How could COVID-19 change AR/VR’s future?

venturebeat | April 25, 2020

COVID-19 is impacting the lives of billions. Early-stage technology markets like virtual and augmented reality are trivial by comparison. However, AR/VR companies are dealing with knock-on effects both positive and negative. This analysis explores the potential future for AR/VR in the context of the silent cyclone we’re all going through. Digi-Capital’s long-term virtual and augmented reality forecast is for the AR/VR market to reach around $65 billion revenue by 2024. However, the next two years are forecast to be impacted by COVID-19-related factors including (but not limited to) physical lockdowns, brick-and-mortar retail closures, essential ecommerce delivery limitations, supply chain disruption (supplier, manufacturer, distribution, wholesale, retail) and recession/depression economic impacts.

Spotlight

The Information reports that Walmart is considering launching a subscription streaming video service to compete with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Apparently, Walmart believes its customers, many of whom reside in the middle of the country, would be interested in a lower-cost streaming option in the neighborhood of $8 per month. Walmart already operates Vudu, but that service boasts only 100,000 titles and hasn't caught on like its streaming rivals.


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TECHNOLOGIES

CJ 4DPLEX and Cinemark Announce Launch of ScreenX Auditoriums in Select U.S. Theatres

CJ 4DPLEX | September 21, 2022

CJ 4DPLEX, the world's leading producer of premium film formats and cinema technologies, and Cinemark, one of the world's largest and most influential movie theatre companies, announced they have signed an agreement to bring the expanded immersive ScreenX technology to select Cinemark locations in the U.S. Together, they will convert auditoriums in six Cinemark theatres in Texas and California by the end of the year, with plans for a potential expansion.ScreenX is the world's first multi-projection cinema with an immersive 270-degree field of view. ScreenX expands specially selected sequences of a film onto the left and right-side walls of the auditorium, surrounding audiences with extended imagery that naturally fills their peripheral vision and immerses them into the narrative of the film. ScreenX works closely with filmmakers and studios to ensure the highest quality presentation of the film in select key scenes with exclusive story-enhancing imagery produced by CJ 4DPLEX's VFX studio in Korea. The deal comes at an exciting time for the immersive format, as it is rapidly growing its footprint in the U.S. and abroad. Recent ScreenX films include Marvel Studios' Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness and Thor: Love and Thunder, Warner Bros.' Elvis, Sony's Bullet Train and Paramount's summer blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick. "Cinemark is a world-class exhibitor with high performing locations all across the U.S. and Latin America We are thrilled to partner with the Cinemark team to bring their moviegoers our Super Premium ScreenX experience, which is uniquely differentiated from what they can stream at home or on a mobile device. " -Don Savant, CEO, CJ 4DPLEX Americas Adding ScreenX auditoriums to select theatres builds on Cinemark's commitment to offering our moviegoers a truly immersive, cinematic experience that cannot be replicated at home, said Damian Wardle, Cinemark EVP of Theatre & Technology Operations. "We look forward to expanding our big screens and offering our guests a unique way to see Hollywood's newest content. It's an exciting time for the company as we continue to supply blockbuster tentpole films and work with filmmakers who are recognizing the format's unique ability to tell their story using ScreenX as their canvas, said Jong Ryul Kim, CEO of CJ 4DPLEX. ScreenX theatres have grown dramatically since being introduced in 2012. In total, ScreenX is available worldwide in over 380 locations, across 38 countries. ABOUT CJ 4DPLEX CJ 4DPLEX is a leading, next-generation cinema technology company, headquartered in Seoul with international offices in Los Angeles and Beijing. The company has created innovative film technologies for theaters worldwide that include 'ScreenX', '4DX', and '4DX Screen' for consumers to experience films in ways that were never before possible. CJ 4DPLEX is a part of the CJ Group conglomerate that also includes entertainment powerhouses CJ CGV, the fifth largest theater chain in the world, and CJ ENM (CJ Entertainment & Media), who produced the Academy Award®, Golden Globe® and SAG Awards winning film, "Parasite". CJ 4DPLEX was named Most Innovative Company of 2017 and 2019 in Live Events by Fast Company, and the technology has been recognized with Silver at the Edison Awards in the Media and Visual Communications-Entertainment category in 2015 and 2018. ScreenX is the world's first multi-projection cinema with an immersive 270 degree field of view. By expanding the image beyond the frame and onto the walls of the theatre, ScreenX draws you into the story on the main screen and immerses you in a virtual reality like setting with cinema quality resolution. To date, there are over 381 ScreenX auditoriums around the world in 38 countries. 4DX provides moviegoers with a multi-sensory cinema-going experience, allowing audiences to connect with movies through motion, vibration, water, wind, snow, lightning, scents, and other special effects that enhance the visuals on-screen. Each 4DX auditorium incorporates motion-based seating synchronized with more than 21 different effects and optimized by a team of skilled editors. To date, there are over 784 4DX auditoriums around the world, spanning over 69 countries. 4DXScreen is a powerful combination of our super premium immersive theatre technologies of ScreenX and 4DX in one auditorium, creating a never-before-seen experience for cinemagoers. To date, there are 42 4DXScreens installed around the globe. About Cinemark Holdings, Inc. Headquartered in Plano, TX, Cinemark (NYSE: CNK) is one of the largest and most influential movie theatre companies in the world. Cinemark's circuit, comprised of various brands that also include Century, Tinseltown and Rave, operates 521 theatres in 42 states domestically and 15 countries throughout South and Central America. Cinemark consistently provides an extraordinary guest experience from the initial ticket purchase to the closing credits, including Movie Club, the industry-leading exhibitor-launched subscription program and the first to reach the one-million-member milestone; the highest Luxury Lounger recliner seat penetration among the major players; XD - the No. 1 exhibitor-brand premium large format; and expansive food and beverage options to further enhance the moviegoing experience. For more information go to https://investors.cinemark.com/

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TECHNOLOGIES, MEDIA AND BROADCASTING

Grupo Globo Deploys BeBop OS to Migrate Post-Production Workflows to Google Cloud

BeBop Technology | September 08, 2022

BeBop Technology, creator of the BeBop OS, a powerful, reliable, and fast platform for remote virtual live production and post-production workflows, announced a deployment with Grupo Globo, the largest mass media conglomerate in Latin America, to Google Cloud. "Globo's transformation from traditional media conglomerate to a unified 'mediatech' company focused on its consumers is underway," -Marcelo Fontana, Technology Manager at Globo. Globo provides local news, sports and entertainment to more than 50 million people daily from all across Brazil, from its main offices in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Brasília, Recife and Belo Horizonte. Together with other partners associated with the deployment, Globo will migrate approximately 60% of its visual effects workload to the BeBop OS virtual environment on Google Cloud. "We're proud to partner with BeBop and support Globo as it digitally transforms its business and migrates significant portions of its editorial, visual effects, and post-production workflows to the cloud," -Kip Schauer, Global Head of Media and Entertainment Partnerships, Google Cloud. The BeBop OS provides seamless access to secure GPU desktops and convenient collaboration features, including high-speed file transfer, real-time and on demand review and approval, secure shareable links to send or receive content or streams, powerful enterprise features like Single Sign On (SSO), and the ability to access shared high-performance storage or BeBop Flex storage, powered by LucidLink. All of these features available in a single platform and for a single price differentiates the BeBop OS within the marketplace. We're thrilled to be able to provide Globo with precisely the innovative, cohesive, and scalable solution they need to not only deliver on their business goals, but exceed them across nearly every metric, said David Benson, BeBop Technology President and Chief Product Officer. "The BeBop OS as the operating system on top of Google Cloud infrastructure delivers very specific and very significant value to the Media & Entertainment market. The deployment of the BeBop OS on Google Cloud will enable hundreds of Globo editors and designers to be able to do their creative work virtually and remotely every day, no matter when or where they are. What's more, they'll be able to use the same software tools they use on premises, including Adobe Creative Cloud apps, Foundry's Nuke, Autodesk's Maya and 3ds Max, Maxon's Cinema 4D, and SideFX's Houdini. The rollout is already underway with "É de Casa," a popular Saturday morning variety show that mixes entertainment, news, and culinary tips and airs on Globo TV Network. Over the course of the implementation, more than 40 Globo media channels, including free-to-air and pay TV, VOD, SVOD, PPV, OTT and streaming, will be completing their post-production virtually and remotely on the BeBop OS. About BeBop Technology Los Angeles-based BeBop Technology has sat at the intersection of art and technology since its founding in 2015. It is the creator of the world's most powerful, agile, and reliable platform for remote virtual post-production, the BeBop OS. For more information visit www.beboptechnology.com or connect on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter. About Globo Latin America's largest media company, Globo, brings together free-to-air and pay TV channels, in addition to digital products and services. Its linear channels speak to more than 100 million people in Brazil every day. And, thanks to its wide network of partner affiliates that covers the entire country, it is able to be local, regional and national at the same time. In 2018 it started its digital transformation journey, becoming a mediatech company, strongly supported by technology and focused on direct relationships with consumers. It provides audiences a complete viewing experience, which combines the ability to produce high quality content with technological expertise, with distribution on various platforms, such as TV Globo, a free-to-air TV channel; its 26 pay TV channels; its SVOD and streaming platform Globoplay; and digital products: news G1; sports GE.globo; and entertainment Gshow, among others.

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TECHNOLOGIES, SOLUTIONS

Ethernity Networks Eases Video Broadcasting over Wireless

Ethernity Networks | October 17, 2022

Ethernity Networks (AIM: ENET.L)(OTCQB: ENETF), a leading supplier of networking-processing semiconductor technology ported on FPGA (field programmable gate array) for virtualized networking appliances, announces that it will be hosting a live demo of its patented link bonding, showcasing the technology's ability to address, among other things, the video-streaming market by enabling multi-channel transmission over multiple connections, while maintaining the video stream despite wireless link performance degradation. Ethernity's link bonding uses load-balancing to enable the transmission of a single dataflow along multiple 10Gbps and 1Gbps wireless links. That is especially valuable when broadcasting heavy media such as video, which is prone to packet-loss and therefore degradation of quality-of-service when transmitted over a dedicated wireless link. As opposed to link aggregation (LAG), which specifies that a certain data flow must run over a specific port/link, Ethernity's bonding technology can automatically adjust to actual link rates as it load-balances the entire data rate over multiple connections, thereby maintaining high quality-of-experience. The company's forthcoming UEP2025 network appliance is purposefully designed to host and enable Ethernity's link bonding technology over a combination of wired or wireless links to any vendor's radio units. This means that the UEP2025 supports various throughputs, latencies and other critical behavioral differences between the competing radio technologies in the marketplace. It therefore serves as an ideal disaggregated, all-in-one, wireless backhaul Indoor Unit (IDU), offering improved transmission of data-hungry applications across multiple channels. Ethernity is running the live demo of its link bonding technology at NetworkX in Amsterdam (Booth B57) from October 18-20 and will also be presenting the company's XGS-PON/GPON OLT MAC, its FTTR offering, and its ACE-NIC implementing Router-On-a-NIC to facilitate vRouter offload. David Levi, CEO, Ethernity Networks said: "Video is yet another application for which our link bonding technology not only improves quality-of-service, but also enables a truly disaggregated Radio Access Network. While other vendors offer L1 bonding features, they lock the service providers into using proprietary radios. Ethernity's patented link bonding, on the other hand, is agnostic to the radio technology, thereby offering operators more flexibility as they plan their network infrastructure." For more information, or to schedule an appointment to meet with Ethernity's representatives at NetworkX, please contact marketing@ethernitynet.com. About Ethernity Networks Ethernity Networks (AIM: ENET.L; OTCQB: ENETF) provides innovative, comprehensive networking and security solutions on programmable hardware for accelerating telco/cloud networks. Ethernity's FPGA logic offers complete Carrier Ethernet Switch/Router data plane processing, PON MAC technology, and control software with a rich set of networking features, robust security, and a wide range of virtual function accelerations to optimize telecommunications networks. Ethernity's complete solutions quickly adapt to customers' changing needs, improving time-to-market and facilitating deployment of 5G, edge computing, and NFV.

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TECHNOLOGIES, SOLUTIONS

GE Lighting, a Savant company Enters the Entertainment Space with New Cync™ Dynamic Effects Line

GE Lighting | October 20, 2022

GE Lighting, a Savant company, continues to expand its smart home ecosystem, Cync™, with a new addition to the portfolio – Dynamic Effects. The new line will feature an assortment of smart home products with entertainment-backed features. Today, Cync unveils the first products in the new Dynamic Effects line, Cync Dynamic Effects Light Strips, with additional products making their introduction in spring of 2023.Available right in time for holiday hosting and entertaining, Cync's Dynamic Effect Lights Strips feature millions of color options and white tones, gradient effects and pre-set multicolor light shows. Through the Cync App, powered by Savant, consumers can create distinctly original multi-color light shows and will eventually be able to mix color segments for additional lighting customization rolling out to the app early next year. Equipped with on-device music syncing, users can now enjoy synced multi-color lights and sound. Available in both an indoor and outdoor option, the new Cync Dynamic Effects Light Strips can complement any smart home to create an immersive entertainment or gaming experience for all at-home occasions this season and beyond. With simple installation, flexible design and heavy-duty adhesive, the new Cync Dynamic Effects Indoor Light Strips can easily enhance any space. Available in a 16-foot option, the indoor light strips are cuttable and extendable up to 32 feet. Featuring an IP65 wet rating, the Cync Dynamic Effects Outdoor Light Strips are durably designed to withstand the rigors of weather and other demanding outdoor conditions. Unlike other outdoor smart strips on the market, the Cync power supply can be exposed to outdoor elements without fear of damage or loss of power. The new outdoor light strips are also thoughtfully designed to keep their vibrant bright light overtime and feature a frosted finish to reduce pixelation and enhance haze effect. The Cync Dynamic Effects Outdoor Light Strips are available in two lengths, 16 and 32 feet. The 16-foot strip can be extended up to 32 feet and the 32-foot strip can be extended up to 64 feet. Control Cync Dynamic Effects Light Strips away from home without a hub via the Cync App, powered by Savant or seamlessly pair with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa for hands-free voice control. The new Cync Dynamic Effects Indoor and Outdoor light strips and extensions are now available at Best Buy and bestbuy.com and will be rolling out to other retailers early next year. About GE Lighting, a Savant company Headquartered in East Cleveland, Ohio, our roots date back nearly 130 years to Thomas Edison and the invention of the world's first light bulb. Today, as part of Savant Systems Inc. we're bringing the future to light by ensuring brighter lives and a more sustainable world through innovation and energy efficiency in lamps, switches, fixtures and so much more. We're also unleashing the ultimate personalized living experience through a growing suite of smart home products that help consumers connect with confidence and experience the comfort, quality and security for which GE branded products are known. Learn more at gelighting.com.

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Spotlight

The Information reports that Walmart is considering launching a subscription streaming video service to compete with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Apparently, Walmart believes its customers, many of whom reside in the middle of the country, would be interested in a lower-cost streaming option in the neighborhood of $8 per month. Walmart already operates Vudu, but that service boasts only 100,000 titles and hasn't caught on like its streaming rivals.

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