VIRTUALIZATION

HTC VIVE Showcases Advancements in VR Health and Entertainment at SXSW 2022

HTC VIVE | March 11, 2022

Premier virtual reality (VR) platform and ecosystem HTC VIVE will demo new and unique VR experiences at South By Southwest 2022, broadening its portfolio in the VR industry and driving innovation through its partnerships with MyndVR and holoride. At SXSW, HTC VIVE will join four panels covering the topics of VR entertainment, health, gaming, and human interaction. Additionally, HTC's content brand VIVE ORIGINALS will introduce the world premiere of the first VR concert experience on its metaverse music platform BEATDAY, and hold a screening of the stop motion XR animated film "The Sick Rose" on VIVE Focus 3.HTC's VIVERSE vision spans enterprise, consumer, entertainment, and everything in between. It is dedicated to building open, yet safe and secure VR environments and experiences, and will debut key parts of this vision in Austin:

Health and Senior Care in VR
HTC VIVE is proud to share that its partner MyndVR, the leading provider of VR solutions for senior care, will bring a new innovation to the growing VR healthcare vertical. MyndVR today announced MyndConnectTM, a completely new senior care service that is centered on battling isolation amongst seniors.

MyndConnectTM is a next-generation communication platform that allows seniors and family members across the globe to share real-time Virtual Reality experiences together in the metaverse. MyndConnectTM is specifically developed for older adults leveraging the new, extra-lightweight VIVE Flow glasses and HTC's award-winning all-in-one headset VIVE Focus 3.

VR Concerts
HTC VIVE is also unveiling its metaverse concert platform BEATDAY on VIVE Focus 3. Previously only accessible in 2D on computers and tablets, at SXSW BEATDAY will be available for guests to experience in VR for the first time ever. With the latest volumetric capture technology, artists can put on the best show possible without distractions or physical limitations. At concert time, users can enter the virtual venue and enjoy the show, or even get up on stage and interact with the band – the level of immersion is at the users' discretion.

At SXSW, attendees will be able to enter a concert from the popular Taiwanese indie band Amazing Show. Up to three people at a time can meet in the concert and explore their surroundings together. In the future, users will be able to create their own avatar for the show, which will be saved as a non-fungible token (NFT) after the event.

VR Film
HTC VIVE ORIGINALS and TurnRhino Original Design Studio joined forces to produce the world's first 360 VR immersive animation, "The Sick Rose," which incorporates Taiwanese traditional dough figurine handicraft with stop-motion animation and VR technology – including tens of thousands of hand-made objects. SXSW marks the first time "The Sick Rose" will be shown to American audiences.

By adopting 360 VR macro photography techniques to shoot the project, the audience can be part of the story, wandering through the plot with the characters and diving into the hand-built set.

Through "The Sick Rose," HTC demonstrates the ways that VR can be used in the entertainment industry to create stories that allow the audience to participate alongside the characters.

VR in the Car
HTC VIVE and holoride will showcase a fun and immersive in-car VR experience to select guests at SXSW 2022 with a drive around Austin, TX. During the ride, passengers will wear the VIVE Flow immersive VR glasses, and will experience tech demos of holoride's 'Elastic Content' which is able to match car movement so that experiences like games adapt in real-time to route length and type, driving styles and location.

"VIVE Flow can fit in the palm of your hand and still deliver a breathtaking experience,Paired with holoride's impressive tech, you'll be able to turn car rides into virtual amusement parks. We're very excited to work with holoride in shaping the future of passenger entertainment." holoride will be offering their experience rides in East Austin at a dedicated location.

-Shen Ye, Global Head of Hardware at HTC VIVE.

About HTC
HTC VIVE is the premier virtual reality (VR) platform and ecosystem that creates true-to-life VR experiences for businesses and consumers. The VIVE ecosystem is built around premium VR hardware, software, and content. The VIVE business encompasses best-in-class XR hardware; VIVEPORT platform and app store; VIVE Enterprise Solutions for business customers; VIVE X, a US$100M VR business accelerator; and VIVE ARTS for cultural initiatives. For more information, please visit www.vive.com

Spotlight

As online video traffic surges to ever-greater volumes, the emergence of 4K UHD as the next generation in display resolution makes it clear that current modes of online video distribution will be inadequate to meet consumer expectations once 4K usage takes off.No one understands the need to stay ahead of this curve better than Akamai, which led the development of a CDN infrastructure that has made video the force it is today.


Other News
SOLUTIONS

VideoAmp to Integrate Cross-Platform Measurement as Currency Into Mediaocean Workflow

VideoAmp | June 30, 2022

Measurement and optimization platform VideoAmp announced that it will be the latest solution for national TV and video currency to integrate with Mediaocean–the advertising industry’s leading platform for omnichannel advertising–to ensure buyers and sellers can seamlessly transact on VideoAmp data as currency at scale.The integration of VideoAmp data into Mediaocean platforms comes at a crucial inflection point for the industry as it seeks to leverage new types of currencies to transact upon. In doing so, VideoAmp–which has recently partnered with major media publishers as well as six of the largest holding companies for currency trials–will provide clients with the ability to execute currency transactions at scale within Mediaocean’s workflow automation platforms. We have had a groundswell of positive feedback from clients about the results of our currency tests, but we’ve also heard the need for VideoAmp to be integrated into existing workflows across the industry, said Nick Chakalos, Chief Strategy Officer, VideoAmp. A key difference between measurement and currency is the integration into industry billing systems so transactions can happen at scale through automation, so we’re excited about the integration with Mediaocean because it does just that. It also continues our mission to redefine how media is valued, bought and sold, ultimately increasing the value of advertising for all facets of the media ecosystem. “We are thrilled to integrate VideoAmp currency into Mediaocean’s platforms as a way to give our clients the necessary data that they need to help drive efficiencies in an increasingly complex cross-platform marketplace, Offering the industry expanded provider choice for measurement currencies will give our clients an ability to drive the most informed decisions and will help Mediaocean continue to create an environment that is both holistic and equitable.” -Ramsey McGrory, Chief Development Officer, Mediaocean Specifically, with the integration of VideoAmp data into Mediaocean’s Spectra and Prisma platforms–which provides the industry with a record for media transactions clients will now be able to: Leverage VideoAmp currency into their existing workflows. By automating transactions at scale, the industry now has an efficient way to transact, alleviating a time-consuming and often burdensome billing and reconciliation process. Seamlessly plan and measure against VideoAmp data in a manner that is interoperable and scalable across the industry. This will provide both buyers and sellers of media the freedom of choice to realistically operationalize a multi-currency ecosystem. Operationalizing a multi-currency ecosystem through Mediaocean’s Spectra and Prisma platforms will provide clients and the industry as a whole with seamless interoperability through their current workflows as well as the freedom to decide on the cross-platform metrics they wish to transact and make guarantees on, allowing them to focus on reaching and capitalizing on an increasingly cross-screen consumer. About VideoAmp VideoAmp is a media measurement and optimization software company creating a more valuable and data driven ecosystem that redefines how media is valued, bought and sold. Our platform automates advertising workflows, deduplicates audiences across traditional TV, streaming video, digital media and walled gardens, and connects media exposures to an advertiser’s sales. By unlocking new value for the entire ecosystem, our platform allows the world’s largest advertisers, agencies and publishers to align on VideoAmp’s independent measurement as a new media currency to transact against We are transforming a 100-year-old industry by powering a more effective three-way value exchange that results in increasing the return on media investment for advertisers, increasing revenue for publishers and providing a better viewing experience for consumers. VideoAmp is headquartered in Los Angeles with offices across the United States. To learn more, visit videoamp.com. About Mediaocean Mediaocean is the mission-critical platform for omnichannel advertising. With more than $200 billion in annualized media spend managed through its software, Mediaocean connects brands, agencies, media, technology, and data. Using AI and machine learning technology to control marketing investments and optimize business outcomes, Mediaocean powers campaigns from planning, buying, ad serving, and creative personalization to analysis, optimization, invoices, and payments. Mediaocean employs 1,700 staff across 30 global offices and supports over 100,000 people using its products. Visit mediaocean.com for more information.

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BUSINESS

Connect Partnership Group Acquires Chicago-Based HARLON to Expand Sports, Music and Immersive Entertainment Offerings Nationwide

HARLON | June 24, 2022

Connect Partnership Group, a Dallas-based sports and entertainment agency, announced the strategic acquisition of HARLON, a full-service sponsorship sales agency that specializes in representing rights holders across sports, music, and entertainment. The acquisition will expand Connect’s growing portfolio of property sales clients, including the addition of immersive entertainment experiences to the company’s suite of offerings.The announcement comes on the heels of the XFL selecting Connect as its sponsorship sales agency to enhance and execute the League's corporate partnership strategy. As part of the acquisition, HARLON founder and industry veteran Scott Howard will join Connect as Executive Vice President of Property Sales out of the company’s Chicago office, bringing along HARLON’s exciting portfolio of immersive entertainment and music clients. For years I’ve admired the impressive work the Connect Partnership Group team has done, and I could not be more excited to step in and be a part of the company during an incredible period of growth,” Howard said. “I look forward to working alongside the Connect team and growing our business to provide the very best services for our clients. HARLON has been one of the Midwest’s most-respected emerging sales and marketing agencies, trusted by properties such as the Mempho Music Festival and Lighthouse Immersive, the powerhouse that created the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit. To date, the attraction has sold more than 5 million tickets across 20 markets in North America in less than two years and is one of Ticketmaster’s best-selling exhibitions in history. Connect Adds Sales Veterans In addition to the acquisition, Connect announced the addition of three new members to the sales and consulting teams, all with extensive partnership sales and consulting experience with some of the country’s leading sports and real estate properties. Kristin Harwood joins Connect as Senior Director of Sales in Connect's Property Sales Division. Harwood spent more than five years managing partnership sales with the Seattle Mariners organization before assuming corporate partnership roles with the Dallas Stars, the XFL’s Dallas Renegades and Premier Partnerships. Joining Harwood as Senior Director of Sales in Connect’s Property Sales Division is Matt Castellan, who will be headquartered in New York and will focus on Connect’s representation of Hudson Yards’ sponsorship rights. Castellan most recently oversaw sponsorship sales for the Bryant Park Corporation and 34th Street Partnership in New York City, and has extensive marketing and sales experience from past roles with Stanton & Company, Citi Bike, the 2016 Chicago Olympic City Bid and the 2012 NYC Olympic City Bid. Price Johnson, who spent the last six years leading Topgolf’s Global Partnerships sales team, is joining Connect’s Consulting Division as a Special Projects Consultant to assist with its rapid national growth. Mr. Johnson brings over 25 years of combined sales, marketing and operational experience to Connect, including nearly 10 years in the software and communications industries, which aligns well with the Consulting Division’s growing roster of industry-leading technology companies. “The past year has been one of incredible momentum for Connect, our team and our clients, and by adding HARLON and a powerhouse of experienced sales members to our team will only accelerate our ongoing scaling efforts, help secure more key wins for clients, and further position Connect as a leader in the sports and entertainment industry,Connect is now bigger and more established than we ever have been, and we’re just getting started.” -Connect co-founder Danielle Shuff. Last Fall, Connect rebranded to reflect its rapid growth in areas beyond its formidable Partnership Sales and Strategy division, most notably its Consulting division, which has secured a unique niche in the industry by providing an outsourced business development team to companies that desire to sell their product or solution to large public venues. To support the continued growth - with Connect expecting year-over-year revenue to double as it readies more client announcements and client transactions in the second half of the year - the company is actively hiring sales professionals and account managers, with immediate openings in Los Angeles. Since it was founded in 2015, Connect has been trusted by some of the most prestigious companies in the world, including the Dallas Stars, LA Chargers, Chicago Cubs, XFL, Related Companies, Circuit of The Americas, VIRGIN FEST, IBM, Nokia, American Tower, and CommScope, amongst others. For more information about Connect Partnership Group or to contact directly, visit ConnectWins.com. About Connect Partnership Group Connect Partnership Group is a strategic sales and consultancy agency that specializes in representing and selling sponsorships, naming rights and other media assets in sports and entertainment, while also providing an outsourced business development team to companies that sell products and services to the industry. Based in Dallas, Tex., Connect capitalizes on a combined 120 years of sports business experience selling and activating sponsorships, operating events, consulting on behalf of Fortune 500 companies, and creating strategic and mutually beneficial partnership opportunities for properties and brands around the world.

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TECHNOLOGIES

Connexa Sports Partners with Prairie Trail Sports Complex, a New State-of-the-Art Sports Facility in Iowa

Connexa | June 27, 2022

Connexa Sports Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: CNXA) (www.connexasports.com) is pleased to announce that its wholly owned subsidiary, PlaySight Interactive (www.playsight.com) is partnering with Prairie Trail Sports Complex (www.prairietrailsc.com), set to open Fall 2022 in Ankeny, Iowa. Prairie Trail SC is the newest multisport complex to bring PlaySight’s industry-standard live streaming and performance video platform to its facilities, including four basketball courts and four volleyball courts, joining industry leaders such as LakePoint Sports and IMG Academy who trust Connexa Sports for their sports video technology needs. “We felt that PlaySight provided the best quality of stream amongst the companies we researched. We also felt the cost structure gave us the greatest control of how we offered it to our fans.” PlaySight recently announced an expanded partnership with IMG Academy and works with other similar facilities across the country that attract elite youth sports, both local and travel. Our goal is to provide an experience that will encourage parents and athletes to demand that their coaches and club directors participate in as many tournaments and activities at our facility as possible. Live streaming and game video archives are essential to that experience, and we feel that PlaySight is the right company for us.” -David Lane, Owner and Program Director at Prairie Trail,opted to go with PlaySight over other sports video platforms on the market. Driving a better playing, coaching and fan experience was key to the decision behind adding PlaySight for Prairie Trail. “Multiple camera angles, motion tracking technology, an on-demand video library of games, and an easy-to-follow dashboard will provide our athletes and fans with a great pre-game, in-game, and post-game experience,” continued Lane. With youth sports and travel tourism coming back in a big way this summer, facilities are looking for ways to enhance the value offering to parents who attend in-person, and family members who want to follow along from home. “With parents having multiple kids in multiple sports and multiple venues on a weekend, having PlaySight at our facility provides parents the ability to be a part of everyone’s weeknight and weekend activities. Family and friends across the country can join in on the experience as well,” said Facility Director Brady Randall. Through PlaySight, Connexa Sports provides the video technology and live streaming capabilities for many multi-sport facilities, collegiate athletic departments, and pro teams, leagues, federations, academies, and facilities all over the world. Hundreds of thousands of athletes, coaches and fans trust it daily for automated production live stream broadcasts, multi-angle video recording, performance analysis, content monetization and much more. Since inception in 2015, PlaySight’s technology has become the standard for high-quality sports video throughout the industry. About Connexa Sports Technologies: Connexa Sports a leading connected sports company delivering products, technologies, and services across the ‘Watch, Play, Learn’ commercial and subscription-as-a-service activities in sports. Digital disruption is restructuring how sports are enjoyed, consumed, and monetized, and Connexa Sports is well positioned to capitalize on this with its portfolio of brands: Slinger, PlaySight Interactive, Gameface.AI and Foundation Tennis.

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BUSINESS

Blizzard Entertainment Acquires Boston-Based Studio Proletariat to Expand Development Pipeline for World of Warcraft ®

Blizzard Entertainment | July 06, 2022

Blizzard Entertainment closed the acquisition of Boston-based studio Proletariat to better serve players in the award-winning massive multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft®."Over the next two years we plan to hire hundreds of the best developers to serve the needs of our World of Warcraft players. The extraordinary team at Proletariat will be a key component of our talent acquisition efforts,” said Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard. “We are putting players at the forefront of everything we do, and we are working hard to both meet and exceed their expectations, A critical part of taking care of players is taking care of our teams—making sure we have the resources to produce experiences our communities will love while giving our teams space to explore even more creative opportunities within their projects. Proletariat is a perfect fit for supporting Blizzard’s mission in bringing high-quality content to our players more often.” -Mike Ybarra, president of Blizzard Entertainment We are incredibly excited to be joining Blizzard Entertainment,” said Proletariat co-founder and CEO, Seth Sivak. “Our team has always strived to put players first, and in working with the World of Warcraft team, we have learned that we are completely aligned in our commitments to innovation, quality, investing in our talent, authentic communication, and representation—both in and out of the games we make. World of Warcraft is one of the most influential games ever made and we can’t wait to be a part of that legacy and to help build an even brighter future for Azeroth. We are proud to be working with Proletariat as we further expand our development team and build towards welcoming more players into the Warcraft universe, said John Hight, general manager of the Warcraft franchise. We’ve been listening to our community and making great changes to World of Warcraft based on their feedback—bringing the talented Proletariat team into the fold allows us to explore even more ways we can surprise and delight players who call Azeroth home. Proletariat was founded in 2012 by industry veterans from Insomniac, Harmonix, and Turbine. The team has deep experience building MMORPGs and includes, among others, former lead designers of Asheron’s Call, Lord of the Rings Online, and Dungeons & Dragons Online. At Proletariat, the team has operated live games for nearly a decade, having most recently released the critically-acclaimed cross-platform action-spellcasting battle royale game, Spellbreak. The studio has a strong presence in Boston. Proletariat began working with the World of Warcraft development team in May and will be fully integrated into Blizzard Entertainment over the coming months. The addition of Proletariat is another exciting step in Blizzard Entertainment’s mission to support their talented teams creatively and culturally while building AAA gaming experiences across their iconic franchises. About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. Best known for blockbuster hits, including World of Warcraft®, Hearthstone®, Overwatch, the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® franchises, and the multifranchise Heroes of the Storm®, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (https://www.blizzard.com), a division of Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry's most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment's track record includes twenty-three #1 games* and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company's online gaming platform, Battle.net®, serves tens of millions of active Blizzard players. About Proletariat, Inc. Founded in 2012 in Boston, MA, by a group of game-industry veterans from Harmonix, Turbine, and Insomniac, Proletariat is an award-winning independent game developer with the mission to create games that change the way communities play together. The starting team of five engineers and artists has grown to 90+ developers from diverse backgrounds and tackled some of gaming’s most challenging problems. The studio's first major title, World Zombination, debuted in early 2015 as a coveted "Editor's Choice" on the iOS App Store. Attracting millions of players worldwide, it went on to be named to Apple's "Best of 2015" list and developed a reputation for bringing quality and depth to the mobile MMO landscape.In 2021, Proletariat launched Spellbreak, the first game to have full cross-platform compatibility across PC and all major consoles at release. It went on to be enjoyed by over 10 million players across the world.

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Spotlight

As online video traffic surges to ever-greater volumes, the emergence of 4K UHD as the next generation in display resolution makes it clear that current modes of online video distribution will be inadequate to meet consumer expectations once 4K usage takes off.No one understands the need to stay ahead of this curve better than Akamai, which led the development of a CDN infrastructure that has made video the force it is today.

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