Employees Checking Messages? Nah. Playing Video Games!

Gaming has taken over the modern office space and your employees could be spending more time playing video games at work than you think.

It’s not just work, deadlines and meetings on American employees’ minds at their workplace. A new study reveals a large number of Americans play games at work.

According to the U.S. Digital Media Consumers study (PDF) by PayPal, U.S. employees play mobile games (30 percent), PC/laptop games (13 percent), and console games (10 percent) at work.

Major Highlights

When it comes to games, majority of Americans (78 percent) use their smartphones. But a large console base helps PS4 take the lead over PCs and laptops for males (49 percent vs. 48 percent).

The study also took a look at eBooks. It found that about 60 percent of consumers use tablets to read eBooks and access other functions on the same device.

As far as payments are concerned, 21 percent of consumers prefer Amazon Payments to buy non-gaming content. Gamers prefer PayPal because of its compatibility with most popular gaming marketplaces.

What this Means for Small Businesses

According to the study, majority of eBook readers (85 percent) prefer Amazon for its brand recognition and multi-device eBook support. This is an important insight for small businesses to understand which marketplace should be on top of their minds to attract more customers.

For small gaming companies, smartphone compatibility is not a choice but an absolute necessity. But it’s also important to remember U.S. console gamers buy new content twice as fast as on PC.

Lastly, it’s essential to provide ease of use and quick processing payments to entice more customers.

For the study, PayPal partnered with SuperData Research. It conducted a global 10-market survey with approximately 10,000 consumers to understand how people consume digital media.

Video Games Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

How to Make a Business Out of Playing Video Games

Game

What most people think of as a hobby or way to unwind can actually become a viable business venture. From YouTube videos including reviews and “let’s plays,” to massive gaming tournaments with six figure prizes, there are a surprising number of ways to develop video game playing into a viable business.

Johnathan Wendel, known by his tag name Fatal1ty in the gaming world, has taken his favorite past time and transformed it into a lucrative endeavor. Wendel dabbled in active sports like tennis and golf before dedicating himself to video gaming professionally.

As a child, Wendel dreamed of becoming a game tester or programmer. However, he found his true calling in competitive tournaments. After his first win in the 1999 Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL), he walked out $4000 richer, and with a new drive for eSports.

Wendel said in an online interview with Small Biz Trends:

“With my success at my very first professional tournament, I quickly realized I could make a living at playing video games. I was in shock, and also extremely excited for my future.”

Considered the first and most prominent professional gamer, Wendel has earned over $500 thousand dollars in prize money in multiple tournaments.

But, perhaps more importantly, he has been able to turn that success into a successful brand and business. Using the earnings from tournaments, Wendel opened Fatal1ty Inc. in 2002 and today offers fans around the world gaming accessories, computer mice, headsets, snacks and more, often branded with the Fatal1ty logo.

business out of playing video games

Wendel has been featured in a 60 Minutes special as well as Forbes and The New York Times. And in 2007, he was awarded the first ever eSports Lifetime achievement award for “showing exceptional sportsmanship, taking part in shaping eSports into what it is today and for being the prime representative of this young sport. He has become the figurehead for eSports worldwide.”

Wendel adds:

“[My business] has allowed me to continue with my passion for gamers and eSports over the last 12 years. I will do this for the rest of my life. I’ve given everything I can to help grow eSports and it’s going to be my on going mission for the rest of my life to spread the word of competitive gaming. My brand Fatal1ty Gaming Gear has given a lot to eSports over the years, and I plan on continuing that effort going forward with the right opportunities and the right partners.

As for the business side of things, it does cut into my time of just playing the games and enjoying myself, but I find a way to make both of my passions work. I’m just grateful they both go hand in hand. “

Tournament play is not the only option out there for those looking to make money playing games.

Platforms like YouTube and Twitch offer communities for players, with live feeds and “let’s plays”, videos in which the host will play through part or all of a particular game on screen while explaining some of the finer points for other players. Today, the most subscribed to channel on YouTube belongs to a gamer known as PewDiePie, who had over 29 million subscribers as of July of 2014.

PewDiePie, whose full name is Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, currently earns an estimated $7 million annually in shared advertising revenue from his YouTube channel, Celebrity Net Worth reports. Kjellberg often uploads several videos per day, and these videos have quickly racked up millions of views.

business out of playing video games

Online Beta testing services like Game-Testers offer players the opportunity to play games before they are even released for profit. Members have racked up more than $1.4 million in earnings on the platform so far, according to Game-Testers.

Beta testing has its downsides, however. Most testers would be lucky to make minimum wage, and job security is poor. It may be good for a few extra dollars here and there, but it’s not the best choice when it comes to gaming for profit.

As with most business ventures, getting started is often the hardest part. Tournament play requires hours of practice and training and attracts the best competitors from around the world. YouTube channels require substantial amounts of views and subscriptions in order to be profitable.

With enough hard work, however, both can become lucrative ventures and seem poised for exponential growth.

International gamers photo via Shutterstock, Image: Fatal1ty.com

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Skype Announces Group Video Calling for Mobile

skype goup

The technology used by today’s workforce is evolving at a fast rate as companies integrate a range of information and communications technologies (ICT) into their operations. The integration and processes that are being implemented are a work in progress, but one trend that is seeing wide adoption across the board is collaborative solutions.

Skype is pushing that trend forward with its new Skype mobile group video call option that makes it possible for a group video call with 25 participants to take place on iOS and Android devices.

With unified communications, (UC), cloud services and IP telephony, today’s mobile devices have as many options as on premises systems. The move by Microsoft to make Skype available for groups on mobile devices extends more of those options to smartphones and tablets, because they are key to how employees collaborate once they leave the office.

For small businesses, having a free video chat solution from Skype, a proven video communications solution, is a win/win no matter how you look at it. According to the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council), the share of U.S. businesses with less than 20 workers makes up 97.9 percent of the businesses in the country. This means all of these businesses will be able to use Skype mobile group video call with all their employees for free.

Skype mobile group video is delivered in full HD 1080p video with software that is able to optimize the features of the device you are using. Just like the desktop version and other fee based services, when you start talking, it puts you in the center, while the rest of the participants, all 24 of them, will be displayed in small tiles.  However, if you want to pin someone else to the center, the app gives you that choice.

Having HD video is fine, but Skype also uses its SILK Super Wide Band audio codec, which has been optimized by Intel, in its cloud conferencing stack to deliver crystal clear audio.

The invitation process has also been simplified. It is no longer necessary to have a Skype account to get an invitation. Skype is popular, but not everyone uses it, and now you can invite anybody to your conferences by sending them a link using email or messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Messenger, Twitter or Facebook. Once they get the link, they can join the conversation on a computer using Skype for Web.

While this version of Skype has enough features to carry out video communications, it is not the same as Skype for Business. And if your company needs more options, such as increased administrative roles, larger conference calls or meetings, and deeper integration with Microsoft applications, the businesses model is the right choice.

Microsoft wants to make the platform available globally by the end of March, but the U.S. and Western Europe will experience the mobile group chat feature first in a week’s time.

You can download the app from the App Store and Google Play for free.

The company also wants to remind you to have the latest version of Skype on your device to access all of these features.

Image: Skype

[“source-ndtv”]

Google’s DeepMind, Master of Go, Takes on Popular Video Game Starcraft

Google's DeepMind, Master of Go, Takes on Popular Video Game StarcraftGoogle’s DeepMind, Master of Go, Takes on Popular Video Game Starcraft
Google’s DeepMind AI unit, which earlier this year achieved a breakthrough in computer intelligence by creating software that beat the world’s best human player at the strategy game Go, is turning its attention to the sci-fi video game Starcraft II.

The company said it had reached a deal with Blizzard Entertainment Inc, the Irvine, California-based division of Activision Blizzard, which makes the Starcraft game series, to create an interface to let artificial intelligence researchers connect machine-learning software to the game.

London-based DeepMind, which Google purchased in 2014, has not said it has created software that can play Starcraft expertly – at least not yet. “We’re still a long way from being able to challenge a professional human player,” DeepMind research scientist Oriol Vinyals said in a blog post Friday. But the company’s announcement shows it’s looking seriously at Starcraft as a candidate for a breakthrough in machine intelligence.

Starcraft fascinates artificial intelligence researchers because it comes closer to simulating “the messiness of the real world” than games like chess or Go, Vinyals said. “An agent that can play Starcraft will need to demonstrate effective use of memory, an ability to plan over a long time and the capacity to adapt plans to new information,” he said, adding that techniques required to create a machine-learning system that mastered these skills in order to play Starcraft “could ultimately transfer to real-world tasks.”
Virtual mining
In the game, which is played in real-time over the internet, players choose one of three character types, each of which has distinct strengths and weaknesses. Players must run an in-game economy, discovering and mining minerals and other commodities in order to conquer new territory. A successful player needs to remember large volumes of information about places they’ve scouted in the past, even when those places are not immediately observable on their screen.

The player’s view of what an opposing player is doing is limited – unlike chess or Go where opponents can observe the whole board at one time. Furthermore, unlike in a game where players take turns, a machine-learning system has to deal with an environment that is constantly in flux. Starcraft in particular also requires an ability to plan both a long-term strategy and make very quick tactical decisions to stay ahead of an opponent – and designing software that is good at both types of decision-making is difficult.
Facebook, Microsoft
Researchers at Facebook and Microsoft have also published papers on ways to interface artificial intelligence systems with earlier versions of Starcraft. And some Starcraft-playing bots have already been created, but so far these systems have not been able to defeat talented human players.

Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella has taken swipes at Google’s focus on games in its AI research, telling the audience at a company event in Atlanta in September that Microsoft was “not pursuing AI to beat humans at games” and that Microsoft wanted to build AI “to solve the most pressing problems of our society and economy.”

Games have long-served as important tests and milestones for artificial intelligence research. In the mid-1990s, International Business Machines Corp.’s supercomputer Deep Blue defeated world chess champion Garry Kasparov on several occasions. IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence beat top human players in the game show Jeopardy in 2011, an achievement that showcased IBM’s strides in natural language processing. In 2015, DeepMind developed machine learning software that taught itself how to play dozens of retro Atari games, such as Breakout, as well or better than a human. Then, in March of 2016, DeepMind’s Alpha Go program, trained in a different way, defeated Go world champion Lee Sodol.

In the twenty years since Starcraft debuted, the game has acquired a massive and devoted following. More than 9.5 million copies of the original game were sold within the first decade of its release, with more than half of those being sold in Korea, where the game was especially popular. Starcraft II shattered sales records for a strategy game when it was released in 2010, selling 1.5 million copies within 48 hours. Pitting two players against one another in real-time, Starcraft was a pioneer in professional video game competitions and remains an important game in the world of e-sports, although its prominence has since been eclipsed by other games.

© 2016 Bloomberg L.P.

Tags: Google, DeepMind, Artificial Intelligence, AI, Gaming, Starcraft

[“source-ndtv”]

5 Ways To Use Video To Showcase Handmade Products

handmade products video

When it comes to showcasing a product, there is nothing like the power of video. But if that is the case (and it is), then why is it that video seems to be the domain of people who are either selling services or the supplies used to make products?

If you make the products you sell, handmade products videos that showcase your work should be readily available all over the Web. After all, you have an endless stream of Made In America action that your customers want to see. So why deny them?

If you make the products you sell, you have a huge advantage over the people simply selling information or services. Who wants to watch a video of someone creating an information product? When you make soap or shoes or cupcakes or perfume, it’s a whole different ball game. Nothing can showcase the color and texture of your product the way a handmade products video can.

Below are ways to use a handmade products video to showcase handmade products and compel people to buy more of them.

Creative Video To Showcase Handmade Products

Show Everyone How You Make Your Product

People love learning about how things are made. It’s interesting to see raw materials come together to form a useful product that enhances people’s lives.

Here is an example of Kendra Renee at Kendra Renee Jewelry Design using an Instagram video to show how she carves a mold for a wedding ring out of wax.

Demonstrate How Your Product Should Be Used

One of the best ways you can positively influence people to buy your products is to show them how they perform in the setting in which they will use them at home.

Here is an example of Chelsea Selby at Witch Baby Soap using an Instagram handmade products video to showcase how one of her bath bombs perform in a bathtub. Even more clever, the video she is using is actually one made by one of her customers. See, sometimes, you don’t even have to create the video yourself!

Make a Video that Reflects Your Target Customers Using Your Product

One of the things that sets a product apart from the pack is that the customers who buy it can see themselves using and enjoying the product. Help facilitate this positive branding experience by sharing a handmade products video that shows your customers happily using your products.

Here is an example of how Stacia Guzzo at Handcrafted Honey Bee used a promotional launch video to show how her target customers can “dream big” as they enjoy using her DIY cosmetic kits.

Share Information About the Ingredients and Components in Your Products

While a fragrance is difficult to capture in an online environment, with video, you can describe it well enough to allow viewers to engage their olfactory system in a fun way.

In this handmade products video, natural perfumer Charna Ethier of Providence Perfume Company shares exactly how she builds a perfume from scratch, from start to finish. For anyone interested in the art of perfume, this is a fun video to watch because you can almost smell the aromas as she describes them.

Use Video to Encourage People to Support Your Next Project

Whether it’s crowd funding or an awards contest, using video to showcase your handmade products can help attract everything from votes to funding. When you want people to support you by giving a vote or donating their hard earned cash, the least you can do is entertain them a little. No one wants to read seven paragraphs of text before submitting a vote. But everyone will watch a fun video.

Here is an example of Anne-Marie Faiola at Handmade Beauty Box using a handmade products video to encourage people to fund her Kickstarter campaign, which, by the way, was fully funded within 24 hours of its release.

Using Video Leverages the Power of the Internet

No matter what you make, and no matter the size of your business, you can use a handmade products video to engage customers and prospects and tell the world about your products in living color. Who wouldn’t want to do that?

I’m sure you can think of tons of ways to make your business shine using video to showcase handmade products! Share your ideas and experiences, and links to your most successful videos, in the comments.

For additional reading:

29 Places to Market Craft Tutorial Videos to Attract Buyers

25 Places to Sell Handmade Crafts Online

5 Reasons Your Handmade Business is Not Gaining Traction

Pottery Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Google Parent Alphabet Profit Surges on Mobile, Video Ads

Google Parent Alphabet Profit Surges on Mobile, Video Ads

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Alphabet’s net income climbed 27 percent to $5.06 billion
  • Google is competing with Facebook for dominance in mobile advertising
  • Advertising accounted for 89.1 percent of Google’s total revenue

Google parent Alphabet Inc bested analysts’ estimates for third-quarter profit and revenue on Thursday as the search company showed it has honed its core business for the mobile era and is closing in on the next wave of computing.

Propelled by strong advertising on mobile devices and video site YouTube, Alphabet’s net income climbed 27 percent to $5.06 billion (roughly Rs. 33,839 crores). Revenue jumped 20 percent to $22.45 billion (roughly Rs. 1,50,147 crores), marking the search giant’s seventh straight quarter of double-digit revenue growth.

(Also see: Google Pixel XL Review)

The company authorized a $7 billion repurchase of its Class C stock, pleasing investors who had been craving more after a $5 billion repurchase last year.

Google is competing fiercely with social network Facebook for dominance in the fast-growing mobile advertising market. Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai touted the company’s gains in the space, and was bullish about recent product launches such as the Google Assistant, the Google Home smart speaker and refinements to the enterprise cloud business.

The products are aimed at the rise of voice search, which many analysts believe will succeed keyboards and touch screens as a primary way users interact with devices.(Also see: Google Assistant Goes Head to Head With Apple’s Siri in Comparison Video)

“We feel well positioned as we transition to a new era of computing,” Pichai said in an conference call. “This new era is one in which people will experience computing more naturally and seamlessly in the context of their lives, powered by intelligent assistants and the cloud.”

Shares of Alphabet, the world’s No. 2 company by market value, were up 1.6 percent in after-hours trading.

The company posted third-quarter adjusted earnings per share of $9.06, beating expectations of $8.63 a share on revenues of $22.05 billion, according to Thomson Reuters estimates.

Google has been dogged by concerns about how it would nudge its vast web advertising business towards mobile, but the company’s recent performance has reassured Wall Street that the transition is well underway, said analyst Colin Gillis of BGC Partners.

“It’s showing that even though they’ve hit lifetime highs, there’s still room to run,” he said.

Advertising revenue, the company’s lifeblood, rose 18.1 percent to $19.82 billion (roughly Rs. 1,32,543 crores) in the third quarter. Paid clicks, or ads for which advertisers pay only when users click on them, rose 33 percent, compared with a rise of 29 percent in the second quarter.

Cost-per-click, or the average amount advertisers pay Google, fell 11 percent in the latest period, but investors are willing to forgive the slump, for now, as it suggests strong mobile growth, said analyst Kerry Rice of Needham & Co.

YouTube continued to post robust gains, Pichai said. Over the past year, Google, Facebook and Twitter Inc have all doubled down on video, a format where advertisers are willing to pay a premium for a few seconds of users’ undivided attention.

Advertising accounted for 89.1 percent of Google’s total revenue in the quarter, and analysts are eager for the company to tap new sources of growth.

One of the leading contenders is Google’s cloud business, which drove a 38.8 percent rise in the company’s “other revenue.”

“As we head into 2017, I expect cloud to be one of our largest areas of investment,” Pichai said.

A relatively late entrant to the cloud business, Google is trying to steal market share from industry leaders Amazon.com and Microsoft. Amazon on Thursday reported a 55 percent revenue increase in its cloud business.

“I would hesitate to say they are competing head-to-head, but they are making up for lost ground,” Rice said.

Alphabet’s “Other Bets” unit generated revenue of $197 million, primarily from Nest, Google Fiber and Verily units, Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said during the call.

(Also see: Google Fiber Halts Expansion Plans as Chief Steps Down)

Alphabet said this week it was pausing the rollout of Fiber, a high-speed internet service, in some US cities and that its leader, Craig Barratt, would leave.

Porat played down analysts’ concerns of instability at Other Bets, which has suffered a wave of executive departures, including Nest founder Tony Fadell, self-driving car technology chief Chris Urmson and, most recently, Barratt.

“As we reach for moonshots that will have a big impact in the longer term, it’s inevitable that there will be course corrections along the way, and that some efforts will be more successful than others,” Porat said.

Other Bets, which also includes research unit X, reported an operating loss of $865 million, down from a year-ago loss of $980 million. The narrowing loss suggests Porat is instilling the financial discipline investors have long hoped to see from the company, said Gillis.

“Everybody loves Ruth,” he said.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

Tags: Google, Alphabet Inc, Alphabet Earnings, Cloud, Sundar Pichai, Internet, Android, Apps, Mobiles, PC, Laptops, Wearables
[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Google Parent Alphabet Profit Surges on Mobile, Video Ads

Google Parent Alphabet Profit Surges on Mobile, Video Ads

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Alphabet’s net income climbed 27 percent to $5.06 billion
  • Google is competing with Facebook for dominance in mobile advertising
  • Advertising accounted for 89.1 percent of Google’s total revenue

Google parent Alphabet Inc bested analysts’ estimates for third-quarter profit and revenue on Thursday as the search company showed it has honed its core business for the mobile era and is closing in on the next wave of computing.

Propelled by strong advertising on mobile devices and video site YouTube, Alphabet’s net income climbed 27 percent to $5.06 billion (roughly Rs. 33,839 crores). Revenue jumped 20 percent to $22.45 billion (roughly Rs. 1,50,147 crores), marking the search giant’s seventh straight quarter of double-digit revenue growth.

(Also see: Google Pixel XL Review)

The company authorized a $7 billion repurchase of its Class C stock, pleasing investors who had been craving more after a $5 billion repurchase last year.

Google is competing fiercely with social network Facebook for dominance in the fast-growing mobile advertising market. Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai touted the company’s gains in the space, and was bullish about recent product launches such as the Google Assistant, the Google Home smart speaker and refinements to the enterprise cloud business.

The products are aimed at the rise of voice search, which many analysts believe will succeed keyboards and touch screens as a primary way users interact with devices.(Also see: Google Assistant Goes Head to Head With Apple’s Siri in Comparison Video)

“We feel well positioned as we transition to a new era of computing,” Pichai said in an conference call. “This new era is one in which people will experience computing more naturally and seamlessly in the context of their lives, powered by intelligent assistants and the cloud.”

Shares of Alphabet, the world’s No. 2 company by market value, were up 1.6 percent in after-hours trading.

The company posted third-quarter adjusted earnings per share of $9.06, beating expectations of $8.63 a share on revenues of $22.05 billion, according to Thomson Reuters estimates.

Google has been dogged by concerns about how it would nudge its vast web advertising business towards mobile, but the company’s recent performance has reassured Wall Street that the transition is well underway, said analyst Colin Gillis of BGC Partners.

“It’s showing that even though they’ve hit lifetime highs, there’s still room to run,” he said.

Advertising revenue, the company’s lifeblood, rose 18.1 percent to $19.82 billion (roughly Rs. 1,32,543 crores) in the third quarter. Paid clicks, or ads for which advertisers pay only when users click on them, rose 33 percent, compared with a rise of 29 percent in the second quarter.

Cost-per-click, or the average amount advertisers pay Google, fell 11 percent in the latest period, but investors are willing to forgive the slump, for now, as it suggests strong mobile growth, said analyst Kerry Rice of Needham & Co.

YouTube continued to post robust gains, Pichai said. Over the past year, Google, Facebook and Twitter Inc have all doubled down on video, a format where advertisers are willing to pay a premium for a few seconds of users’ undivided attention.

Advertising accounted for 89.1 percent of Google’s total revenue in the quarter, and analysts are eager for the company to tap new sources of growth.

One of the leading contenders is Google’s cloud business, which drove a 38.8 percent rise in the company’s “other revenue.”

“As we head into 2017, I expect cloud to be one of our largest areas of investment,” Pichai said.

A relatively late entrant to the cloud business, Google is trying to steal market share from industry leaders Amazon.com and Microsoft. Amazon on Thursday reported a 55 percent revenue increase in its cloud business.

“I would hesitate to say they are competing head-to-head, but they are making up for lost ground,” Rice said.

Alphabet’s “Other Bets” unit generated revenue of $197 million, primarily from Nest, Google Fiber and Verily units, Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said during the call.

(Also see: Google Fiber Halts Expansion Plans as Chief Steps Down)

Alphabet said this week it was pausing the rollout of Fiber, a high-speed internet service, in some US cities and that its leader, Craig Barratt, would leave.

Porat played down analysts’ concerns of instability at Other Bets, which has suffered a wave of executive departures, including Nest founder Tony Fadell, self-driving car technology chief Chris Urmson and, most recently, Barratt.

“As we reach for moonshots that will have a big impact in the longer term, it’s inevitable that there will be course corrections along the way, and that some efforts will be more successful than others,” Porat said.

Other Bets, which also includes research unit X, reported an operating loss of $865 million, down from a year-ago loss of $980 million. The narrowing loss suggests Porat is instilling the financial discipline investors have long hoped to see from the company, said Gillis.

“Everybody loves Ruth,” he said.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

Tags: Google, Alphabet Inc, Alphabet Earnings, Cloud, Sundar Pichai, Internet, Android, Apps, Mobiles, PC, Laptops, Wearables
[“Source-Gadgets”]

GoPro HERO 5 Black and HERO 5 Session Provide Action Video for Outdoor, Other Businesses

GoPro HERO 5 Black and HERO 5 Session Provide Action Video for Outdoor, Other Businesses

The internet, mobile technology, video and social media have merged together to give businesses and consumers a platform to share, connect and market with rich media. What GoPro (NASDAQ:GPRO) has tried to do with the new HERO 5 Black and HERO 5 Session cameras is simplify the process of capturing,sharing, storing and editing video so much, it becomes effortless.

GoPro is well known for capturing extreme sports and action sequences by professionals and amateurs alike. So the company has a customer base that greatly relies on its cameras. But going beyond this base required GoPro to add new features so anyone can pick up the new cameras and start recording 4K videos with greater ease than its previous versions.

The new HERO 5 Black and HERO 5 Session are cheaper and more powerful, with features the company says you can use out of the box to capture video and still images.

GoPro HERO 5 Black

The HERO 5 Black has a 2-inch touch display to simplify the controls of the camera, but it all begins with a one-button control to power on the camera to start recording automatically. Once it is on, you can capture videos with resolutions up to 4K at 30 frames per second and professional still images of 12 MP with enhanced low-light performance on RAW and Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) formats.

Voice control has been added to further simplify the use of different functions. The camera has 10 commands in seven different languages, just in case you happen to be hurling down a slope and your hands are busy. So whether you speak English, German, French, Italian, Spanish or Chinese (with more languages on the way), voice control should understand you.

And if you happen to be, say, jumping out of an airplane, the new professional-grade electronic video stabilization feature will keep all of your images steady. And when it comes to audio, the stereo audio recording has an advanced wind noise reduction feature to better capture what you are saying — or screaming.

GoPro HERO 5 Session

The HERO 5 Session is a smaller version of the Black, but it pretty much keeps most of the features, including 4K video capture, image stabilization, enhanced low-light performance, WiFi and Bluetooth, waterproofing and voice control.

What you won’t find on the Session are the touch screen, GPS and RAW or WDR capture modes. Additionally, the still image capture is 10MP instead of the 12MP of the Black.

HERO Session

This is the cheapest version of the new line, however it still has some impressive features at this price. They include waterproofing, WiFi and Bluetooth, one-button control, and advanced noise and wind reduction.

The video and still capture are still high definition, with 1440P30/1080P60 for video and 8MP/10 fps burst time lapse for still images.

GoPro Plus

GoPro was and is still great at capturing video, but the company didn’t have the right set of apps to edit the millions of hours its customers were recording on its cameras. To overcome this problem, GoPro purchased two editing apps in February of this year: Splice and Replay, which the company has renamed Quik. With the new services users can now edit long videos into two minute highlight reels.

Quik, as the name implies, has been designed to quickly let you edit your videos by cutting off the boring footage and keeping the exciting stuff so you can post it on your social media site and share it with the world.  Splice, on the other hand, has more features, so, if you want more control, this is the app for you. Both apps are available for iOS and Android devices, as well as for your desktop.

GoPro Plus is a subscription service that is available for $4.99 per month, which includes an auto upload feature when you are charging your HERO cameras from your computer. The editing capability is available through the cloud on your smartphone, so you can quickly edit your videos no matter where you are.

The subscription plan also has a soundtrack library, premium support, among other features and accessories.

Small Businesses and GoPro

Video has become the preferred way of communicating for a growing number of online consumers.

If you own a small business running an outdoor/adventure company offering hiking, mountain climbing, hand gliding, whitewater rafting, camping, motocross, racing or other activities, you can now capture the experiences your customers are having — or can expect — with greater ease, better images and sound.

You can also use the cameras to interact with your customers by creating product tours, webinars, hands on lessons, and more.

With the new added features on the HERO 5 Black, HERO 5 Session, and HERO Session, there really is no limitation on how you can capture and share video.

The HERO 5 Black and HERO 5 Session will be available beginning October 2, but there is no date for the HERO Session on the company site.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Chrome 52 for Android Rolls Out With ‘Fast and Data-Efficient’ Video Playback

Chrome 52 for Android Rolls Out With 'Fast and Data-Efficient' Video Playback

HIGHLIGHTS

  • It also brings support for video in data saving mode
  • Videos load five times faster in new browser
  • Users can save 50 percent data while browsing videos

After releasing it for Windows, Mac, and Linux users; Google has now released a stable Chrome 52 build for Android users as well. The biggest improvement with this update revolves around video playback. The browser will now load videos faster, apart from using less data and consuming less power during playback.

Chrome 52 for Android is rolling out to all users via an OTA, and it should reach all Android smartphones soon. For those who have not been prompted with a notification, can go to Settings > About > Check for updates.

With this update videos on popular sites like Facebook, YouTube and Netflix will load much faster, reducing buffer to a larger extent. To show just how fast the load time gets with the new update, Product manager At Google John Pallett has posted a video comparison on YouTube. The video experiment shows that the video starts five times faster on Chrome 52.

The new update also brings support for video in Data Saving Mode. Google claims that a user can save as much as 50 percent of data while viewing videos in Data Saving Mode. Of course, this works only on sites that are HTML5-based, which means Flash-based sites will continue to suck data and power while buffering videos.

Google has been discouraging the use of Flash since quite a while now, and has been pushing developers to switch to HTML5. The HTML5 software provides faster load times and consumes less power, which also helps battery life. As mentioned, Chrome 52 reached Windows, Linux, and Mac users last month bringing 48 security fixes.

Share a screenshot and win Samsung smartphones worth Rs. 90,000 by participating in the #BrowseFaster contest.

Tags: Android, Apps, Chrome 52, Chrome for Android, Google, Google Chrome
[“Source-Gadgets”]

Playing Action Video Games May Boost Driving Skills: Study

Playing Action Video Games May Boost Driving Skills: Study

Playing action-based video games may boost the players’ ability to coordinate visual information with their motor control – a skill critical to many real-world behaviours including driving, says new research.

The findings showed that playing some types of video games can confer benefits for specific visual abilities such as sensitivity to contrast and visuo-spatial attention.

“The research shows that playing easily accessible action video games can be a cost-effective tool to help people improve essential visuomotor-control skills used for driving,” said lead researcher Li Li, Associate Professor at New York University in Shanghai, China.

Experienced action gamers showed much greater precision in keeping to their lane and showed less deviation from centre in the face of increasing headwinds, when compared to the participants with little to no action video game experience.

To establish a causal link between action video games and visuomotor control skills, the team recruited participants who had no action video gaming experience to take part in a training study.

They then compared the visuomotor abilities of players who had played at least 5 hours per week over the previous 6 months to participants who had negligible action video game experience.

The participants were randomly assigned to either an action video game group or a control group, and they completed a total of 10 1-hour training sessions.

The data showed that playing “Mario Kart,” a fast-paced action video game, improved participants’ visuomotor control skills on the target dot task after five hours of training.

Those who played “Roller Coaster Tycoon”, a non-action strategy game, showed no such improvement over time.

For novice drivers, training with driving video games may be more helpful, the researchers suggested in the work published in the journal Psychological Science.

Tags: Apps, Gaming, Science, Video Games

 

[“Source-Gadgets”]