Hit me baby one more time.Glu Mobile hopes that its new Britney Spears: American Dream game will follow in the footsteps of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, a mobile gaming sensation which has generated something like $80 million for Kardashian alone since in debuted in 2014.San Francisco-based Glu has struck celebrity mobile game deals with stars who collectively have more than a billion social followers.Glu has to pay these celebrities royalties, but the strategy is a way to avoid spending a ton of money on advertising a game, as it relies on the cachet of celebrities and social media to spread awareness of the game.As with the Kardashian game, the Britney Spears game is aspirational.You also have to fend off rival singers to reach the top, perform at venues from the local Starbeans to international stadiums, and try to get your own stage at Planet Hollywood, the big casino in Las Vegas where the real Britney Spears performs.For Spears, the game represents an opportunity to expand her entertainment empire, as mobile gaming has become a very lucrative endeavor for Kardashian.Glu learned the hard way that fans didn t like its rendition of Katy Perry when it launched a game last fall.Glu is also working with other celebrities including chef Gordon Ramsay and performer Taylor Swift.Niccolo De Masi, CEO of Glu, said in an interview with GamesBeat that the game has tested well and he has high hopes for it.This is a partnership with a woman who has been around as a performer for 17 years.
And the first rabbit out of the hat is.... Google Assistant, a virtual helper that looks like a much more advanced version of Google Now.Described as 'conversational' by CEO Sundar Pichai, it appears to interact with you almost like a friend via text message.google assistant1For instance, you can ask what's on in the cinemas, and then use Google Assistant to find venues near you and more child-friendly titles if you fancy taking the entire family.In short, it looks damn slick."We want users to have an ongoing two-way dialogue, said Pichai, who promised that it'll be available on phones, wearables, cars and in the home.Maybe one day it'll be able to chill out with Siri, Alexa and Cortana.
As far as understanding developer Polyphony Digital's ambitions for Gran Turismo and its PlayStation 4 outing GT Sport goes, there's only one thing you need to know: players will be able to earn a digital license that's recognised by the FIA Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile and is valid at real motorsport venues in 22 countries.That might sound a little crazy, maybe even a little dangerous, but let's not forget that airline pilots train for the real thing in simulators, at least in part—and they end up responsible for more than their own lives at the end of it.There's a Manufacturer's Cup where fans of particular car brands go up against one another, while the Nation's Cup is a competition between countries.Mere mortals, however, are unlikely to get anything at all out of the concept.Elsewhere, daily races are available at specific start times, with results and racing etiquette recorded after each finish.Artificial intelligence, though, remains awful as cars follow each other like train carriages around the track.
Woven into one of the sleeves is a patch of conductive fibers—so subtle you can barely tell it s there—that lets you tap or swipe across its surface and toggle a series of customizable commands, from silencing calls to querying Google Maps for directions.The tech components are twofold.The metal-based conductive fibers are fully washable and sewed into the denim, and a button-sized piece of removable hardware called the smart tag allows the jacket to connect to your phone or tablet via Bluetooth.Gesture controls and specific functions can be customized with the help of a companion app, but there's no word yet as to whether that app will be immediately available for non-Android users.Among the tasks the jacket can perform: offering up suggestions for nearby coffee shops or other types of venues , providing an ETA to your destination, and changing tracks on your playlist.By next spring, Google will release further details on battery specs and whether smart tags can be interchanged between garments; those logistics and the jacket's price are still in the works.Though Levi s is Google s first Jacquard partner, the platform will ultimately be open to third party designers and app developers—just like Google s smartwatch line, Android Wear.The conductive fibers that power Jacquard are compatible with any commercial loom, which means that any designer of textile-based products will easily be able to incorporate the technology into their wares.In other words: clothing is just the beginning, and furniture may well be up next.The Commuter Trucker jacket will be available as part of Levi s Spring 2017 collection in stores and online.
Uber is about to be much faster at finding your drop-off or pick-up location.In accessing Foursquare data, Uber riders can hopefully stop typing in addresses when a location isn t known.Currently, Uber is great at finding larger venues like stadiums or airports, but pretty bad at discovering that niche restaurant your best friend told you about last week.Foursquare will enable Uber to customize, improve and increase the breadth of our non-personal POI location data to enhance Uber s rider and driver experience, says Foursquare.Also, these modifications will also be incorporated into Foursquare s venue database going forward.Uber is already available within Foursquare, but that s simply for hailing pick-ups.
Alas, the public Internet, as a global networking medium for IoT solutions, does not come with a service-level agreement SLA .Just search IoT Challenges on Google, LinkedIn or similar venues to discover the common themes perceived as obstacles.The battle of the platforms is likely to continue a speaker at a recent conference listed a 260 count for IoT platforms , while the large platform vendors introduce their own cloud-hosted offerings, including Amazon, Google, Microsoft and IBM, among others.The interoperability conundrum is particularly evident in the case of product life cycles that come to an end; for example, the side effect of the Nest acquisition and subsequent shutdown of Revolv home automation service.Designing smarter devices, apps and services is a necessary but merely partial step toward producing an overall satisfactory solution.Foundational components soon followed — web browsers and servers, content authoring tools, web frameworks, app servers and many more as the web further expanded from computers to mobile devices, ultimately resulting in a fertile web/mobile ecosystem.
View photosMoreHttps%3a%2f%2fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fcard%2fimage%2f97783%2fap 238936285859Uber will soon be a lot better at finding your destination.Under the new deal, Uber's app will incorporate Foursquare's Places data so that riders can find the addresses for exact locations by only typing in the restaurant or venue name."Foursquare will enable Uber to customize, improve and increase the breadth of our non-personal POI points of interest location data to enhance Uber s rider and driver experience," Foursquare wrote in a blog post.Exactly how much the deal is worth is unclear, but Foursquare described it as a "global, multi-year agreement."Right now, the app is able to find addresses for some locations, like airports and some restaurants, but isn't always able to consistently find relevant addresses when you type in specific venues.The company, once known for its check-in app of the same name, has significantly changed its strategy over the last two years — first by removing check-ins from its flagship app in favor of a more Yelp-like service and then with a new CEO who has said he wants to refocus the business around Foursquare's wealth of location data.
It provides venues across North America with the necessary software and hardware — like scanners and RFID wristbands — to promote events and sell tickets.Though the ultimate goal is to help companies shift tickets, founder and CEO Mark Tacchi told VentureBeat that the company s mission is much more than that.We re told this sales figure is about to hit the $2 billion mark, which means that Vendini has had more or less the same number of ticket sales in the past year as it did in all the years that preceded it.We re also told that the company was profitable, though as a private company it s not at liberty to divulge specific numbers.This leads us to one obvious question — why seek investors cash when things appear to be going very well?Tacchi explained:It is true that startups can struggle under the weight of too much money and the expectations of impatient VCs.We re excited to keep building, innovating and giving organizations the tools they need to compete and succeed, and this round of funding lets us do that faster.Working at Next and then Apple essentially laid the groundwork for who I am as an entrepreneur and how I build my product, explained Tacchi.For example, massive arenas like Madison Square Garden are probably going to be using Ticketmaster, which was designed with huge venues in mind.
Pic: ShutterstockThink virtual reality headsets are for gamers?Think again, says analyst Forrester.It reckons an estimated 52 million head-mounted VR displays will be in consumer and enterprise use in the US by the year 2020.Facebook s Oculus Rift and HTC Vive will, the analyst reckons, break out of gaming and be used to create a wide array of scenarios in business-to-business and something it calls business-to-business-to-consumers.The analyst sees potential in phone-based VR at places like estate agents and entertainment venues.It reckons true digital predators will go all in on VR to either protect or extend their businesses and quotes car manufacturer Audi, which is using VR to offer virtual car-driving experiences, thereby protecting its dealer partners, rather than allowing somebody else to use VR and sideline the dealerships.
French telecommunications company Orange will light up the iconic Eiffel Tower in the colours of the most popular team based on fans' social media activityEuro 2016 fans will soon be able to light up Paris's iconic landmark, the Eiffel Tower, in the colours of their favourite team for a month via social media.During the tournament, which runs from 10 June to 10 July across various venues in France, the number of social media posts for each team will be counted on a daily basis from one minute past midnight until 9.30pm.The French landmark will then be adorned with the national colours of the team with the most support on social media until midnight.When the ticket portal for Euro 2016 reopened in December 2015, UEFA's promotional campaign that encouraged fans to show off their team spirit on social media using the SupportYourTeam hashtag together with a hashtag of the country generated some unfortunate results.The 2014 FIFA World Cup sparked 672 million tweets and 3 billion Facebook interactions, including posts, comments and likes, during the 64-match tournament.Around 2.5 million spectators, including 1.5 million foreign visitors, are expected to attend the matches played in 10 stadiums across the country, according to UEFA.
The official app gives latest updates, helps to locate friends and venues at the festival.British mobile operator EE has launched the official Glastonbury 2016 App and an on-site power bank swap option, to keep the festival goers connected.With the app, users can build their personal line-up and connect to Facebook and check what their friends are planning for the festival.The app will feature an interactive map, which can be used for sharing map pins and to coordinate meeting places or show people where the user is located.Fans with their Juice Tube Power Bank can come to an EE recharge tent and swap their discharged power bank for a fully charged power bank, once a day, throughout the festival."It's the perfect digital companion to help people plan what is likely to be one the best weekends of their lives."
Visa has secured its spot as the exclusive financial services provider at this year s Olympic Games in Rio at official venues, anyway .The company will be taking advantage of the opportunity in a big way as it plans to deploy an NFC-enabled ring that ll enable users to pay for goods and services without the hassle of pulling out a phone or wallet.Like other NFC-enabled devices, wearers will simply be able to tap the ring to any contactless payment terminal to complete a transaction.Visa says the wearable uses the NFC Ring design of McLear & Co. which includes a secure microchip from Gemalto and an embedded NFC-enabled antenna.Unlike other payment wearables, Visa s solution doesn t need a battery and thus, doesn t require charging.More of a trial run no pun intended than anything, the Visa payment ring will be distributed to a group of 45 athletes.
For European football governing body UEFA, and tournament host country France, the growth of the championship means an additional infrastructure challenge, with 11 venues set to host matches during the competition, which kicks off on June 10 and runs through until the final at the 80,000-capacity Stade de France in Paris on July 10.Hundreds of millions of people will be keeping up with Euro 2016 through TV, radio, and other channels such as the official tournament website and mobile apps -- so any interruptions or issues with the IT behind these services will therefore be highly visible and likely a PR disaster.Graeme Hackland, IT director at Williams Martini Racing and Williams Advanced Engineering, tells ZDNet how the organisation works to avoid the nightmare scenario of getting hacked.Read MoreThe challenge of ensuring Euro 2016's information technology infrastructure is 100 percent reliable falls to Daniel Marion, head of ICT at UEFA.Marion is responsible for the delivery of all technology for UEFA, including at its Swiss headquarters, as well as for the Champions League and the Europa League annual tournaments -- but it's the month long Euro 2016 which is set to be the biggest challenge.Naturally, any high-profile event or organisation is going to find itself a target for hackers -- be they looking to cause disruption for kicks, or compromise systems for more nefarious means -- and Euro 2016 is likely to be no different.
View photosChances are some of your favorite photos from this summer s Olympics will be captured with the help of robots.Getty Images, one of the largest wire services, and the official photo agency of the International Olympic Committee IOC , will be using brand-new robotic technology developed by Mark Roberts Motion Control to extend the reach of their photographers at multiple venues for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, set to begin Aug. 5.Pros routinely wire cameras to arena rafters, the sidelines of playing fields and even underwater to cover as many angles of sporting events as possible.But once a photographer has set the angle and composition of their remote cameras, they don t have the ability to alter the shot except for the camera s focus and exposure.The company is currently testing, in partnership with Nikon, the fifth prototype for a robot mount for still cameras.Getty plans to have these in the hands of their photographers at about 20 Olympic venues this summer, according to Getty VP for Sports Imagery and Services Ken Mainardis.
The Technology Operations Centre which will oversee the systems which support the Rio Olympics.The 'technical rehearsal' is designed to test readiness based on the three busiest days of the Games, which are expected to be August 9, 10, and 12.During the final technical rehearsal, nearly 1,000 different scenarios were tested out including a flood, network disconnection, power failures, changes to the competition schedule, and security attacks -- across the 22 Olympic venues.Testing for the systems, such as the accreditation system and volunteer portal, are being managed via the cloud for the first time.Although the Rio Olympics doesn't start until August, the services that underpin it are already being used: last month the first of 300,000 accreditations for media, athletes, sports officials, and sponsors were issued.And from 25 July, the Technology Operations Centre will be at full capacity with 500 staff covering 187 positions to manage and monitor the technology infrastructure and systems.
It s called the POD, and it will give photographers more control and freedom than ever before.According to a report in Mashable, Getty Images, the official photo agency of the International Olympic Committee, plans to use more than a dozen POD cameras at the games this year, placing them in some twenty venues.Exposure adjustments might be possible remotely, but camera angle and lens zoom are all locked in.Photographers can even program preset positions for actions they know will be repeated, such as free throws in basketball.While the PODs are still late-stage prototypes, Getty plans to begin setting up final versions in July, well before the opening ceremony on August 5.That s probably a good idea; as with any new technology, Getty likely expects to have to work out some kinks to get the systems ready for game time.
It was like Britain s Got Talent, but just with all the best bits.That s how a child at the Rowan School in Sheffield, whose pupils all have a diagnosis of autism, described our circus show.The pupils attended, as do all of our audiences, free of charge and with their entire family so that they can enjoy the show as a family group.Circus Starr, is the UK s only not-for-profit circus and also the only one in the UK to travel to a new location every other day as we seek to provide the very highest quality circus event for children with physical disabilities, learning difficulties low income families.We initially saw the opportunity for the app to be licensed by other arts venues and producers or by visitor attractions such as theatre visits, museums and galleries as those are the obvious extensions of its current use.However, parents and teachers have pointed to its potential for supporting the transition into reception classes and Year 7 or preparing for unusual activities such as a Christmas play.
Between dramatic soccer matches, graceful swimming dives, and Herculean weightlifting, this year's Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil will be worth watching.But over the last few years, it's looked doubtful at times that the 37 Olympic venues would be ready on time and on budget.Now that the country is on alert with the Zika virus outbreak, the pressures to pull off a successful Olympics are even higher.Nonetheless, Rio is almost ready for the games, which will place from August 5 to 21.You can now take a look inside some of the venues, thanks to Google Street View, which captured 360-degree photos of the stadiums where athletes will compete.Keep scrolling to take a look.View As: One PageSlides