New Nintendo console in 2012, it's true that the Wii is so 5 years ago. I love this article from Dean Takahashi.
(Reproduced from VentureBeat http://tinyurl.com/3b8ukbn)
Ten features Nintendo needs to build a disruptive game console
April 25, 2011 | Dean Takahashi
Nintendo isn’t in the habit of asking journalists for advice about its consoles. But I’ve got some unsolicited advice about what I would like to see in a next-generation video game console. It’s good to bring this up now because, as the leader in the Wii generation, Nintendo’s choices will likely influence the other players in the industry and determine the pace of innovation in video games for years to come.
Nintendo confirmed last night that it would launch a new console in 2012 and show a working prototype at the E3 trade showing in June. The machine will be critical to whether Nintendo hangs on to its No. 1 position in video game console hardware. The video game industry will pin much of its hopes for sustained growth on Nintendo’s plans.
The company faces unprecedented competition for the entertainment time of its audience from new competitors, such as games on Facebook, smartphones and the tablets. So its choices will be very important to the future health of console gaming. While some features of the device have leaked out, Nintendo still has some leeway to make changes to the system in terms of the hardware that goes into the box, since the machine isn’t expected to debut until the fall of 2012. (Nintendo confirmed 2012, but it did not confirm the particular season or month).
ESPN live on iPad and iPhone - I also posted a similar article on my Facebook Pro page http://tinyurl.com/2er8ca9
(reproduced from EnGadget)
WatchESPN iOS app lets some people watch live sports wherever they want
By Ben Drawbaugh posted Apr 7th 2011 9:33AM
Continuing the trend of tying streaming content to the ol' ball and chain that is your pricy cable subscription, ESPN announced the launch of the WatchESPN App for the iPhone and the iPod Touch, with an iPad optimized version slated for release in May. Said App can be downloaded now and will allow you to "stay connected to live sports and shows from ESPN, wherever and whenever you want them" -- assuming you're a Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks or Verizon FiOS TV customer that is. The ability to watch three of the most popular cable networks while on the go, or anywhere in your house, is certainly nothing to scoff at, but many sports fans' excitement will indeed be diminished until ESPN fulfills its promise to release apps for "other smartphones and tablets," and of course the other big service providers like Comcast, DirecTV and Dish Network get with the program. For now you can live vicariously through us by clicking through to the gallery or watching the western style WatchESPN App commercial available via the source link.
TI acquires National: I think this is significant because we are definitely seeing a consolidation in the semiconductor industry.
(reproduced from the new york times)
Texas Instruments to Buy National Semiconductor for $6.5 BillionBy MATT RICHTEL
Published: April 4, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO — Texas Instruments said Monday that it planned to acquire National Semiconductor for $6.5 billion in a deal that places a big bet on the increasing need to translate the physical world of humans into the digital form of computers and then back again.
Both companies specialize in making “analog” processors, a particular kind of computer chip that converts data from the real world — temperature, light intensity, dust concentrations, shifting magnetic fields — into digital data that a computer can interpret and then back again, if need be, into visual or aural information that a human can understand.
Such chips are critical components in devices like cameras and phones, but they are crucial in a host of other electronic devices and sensors used in industry and medicine. They are frequently custom designed and carry high profit margins compared with commodity computer chips. Demand for the chips has grown as the number of devices needing sensors has grown.
Under terms of the deal, Texas Instruments has agreed to pay $25 a share for National Semiconductor. That is more than a 77 percent premium for National, whose share price closed at $14.07 just before the announcement. In after-hours trading, National’s shares rose almost 73 percent, to $24.30. Texas Instruments shares lost 1.55 percent after hours, to $33.58.
Texas Instruments said it expected to finance the deal by borrowing $3 billion to $4 billion and paying the rest in cash.
The deal would make Texas Instruments the world’s third-largest semiconductor maker, after Intel and Samsung Electronics.
Richard K. Templeton, the chief executive of Texas Instruments, said he believed that the deal would repay shareholders in three to four years by creating accelerated sales growth.
And while such multibillion-dollar mergers are often justified on the grounds of cost savings that may come through layoffs or other consolidation, Mr. Templeton said the bigger emphasis in this case was to use a combined sales force to push the product portfolios of both companies.
“This acquisition is about strength and growth,” Mr. Templeton said in a press release announcing the deal. He also said the companies could save around $100 million a year in administrative costs.
In a conference call with investors, executives from the two companies faced immediate questions on two fronts: whether the companies have too much overlap in their product lines and whether the deal might face antitrust issues.
Texas Instruments now sells about 14 percent of the chip industry’s analog chips, while National sells about 3 percent of that market. Texas Instruments has around 30,000 analog products, while National has around 12,000.
“There is a certain amount of, how do I say this gently, duplication of products,” said Will Strauss, a chip industry analyst with the Forward Concepts Company, which follows the analog chip market. He said that, in light of such redundancies, he and other analysts he talked to were shocked by the deal.
Mr. Templeton deflected such concerns by telling analysts that the product lines differ more than it may appear at first glance. For instance, he said that both companies have strength in analog communications chips but that National’s focus is on making such chips for industrial applications, while Texas Instruments has focused on the consumer market.
In the conference call with investors, Mr. Templeton was asked how many of the product lines were redundant and he answered: “The intent is none.”
He argued that National Semiconductor’s engineers would continue to be able to work independently in coming up with new product lines but would enjoy the benefits of having them sold by the much-larger combined sales force. “The combined sales team will be 10 times larger than National’s is today,” he said in a statement.
Steve Ohr, a chip industry analyst with Gartner, said he did not accept that the two companies had no or few redundant product lines. “I don’t buy it. I simply don’t,” he said. But he said he did not doubt that the combination of the companies would lead to increased sales.
“If you take T.I.’s sales staff and give them more products to sell, obviously you’re going to see more revenue.”
Mr. Templeton also said that the companies were not likely to face antitrust problems in part because of what he said were the differences in their product lines. Still, the companies said they expected it could take six to nine months for the deal to close because they must obtain regulatory approval not just in the United States but in several overseas markets.
I've posted a lot on progress in AR in the past year. Total Immersion is doing really cool stuff in Paris, so is Layar in Holland. Can't wait to see the segment mature !
(reproduced from VentureBeat)
Total Immersion gets $5.5M to expand augmented reality
March 24, 2011 | Ciara Byrne
Augmented Reality (AR) company Total Immersion just received $5.5 million in funding.
Augmented reality overlays digital information on your view of the physical world through a camera or other viewer. The new funding will be used to further develop the company’s D’Fusion platform and expand operations in Asia and in the US.
This latest funding round was led by Intel Capital and including existing investors Partech, iSource and Elaia Partners.
Total Immersion has solutions for many different markets including digital marketing, consumer products, events, retail, amusement parks and museums.
You can see some examples in the company’s 2010 showreel below. While several other AR companies like Layar only do AR for mobile devices, Total Immersion’s only real competitor across multiple markets and devices is Germany’s Metaio, which recently showed how AR can help fix your printer.
Total Immersion has been on VentureBeat’s radar since the company launched a product at DEMO 2007. In 2009, VentureBeat ranked Total Immersion as a tier-one AR company notable for its technology, business model, and the utility of its apps. Last year the company was pin-pointed by Forrester Research as one of the few AR firms doing “real” mobile augmented reality, which they say requires object recognition on the mobile device itself as well as 3D rendering to superimpose images over the real world view.
Not everyone is an AR fan, however. One of the founders of interface designers TAT, whose pioneering Recognizr application melded AR and face recognition, recently described AR as “dumbed down reality”.
Total Immersion was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Paris, France. The company received previous funding of $11.2 million from various VC funds.
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