A Rant About Why Snapchat 2.0 Is No Disappearing Teen Fad

March 30, 2016   |   filed under Apps, Community, Conversation, Culture, Interaction, Participation, Social Media, Technology, Video

Though Snapchat began as temporary pictures/messages (risqué or not), it has blossomed into an entirely new platform of communication with it's new update.  The new update now includes auto-advance (the user selects one story, and the succeeding stories will play automatically), Stickers which adjust to conversation (After typing, applicable stickers to what the user just typed will appear), video notes (for gif-like reactions), audio notes (allowing for voice memos), the ability to video OR audio call someone, the ability to send multiple photos at once, the ability to share photos from one's camera roll during a snapchat conversation, and the ability to switch up between video and audio calls! Snapchat's update has placed them into a new realm of communication, and they are here to stay.   SOURCE: TECH CRUNCH

The future of Interactive Music is Here, Courtesy of Jeff Buckley

March 29, 2016   |   filed under Apps, Community, Conversation, Culture, Interaction, Music, Participation, Social Media, Technology, Video

Jeff Buckley's new video allows the listener to change up the animation on the fly.  As exciting as that is, there is more.  About 15 seconds into Buckley's new music video, it is possible for the viewer to create a remix as the video plays.  Additionally, the viewer can strip the song down to Buckley's voice, or add in piano accompaniment, full orchestration, and a backing choir.  The video will be available on the iOS app. SOURCE: TECH CRUNCH  

Netflix Party lets long distance friends watch together

March 28, 2016   |   filed under Apps, Community, Conversation, Interaction, Participation, Technology, Video

Say goodbye to the countless hours of the night binge-watching your favorite shows alone, that wonderful experience can now be shared with friends. Netflix Party, a chrome extension that lets viewers sync their Netflix viewing session across time and space, and adds a group chat sidebar for good measure has entered the market. Remember Xbox Live’s Netflix Party? Yeah, it’s like that but in a browser window. However keep in mind that this extension is not from Netflix so join the party at your own risk. Installing the app is easy enough. Just download the plug-in and start watching a video on Netflix - that's it. The plug-in then becomes active and creates a sharable link. Now you don’t have to binge alone to your favorite shows and wonder helplessly what to choose next, or leave your long distance pal in the dust, trying to catch up. SOURCE: TECHCRUNCH

This new Star Wars virtual reality experiment looks beautiful and insane

March 25, 2016   |   filed under Apps, Community, Interaction, Participation, Technology, Video

Late last year, Industrial Light and Magic, Skywalker Sound declared they were working together to create the ILM Experience Lab.  The duo's focus would be bringing the magic of Star Wars to virtual reality.  Very little has been released regarding the project, except that it is built for the HTC VIVE.  The Vive has extremely impressive hand motion tracking abilities, making light sabers a very exciting reality.  There is no word of when it will release. SOURCE: TECH CRUNCH

Hulu Steps Into Virtual Reality With a New app for Samsung Gear VR

March 24, 2016   |   filed under Apps, Community, Conversation, Culture, Interaction, Participation, Technology, Video

Hulu has entered the world of VR.  With the new Hulu/Oculus VR app, viewers can watch their favorite movies or tv shows from a fully immersive environment.  Viewers play an active role as the app allows for adjustments of outside scene, lighting, and the entire look and feel of the experience.  Hulu claims this is just the beginning of their VR ventures, and they plan to release much more on a "regular basis".     SOURCE: TECH CRUNCH

Visionary VR grabs $6M to Power Virtual Story Creation

March 23, 2016   |   filed under Community, Conversation, Culture, Interaction, Participation, Technology, Video

LA based story creation software company, VISIONARY VR is on a mission to build an "instinctive" experience with their VR headsets, allowing the user to create and experience their game at the same time.  DFJ recently led Visionary's quest for funds, and came out with an astounding $6 million.  The $6 million will assist in building the software that is necessary for a "natural evolution" of the product.  Visionary VR co-founder Jonnie Ross shares, “DFJ invests in companies that are crazy enough to change everything and we’re one of those companies”.   SOURCE: TECH CRUNCH

Face2Face instantly edits videos to make it look like you’re saying something you’re not

March 21, 2016   |   filed under Apps, Community, Interaction, Technology, Video

The era of photoshop has just become a little scarier. In recent years, assuming a photo is doctored has become the norm - the default unless proven otherwise. We only had to worry about seeing the mistakes in photos, but now with the work of students on the project, Face2Face, videos are coming under fire as well. The video up top shows the work-in-progress system (research paper here) being built by researchers at Stanford, the Max Planck Institute and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. The short version: take a YouTube video of someone speaking like, say, George W. Bush. Use a standard RGB webcam to capture a video of someone else emoting and saying something entirely different. Throw both videos into the Face2Face system and, bam, you’ve now got a relatively believable video of George W. Bush’s face — now almost entirely synthesized — doing whatever the actor in the second video wanted the target’s face to do. It even tries to work out what the interior of their mouth should look like as they’re speaking as you can see below.

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A bit scary and only the beginning of what Face2Face could become. However, like everything else on the internet, it should be taken with a grain of salt. Moving from pixels to smooth, believable images isn't easy and Face2Face is one of the first and only research projects in this new field. What do you think? Will video truly become the next frontier for hoaxes? SOURCE:TECHCRUNCH

Chatfuel lets publishers — and anyone — build bots for messaging apps

March 18, 2016   |   filed under Apps, Community, Conversation, Interaction, Social Media, Technology

  Chat has become the center of the smartphone universe, so it makes sense that bots are being used to deliver information in a convenient and engaging manner. But how do brands or media companies get started and create a bot? That’s where Chatfuel, a company that’s currently going through Y Combinator, is looking to make its mark. The company is currently focused primarily on Telegram, which is the only chat app to open its bots to all. It has created bots for the likes of Forbes and TechCrunch — but, beyond focusing on media, it has a self-service platform anyone can use. Thus far, that’s been used to make over 120,000 bots which serve over five million users.It’s more than just basic bots that simply send information to users based on offering them two kinds of responses. Chatfuel is a little more intelligent. Its bots serve up news, lets users narrow down on topics, and even just ask questions about items or people in the news. Chatfuel was founded by Russian entrepreneurs Dmitrii Dumik and Artem Ptashnik last year. The company has 12 staff across offices in Moscow and San Francisco, and it earned the backing of Russian Internet Yandex — ‘The Google Of Russia’ — which led its most recent funding round. “[Publishers] can engage with a user on the web or via an app. [They will] consume content and leave, there’s no way to follow-up with them, while apps are expensive to get users to install, and few people install apps — distribution is broken.” Chatfuel recently raised money and, with Y Combinator’s demo day coming next year, the startup isn’t out to raise money like many others in the batch are. It is, however, on the look out for wily investors who can provide strategic value for the future of its business. SOURCE: TECHCRUNCH

Cinemacraft Raises $3.9M For Its Interactive Video Embed Technology

March 17, 2016   |   filed under Apps, Community, Conversation, Culture, Interaction, Music, Participation, Social Media, Technology, Video

Cinemacraft, a Tokyo-based start up that just closed a $3.9 million deal, is granting publishers and content creators an alternative to the standard video embed.  The $3.9 million will allow the company focus in product development and international markets.  Cinemacraft created the "videogram", which allows the user to view a selection of moments from a video, instead of a single frame.  The viewer can click any segment of the embed, and it will take them directly to that segment of the video.  In theory, this will increase the user interaction and engagement.  Moving forward, videograms may be the theory of video content in skyscraper ads, banner ads, and so on.  As the concept becomes more interactive, the opportunity for profit increases. SOURCE: Tech Crunch    

SXSW, 5PM Mountain Time Today!

March 17, 2016   |   filed under Community, Conversation, Culture, Interaction, Music, Participation, Technology, Video

5PM Mountain Time TODAY! founder / executive producer Marc Scarpa is speaking on the Concerts & Festivals: Television vs Streaming Panel.