Posts filed under ‘Audio / Video’
“The line between the virtual and the physical world become increasingly thin”, the Microsoft voice under Surface says.
So many bloggers have posted questioning Microsoft’s contribution to innovation. I have never understood that since the scientists in the Redmond labs are shaping our future like no one else. I already posted some time ago about their holographic computing and an image search engine and now Surface corroborates my point yet again. Bill says it won’t be out for 10 to 15 years but the prototype shown is impressive. To think what is basically a backlit tabletop screen can enable you to move its visual content with a finger touch and drag is impressive. You can even draw with your finger or a paintbrush.
Everything is getting more visual and less text driven. Easier to learn, adopt and use. More intuitive. Videos and images are key platforms for marketers to seek in the immediate future. Why? Well, the visual sense is fast and easy for interacting with customers. Surface is to computing, what Alexander Graham Bell’s first telephone line was to telegrams and the town crier. It is yeat another sea change in how we live our lives.
As Bill has demonstrated you can drag items chosen off a menu onto the image of your credit card and it automatically tallies your total. You can even drag virtual theatre tickets and maps onto your PDA or souped up cell just by resting it on the surface of your table. No drop menus, pages, or buttons to forage through. Imagine the uses to Surface for customer experience, marketing and operational efficiency.
I am confident all the Surface can be has not surfaced yet.
This just in! It’s called the CBS Interactive Network. The ‘ol networks have been slow to respond to the digital threat but CBS has now grabbed that brass ring. CBS has struck deals with Sling, Comcast, AOL, MSN, CNet, Joost, Bebo, NetVibes, Veoh and more.
CBS Interactive claims it is, “the most widely distributed professional content provider on the Web.” And all content will be free, monetized by advertising. No mobile yet but it is open to it.
1. Ballhype.com: It’s a social, collaborative site for sports fans. They can comment on their favorite teams local to national and rate the comments Digg style. This site is totally dedicated to sports fans with no other aim.
2. EMI launches DRM-free music! That means no anti-copying software. Steve Jobs is putting his and Apple’s name and reputation behind the move. The music in question is said to be of higher quality and now available on iTunes.
3. YuMe Networks launches first advertising within downloaded videos on BitTorrent entertainment network! On any device! Add to your lexicon, air-time “pre-roll”, “mid-roll”, “post-roll”, watermark and more on-line.
4. DoubleClick announced today that it is launching an ad exchange. It’s like a cross between Sabre (airline booking software) and eBay. Any advertiser will be able to bid for ad space on this interface.
5. Google Desktop for Mac. It’s a Universal application which indexes the contents of your hard drive. The image on the right is the new side bar. Reviews are not half bad.
6. The Coop: Mozilla adds social networking into Firefox.
8. MailChannels launches a new spam filtering program that slows email by an additional 8 seconds rather than the former 2 seconds. This cuts down on impatient spammers. It can retrofits into any email infrastructure saving corporations a great deal.
Keep posted daily for more hot launches to this month’s awesome beginning!
A new launch late March 2007 named BubbleGuru is all about interrupting the viewer at your web site with a sizeable bubble housing a webcam-produced video of yours truly. If you are a guru indeed it may captivate the viewer. Think demo assistance. Or words from the CEO. The Bubble guys would be wise to show the various usages rather than “good for business”–show me how! Inspire me.
But judging from the quality of most home-grown videos, “BubbleGoof” may be a required brand extension. Indeed, for the casual user this will be fun. For established web sites and blogs……hmmm? Many “gurus” would not be hired as extras anywhere (they tend to be knock-offs of Napoleon Dynamite!) All kidding aside, I would hesitate to annoy with trite content (the bubble can be turned off by the viewer at any time). The Bubble is not to be taken lightly; good content is key.
The bubble follows you as you scroll down–blocking whatever is behind it. Intrusiveness is not where it’s at-but hey, this tool offers an easy turn-off button. Frankly, I would not be surprised if many refreshed their pages just to see it again. Because after all, it is a fresh idea.
On the up side, I think there is too much friction getting videos live at any address. It’s nice that the user is empowered, doesn’t need a programmer and can change the message every day. Really, it’s a bubble-vlog.
Have a look here and see how the bubble looks in action at our tech event site: http://www.bubbleguru.com/flag_page.html?=DKs75MpI&=www.Plexus2007.com
BubbleGuru is in beta like most of The Valley. You can test drive it for free. Kick back one night this week with a glass of Chardonnay and have some fun.
Ballmer defends Motorola Q and Zune and says about iPhone “doesn’t have a keyboard…doesn’t make it very good for email “, “$500!…fully subsidized!” Here is CNET’s review of Q - they rated Q 7 out of 10.
Jobs says Microsoft have “no taste”, “they make really third rate products”. Ouch!
Who’s giving the KO punch?
Indeed copyright law imparts a great deal of rights to creators and Viacom will cause perspiration to YouTubers and the entire web community. Will the $billion claim dropped on Google Monday (Reuters) change content sharing on the web? The final verdict will set a dearly needed precedent for those who abuse on the web. As one who has had her posts ripped by opportunists I can relate.
But! let’s be honest the entire entertainment industry knew their content was being shared for a long time. Surely Viacom was no exception. Getting evidence of this will be important. Perhaps they did not realize how the digital age and a connected world community would change the way they do business. They were either asleep at wheel, or planned to launch an enormous law suit as a new source of revenue. It Viacom tolerated use of their properties over the years (the numbers being quoted in the media range from 100,000 to 160,000 clips for over a billion views) and were in contact with YouTube and its assigns (Google) and made no objection at the time, this is a “constructive trust ” in law. Note, that Google removed the content when asked. That South Park clip of Tom Cruise in the closet is now gone. It took me under a day to send a Cease and Desist demand to the thief who took my content. Why so long, Viacom?
Now Viacom is putting a value on losses comparing their negative growth vs YouTube’s growth, co-incidental with the use of their materials? This is a real long shot. And it certainly is not $1 billion dollars (that sounds like $1 a clip–a far cry from what they would make in TV advertising revenue for this exposure)–a newsworthy amount surely pulled out of their lawyers’ hat. After all, an $850,000 suit would not make as juicy a headline. Viacom’s website is certainly well detailed and poised to receive the incremental traffic from the publicity. In fact, they claim increased traffic; but I assure the resulting publicity in this action is the catalyst– not clips removed. The lawyers arguing for this will be loathe to ignore the publicity effect.
There is no doubt that many of us in technology have an affection for the Google and YouTube brands–both underdogs who redefined the way the world becomes informed and entertained. But my cooler brain prevails. I also have an affection for productions by Paramount (a Viacom subsidiary).
With all due respect to YouTube I don’t believe viewers are by nature inclined to watch long, small template/browser based videos often low quality for hours on end. YouTube is invariably the domain of shorts. And certainly an ideal place to promote one’s creative properties. YouTube must bring into its defense team an excellent valuator that can put a value on the promotion it has imparted gratis to Viacom. Viacom have allowed this to endure for years and benefitted from this. YouTube is not necessarily on the defensive here. I’m just sayin’…..
Yes there is the thorny issue of creative works but how complicit is Viacom in YouTube airing their material. Check the phone records, emails, visits to YouTube, conversations. How long did Viacom folks know before they asked YouTube to remove them? The burden is on the copyright owner to pursue.
I’m just saying again….
A number of developments in web 2.0 and gadgetry keep the market hopping. HOT NEW LAUNCHES will be published each month featuring innovations from start-ups and behemoths. It is a live list that will grow through the month so you can have a quick picture of what’s fresh in the marketplace.
1. Google launching a mobile phone – a Blackberry like device with a C++ core. Google did start a partnership with Samsung in January; so there is collaboration here. Lots of chatter here and chattering teeth from the competition. Idea rating: 3 1/2 stars
2. My.Netscape - the next generation of Netscape’s personalized home page in beta (there’s nothing at this link today-keep checking). The chatter in the market is hopeful on this one. Idea rating: 2 1/2 stars
3. Adobe Creative Suite 3.0 – due out March 27. Idea rating: TBA
4. Geni on-line family tree building already into its second round of financing with Charles River Ventures value at $100 mm. I simply love this hosted app. I am in! Idea rating: 3 1/2 stars
5- Skype Prime Beta a Skype to Skype 1-900 style i.e. paid by the caller to experts at the posted fee per minute. This is about a brand so visionary that it sees beyond its appliance. Linked in has a similar service but I do not believe for mobile and for larger fees. Idea rating: 4 stars
6- Sony Cyber-shot DSC-G1 Sonys’ first wireless digicam which will send images over wi-fi networks. Standard resolution 480 X 640 at 30 frames per sec. Memory card able to hold 8 GB. No touch screen on this one. Idea rating: 3 1/2
The following innovators from the stalwart behemoths to the bootstraped entrepreneurs are worthy of praise–they are changing our future. I am confident I’ve forgotten a few. Sadly, I am not omniscient. It is a live list that I will expand in the same updated post daily, weekly. Your suggestions are welcome. These ideas are actionable, useful and often border on genius. All are worthy of praise whether they make it to the finish line or not. So they are NOT PRIORITIZED. It is a democratic list. Their innovations are recent 2006 and 2007–some are so fundamental yet “new” that I ignored their birth date.
Listed as: Brand Name, Corporation, (description)
- iphone by Apple (the most robust phone device yet)
- Qode by Neomedia (Mobile Phone Bar Code Scanner)
- Zink by same (portable inkless printer for digital devices)
- Eyejot by same (video sharing thourgh email)
- PayPerPost by same (Paid consumer blog network for advertisers)
- Joost formerly Venice Project (richer alternative to YouTube)
- Lotus Connections byIBM (Collaboration software)
- LinkedIn by same (Answers/Experts Low cost procurement of soft expertise)
- Yah00! 100 brands by Yahoo! (Media Channels for advertisers)
- ejamming by same (voip for musicians)
- Apollo by Adobe (web apps to the desktop)
- Mobio Networks by same (mobile mashup platform)
- Scram by Ceelox (embeds encrypted messages behind images)
- Sentinel by Iwerx (catches blog content pirates)
- D’Fusion by Total Immersion (inserts 3D into live video images)
- Advanced Photonics (No name yet) by Alps Electric / CAPE (holographic image from mobile devices)
- BitTorrent by same (bandwidth enabling video distribution like no other)
- Orb Networks by same (allows users to view and create videos on their mobile devices)
- Sundance Global Short Film Project /Robert Redford (creating short content for mobile devices)
- Sitemaps by Google, Yahoo and Microsoft (new search protocol by stie maps)
- Wibree by Nokia (radio technology dual core chip uses so little energy for smallest devices like a watch)
- Tagworld by same (social network with all-in-one capabilities)
- RDF and OWL – Semantic Web by Tim Berners-Lee (application-free framework and language that allows data interchange)
- Videoegg by same (simplifies video capture)
- iUpload by same (blogging platform that requires no programmer)
- Xensource by same (moves mutliple virtual servers without friction)
- Scrybe by same (robust and elegant productivity tool driven by a calendar-perhaps the best)
- Geni by same (great hosted genealogy app )
I wrote about The Venice Project on December 21st, declared today as the covert name for Joost. Frankly, you can’t say too much for secrecy in the valley–it can be key to success.
The videos will be managed from desktops providing a richer viewing experience than the pixelated, crowded YouTube browser experienced. There was a place for this player and Joost has just made a home run! Just feast your eyes on the thumbnails above–these are full screen experiences. But it is still in beta phase.
Internet TV is coming into focus with Joost; hosted video and “streaming video” are fading.
I have reviewed all the new apps, most from start-ups, many from big players like Adobe and Seagate, and all were impressive. Kudos to all the inventors–they are defining our future. The Web 2.0 meme is alive indeed! Here is a list of what I see as the top dozen favorites in the buzz network (not prioritized):
- Zink (inkless printer that fits in your pocket!)
- Eyejot (the best of email video)
- eJamming (voip for musicians)
- Apollo (Adobe) (web apps to the desktop-not hosted!)
- Mobio Networks (mobile 2.0 mashups paltform)
- Jamman (high-def feature films from all over the world)
- Scram (Ceelox) (embeds info behind images for security)
- Sentinel (blogwerx) (tracking blog plagiarisers, sploggers)
- Zoho’s Notebook (multiple sources of content into one)
- D’Fusion (Total Immersion) ”augmented reality”
- Shipwire (affordable browser based warehousing & shipping-could launch a new legion of home-preneurs!)
- Me.dium (follows people’s web surfing)
Frankly, it’s unfair to leave any out; but, we all suffer from a collective attention-deficiency. Merit should be given to Teleflip, Vringo, DesignIn, Seagate’s Crickett, Boorah, Blinkx, Aggregate Knowledge, SplashCast and Boston-Power’s Sonata. Everyone has favorites. I tried to blend those of the pundits.
An interesting point is that few are monetized via advertising-it’s all pay-as-you-go or straight-forward buys.
Apparently, the Demo 2007 was crawling with VCs. Plexus 2007: The Web Marketing Conference & Demo will be populated with real buyers from the marketing and ad world. VCs are welcome.
The very successful “demo” event model applies to every innovation even if from Yahoo, IBM or Adobe. It moves quickly. It’s dynamic, invigorating. And you get the big picture, the value, quickly. Reportedly, attendees just love it! Chris Shipley, head of Demo 2007, has been inundated with praise for her excellent execution of this demo-styled event.
There are so many services coming down the pike that the wallet cannot sustain all. And frankly I don’t like to see the lot of you geniuses surrending your brand power to the service providers like Verizon. Yes, they can bundle to meet needs–but it will cost you. I can see mergers. Perhaps, you should partner with each other. Video email with ring tones for example.
It is a miasma of options right now–and trying to lock-in customers long-term can backfire if something better comes out and they’re stuck in a contract. It may be good for your cash flow but… You always want to seek customer happiness. No matter what. Consumers don’t forget and will punish you with no renewal and bad blogging.
And just today Adobe launched their Flash based video email! This is a new market for them; but, the rest of you must move strategically….fast.
I’m just sayin’.
Video sharing in a blink! is Eyejot’s trademark mantra. This online video sharing platform requires no downloading of an application to use. Users can create and receive, no ifs, ands or buts. You can start using Eyejot immediately, with any browser and in any platform. And it integrates with mobile devices and iTunes too.
Imagine now instead of keying in a message to your Valentine, you can belt out a dirge on your knees and send it via email. You don’t have to get hosted at YouTube for this! This is an emoticon killer!
I love it. Love it. Love it. Get this on Oprah’s favorite things.
Is Microsoft picking the lint out of its navel?
What’s most fantastic about Apple is not its brilliant innovations. Or its aesthetic breakthroughs. Or even because it brought back Steve Jobs. Apple is brilliant because it keeps it eye off the competition in terms of defining itself and it products.
In the corporate world, Apple is the rugged individualist (although sleeker). The world is increasingly held captive wondering, “what will they do next?” Apple never disappoints. Ultimately, Apple competes with itself. How will they top the iPhone in 2008? I am setting my brain’s Tivo to a January launch of something not thought of yet. Apple makes it harder on themselves to be great. Now that all competing eyes are on them, Apple has the leading advantage: they know what they are up against.
The Venice Project, another creation by the founder of Skype, Janus Friis, is in beta. It’s the long-awaited internet TV beginning to sprout! Although systems require gobs of ram (512mb) and good video memory (48MB) and 600 mhz of speed, most PCs can now easily accomodate. The interface is nice and crisp and allows you select channels, programs, etc… with ease. Does this spell the end of the top box? Apple is delivering its own this January (last I heard). If so, Yahoo! (no pun). I once heard the word streaming is outdated–”internet TV” is indeed the cool new term. And it’s getting more real and real close.
For advertisers, this spells a new medium, targeted and affordable. Since Venice is aimed at delivering free TV, advertising is how it will monetize itself and compensate the content producers.
Question is, how will service providers kick-up their offerings to accomodate internet TV? This is surely a satellite TV killer which bundles unwanted offerings at a high cost. Now customers can customize their their programming selections with ease. That’s authentic one-to-one marketing offering brand relevance to advertisers as never before. We are in for a luxurious gondola ride in Venice.
The prototype was built and presented in early 06. Now your laptop or your mobile device can project onto any surface thanks to Jamieson Christmas, Cambridge U, inventor and patent holder. Cambridge has granted exclusive license to Alps Electric (H.O. in Japan but also here is USA). Professor Crossland known as father of LCOS (liquid crystal over silicon) is also on the inventor team, namely CAPE. I won’t get technical but it has to do with lights that bounce around within the devices; hence, a noisy over-heated clunky projector is no longer required. Web 2.0 kills another industry. Now will you all stop murmuring about the bubble; it’s as poppable as a titanium balloon. I blogged earlier on about Microsoft’s holographic computing (see September Tom Cruise apps…) called Touchlight but I believe Alps is taking it one step further removing a traditional appliance and bringing into mobile devices. Imagine what you can now also do with one small device. You can project those YouTube videos on the bathroom cubicle when you are skipping class. Or you can show the whole family photos of the Christmas (no pun) window displays at Macy’s at dessert tonight. Or project your PowerPoint on the office wall. That’s what I call convergence. Public release not known yet but I’ll keep on top of it. It boggles! Now let’s see how much is Alps trading at?
BitTorrent increased its play in the entertainment industry today. BT has struck a deal with an impressive array of production companies and networks to deliver entertainment digitally to the masses. Among them MTV, 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures. BitTorrent is known within silicon valley for its leading peer-assisted digital delivery plaftorm. Scary for theatres is that BT can deliver content before theatrical dates. Cineplex/FamousPlayers plans to be “the Google of entertainment”. Note the word “plans”. At present, seems only BitTorrent is capable of delivering these massive files over the internet. It is reported that BT accounts for 40% of the traffic on the internet. And once broadband services and their appliances are up to snuff this should spell the end of theatres as we know them, placing the experience first and not the content. That means theatres will have to start cleaning their bathrooms, changing their light bulbs when they burn out, provide snacks that you won’t make you ill, shorten the line-ups and acknowledge you when you walk-in. Or else the seat price will never bear the brunt of this diverted access to entertainment. Not to mention, they are losing their key teenage audience. I muse on how this will change the face of TV programming very shortly. In the last few days, our major networks appeared hat-in-hand at the CRTC to obtain the right to levy a fee to their satellite and cable licensees and in turn begin charging consumers for programming–because in fact revenue has dropped at the hands of digital delivery to PC and mobile appliances. Try to explain that to viewers of the Lawrence Welk show! (Isn’t the cost of living high enough?) The CRTC said “no”. Wouldn’t a fee shrink the audiences further? Could these fees offset the increased loss of ad revenue as audiences shrink? This is short-sighted. Bean-counters must be involved, pandering to shareholder nerves. Like the dailies, TV networks simply don’t have a Plan B. Or is that Plan BTorrent.
Orb Networks are launching their new software this week (is that today?). It enables users to view, search and create videos and direct it onto their cell phones from video services like YouTube. Mind you a fancy phone like Motorola Q or Nokia N80 is required–not your garden variety cell. This small company of 35 employees founded by Joe Costello is now effectively a leader in mobile entertainment. Orb is not new to the game; it already had 400,000 users of its previous digital media software. This is a company to watch.
The idea that we can be ubiquitously empowered, untethered, is tantalizing. The hairs in the back of my neck barely ever have a chance to recoil! Everyone is getting into the game. Even Robert Redford is producing original shorts just for your PDAs and cellphones (granted there is a cost obstacle for users but they will come). There are phones that read bar codes. Image search tools where you point at an object (like a stranger’s hat), click and get info about that hat. Tools that tell you where your friends are within inches. You can shoot photos and videos and publish them on the heels of their recording. Wireless wikis keep your office team at peak productivity almost rendering emails useless. It’s all about Web 2.0–with that everything is possible. The Mobiplex (where mobile and wireless are concentrated in the Demoplex) at the Plexus 2007, (perhaps the world’s largest web 2.0 event) will hog much real estate. Mark my words, “your hair will raise”.
Google is rumored to be courting YouTube (not yet profitable but it does broadcast a reported 100 million videos each day) for $1.6 billion as we speak. No doubt this will be its biggest acquisition yet. But don’t reach for the Rolaids yet because Rupert Murdoch, Yahoo, Viacom and Microsoft, also have their eyes on YouTube. By all accounts, Google seems ahead of the race. Until 2006 Google was on a steady diet of smaller start-ups that provide turn-key features to Google’s various tools. But the YouTube ten-course meal is a good one. For Google who has had some difficulty with building communities via video sharing, YouTube will prove useful. And for YouTube, tormented by claims of intellectual property, Google could be its salvation. It will be interesting to see how Google integrates this complex platform and content into its own, never mind the difficulties of merging itself. Google’s steady diet could slow its innovation especially when we hear Sergey Brin repeatedly admonishing his organization to not develop any new products but rather, improve on the products they have. This in the same year staff functioned within a culture of innovation, where 20% of their salaried time was freed to start something new. Slowing innovation… True to the nature of a corporate behemoth.
Yahoo’s appetite is no less sizeable as it negotiates to buy Facebook, a social networking site, for over $1 billion. The feasting has undoubtedly been fueled by Rupert Murdoch’s acquisition of MySpace (a rivalling social network of sorts to Facebook) for $580 million. It is now valued at $2 billion.The conglomerates want to buy before this type of valuation escalation uhh… escalates! Gosh this sounds more and more like the bubble of the recent past: sky-high valuations on unmonetized properties. For social networks only advertising will provide revenue and unlike the bubble there is now a keen and mature interest by advertisers since audiences (especially youngs ones) have grown up on new media and are virtually absent in traditional media ratings. I just can’t understand why traditional media are never at the bargaining table. It will be their undoing. Is Rupert Murdoch the only player with neurons firing?