Plex brings its virtual reality movie app to Gear VR and Oculus

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Earlier this year, Plex jumped into VR with a Google Daydream app that puts you and up to four of your buddies into a virtual movie screening room. Now the media server company is bringing Plex VR to two more platforms: Gear VR and Oculus.
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Apple’s iPhone-Powered Virtual Reality Headset Is Still in the Works

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Apple is continuing to work on a virtual reality headset that would be powered by an iPhone, if a recent continuation patent is any indication. The continuation patent, which was published today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, doubles-down on the idea of a headset accessory that would use an inserted iPhone as its […]
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Jay and Silent Bob are coming to virtual reality, whether you’re ready or not

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Filmmaker Kevin Smith first broke into the film industry thanks to his no-budget, 1994 indie comedy Clerks, and now that movie’s two most memorable characters will be coming to virtual reality. Jay and Silent Bob VR will be a live-action comedy series that will be written and directed by Smith, shot from the point of view of his Silent Bob character as Jason Mewes’ Jay “leads the way through a string of idiotic adventures.”

It’s just one of several VR projects in development that were announced today by STX Entertainment’s Surreal division, which handles VR and immersive entertainment production for the company. Among the other titles are an untitled live-action series from John Wick writer Derek Kolstad, about a government agent sent to…

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Mozilla Trumpets Altered Reality Browser

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The Mozilla Foundation has unveiled its plans for Firefox Reality, a browser designed specifically for mixed reality headsets. The browser combines the beneftis of Mozilla’s existing Firefox browser with its experimental Web engine. Using Servo, Mozilla plans to experiment with entirely new designs and technologies for seeing and interacting with the immersive Web. “We believe that the future of the Web will be heavily intertwined with virtual and augmented reality, and that future will live through browsers,” wrote Mozilla’s Sean White.
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Apple Working With TSMC to Develop MicroLED Panels for Future Apple Watch and Augmented Reality Wearable Device

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Apple has plans in place to develop MicroLED panels for both small-size and large-size devices, with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) providing support for producing smaller form factor applications, which could include future Apple Watch models and AR wearables, according to DigiTimes senior analyst Luke Lin.

Apple is working with TSMC to develop micro LED panels on silicon-based backplanes for use in the Apple Watch and an augmented reality (AR) wearable device, Lin noted.

MicroLED panels use different light-emitting compounds than the current OLED displays and should help to make future devices slimmer, brighter, and less power-hungry. Citing sources in the upstream supply chain, Lin claims Apple is preparing two sizes of MicroLED panel for small devices. They are said to include a 1.3 to 1.4-inch panel for future Apple Watch iterations and a 0.7 to 0.8-inch panel for an AR wearable device, potentially AR glasses.

Lin also believes Apple is working on developing large-size MicroLED panels on TFT-based backplates for use in products much larger than those in its current MacBook lineup, although he offered no specifics on what they might be.

Based on Lin’s sources, the MicroLED panel destined for a future Apple Watch may enter mass production in the second half on 2018 or in 2019, which would suggest its use in Series 4 or 5 models. The large-size panel could see production in 2019 or later, while the panel for the AR device is yet to have a production schedule, according to the analyst.

The cost of the new MicroLED panels are said to be 400-600 percent higher than OLED panels used in the current Apple Watch. As such, Lin believes Apple will initially only use the MicroLED panel in future “top-of-the-line” versions of Apple Watch, although whether that refers specifically to iterations of the Apple Watch Edition remains unclear.

Apple is understood to own a manufacturing facility in Santa Clara, California, where it is designing and producing test samples of its own MicroLED displays, with a view to eventually replacing largely Samsung-made OLED displays currently used across its product range.

Apple’s interest in the technology was revealed in its acquisition of MicroLED firm LuxVue back in 2014 and previous reports have also claimed Apple will introduce MicroLED technology in the Apple Watch first, with some rumors pointing to that happening as soon as this year.

However, Bloomberg believes that it will likely be a few years before Apple’s MicroLED displays will appear in shipping products – perhaps two years for the Apple Watch and three to five years for the iPhone.

Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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Apple augmented reality system could make us better drivers

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Bad drivers may soon get some crucial tips on the road from Apple, if the company’s latest patent ever becomes a reality. While everyone in tech is working on driverless car systems, it appears that Apple is looking into ways to make it safer for humans to get behind the wheel too. Apple filed for […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

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Industry First Mixed Reality Marketing Summit Coming in September

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Mixed Reality Ventures (MRV), an international holding company for early stage mixed reality platforms, is launching the marketing and advertising industry’s first ever Mixed Reality Marketing Summit.

Created by the founders of the EXMA and Hispanicize events, Fernando Anzures and Manny Ruiz, respectively. The groundbreaking summit will take place in New York City’s PlayStation Theater on Thursday, September 6.

From the official release emailed to MMW:

The summit’s first round of speakers includes a world-class line-up of leaders impacting how brands are approaching mixed, augmented and virtual reality, including: Brett Leonard, award-winning filmmaker and director of “Lawnmower Man”; Joanna Popper, Global Head of Location Based Entertainment, HP; Rori Duboff, Managing Director Content Innovation – Extended Reality, Accenture; Dorothy Dowling, CMO, Best Western Hotels and an early adopter of AR marketing strategies; Gabriele Corcos, celebrity chef and immersive entrepreneur; Chris Bobotis, Director of Immersive, Adobe; Amber Osborne (Forbes #2 Social CMO), CMO, Doghead Simulations; and Tanya Laird, Founder and CEO, Digital Jam. The Mixed Reality Marketing Summit will be emceed by Stewart Rogers, Director of Marketing Technology at VentureBeat.

“In the age of mixed reality and spatial computing, companies like Magic Leap, are unveiling technologies that will quickly become mainstream and will upend the marketing industry as we know it,” said marketing futurist Cathy Hackl, partner at Mixed Reality Ventures and co-author of “Marketing New Realities: An Introduction to Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality Marketing, Branding, & Communications”. “Our summit will help brands get ahead of the curve with practical, impactful and actionable ways to master marketing’s new reality today.”

Registration information is available here mixedrealitymarketingsummit.com.

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Augmented Reality is Here to Stay: Key Considerations for Marketers

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Valassis, a leader in activating consumers through intelligent media delivery, is out with a new report sharing key considerations for marketers and retailers as they look to leverage augmented reality (AR) technology in their campaigns.

RetailMeNot reports that nearly all (99 percent) of retailers wish to improve the shopping experience to better engage and convert customers. AR could be a valuable asset to do so.

The past year served as a major turning point for mainstream AR adoption, the report explains, with Apple launching ARKit and Google following suit, unveiling ARCore at last month’s Mobile World Congress. With worldwide spending on AR and virtual reality (VR) expected to reach $ 17.8 billion in 2018, more innovation and opportunity are anticipated in this space.

“The rapid, mainstream growth of augmented reality presents a prime opportunity for brands to differentiate themselves from the competition,” said Pehr Luedtke, Senior Vice President, Marketing and International, Valassis Digital. “However, before companies dive head-first into this market, it’s important for them to identify how the technology can be applied in smart, relevant ways. Ultimately, AR should serve as another opportunity to enhance the customer experience in a unique way.”

Brands should keep the following in mind when considering the deployment of AR technologies and strategies:

  • The consumer research and planning phase is crucial: According to Valassis research, over 90 percent of consumers create a list before visiting a store, showing the prominence of pre-shopping research and planning. While product information was previously gathered through online reviews and word-of-mouth, AR is taking the research phase one step further, allowing individuals to truly visualize an item before making a purchase decision. For example, from the convenience of their phone, a consumer can see an image of a furniture item in their home, helping determine whether it fits in their respective space so they can make an informed buying decision. AR is providing an innovative “try before you buy” shopping model.
  • AR doesn’t stand on its own: While AR is a newer touchpoint for consumers, it should be incorporated into a broader, integrated marketing strategy. It may fit in and serve a purpose, however AR should be used in combination with other engagement strategies – including social media, email and direct mail.
  • Print and digital are an AR match made in heaven: To date, much of the AR focus has been placed on digital, although print plays a critical role in connecting brands and consumers – and AR technology further elevates that experience. More and more marketers are placing codes and images on print materials, which readers can scan with their mobile devices. For example, retailers can implement AR functionalities that allow consumers to scan an item, such as a furniture piece, in a magazine or direct mail print ad and view a 3D visual of the item. Through this AR data feed, consumers can also see relevant details including price, color/texture options, purchase locations and more. The inclusion of AR delivers an immersive and engaging shopping experience – all that’s needed is a print image and mobile device.

It’s important for brands to strike a balance between new innovations such as AR and tried-and-true tactics, the announcement concludes. This will ensure they’re effectively meeting their target audience when and where it matters most.

To learn more about how Valassis is helping brands drive results with integrated campaigns, visit its website.

 

The post Augmented Reality is Here to Stay: Key Considerations for Marketers appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.


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Foldable iPhone Could Be a Reality in 2020, Believes Analyst

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Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts believe that Apple could end up launching a radically designed iPhone with a foldable display within the next two years. Analyst Wamsi Mohan believes that Apple is working with its suppliers towards the launch of a foldable iPhone in 2020.  Continue reading
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10 very cool augmented reality apps (that aren’t design or shopping tools)

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Augmented reality is having a moment on Android. Thanks to ARCore, which now works on more than a dozen device models—Google says that’s more than 100 million individual devices—we’ve seen a ton of new applications that insert virtual objects into our real surroundings. A lot of them are shopping and interior design apps, which makes sense—AR’s ability to make items appear in your home is a great way to see what a couch looks like in your living room without actually lugging it in there.

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10 very cool augmented reality apps (that aren’t design or shopping tools) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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