital photo of Niagara Falls. The phone zoomed in on the heart of the image, showing the glistening falls in sharp detail, and then, simply by tilting the phone back and forth, he could explore other parts of this high-res photo, panning across the image as if he was moving through a virtual world or a 3D game.