Hello everyone, here’s this weeks roundup of business, tech and creative news from across the Moving World! Many thanks to all who submitted links!
The idea of the TV becoming the digital hub of the living room isn’t new, but brands are starting to push much more heavily into this space in recent months. With the launch of the Xbox One last month setting the precedent, Pandora has announced an HTML5 based TV app (benefiting from inherent cross-device support) to complement its partnership with 23 different automotive brands. Meanwhile, Google TV (which has made slow progress since it’s launch in 2010) has been refreshed, along with the announcement of a much more frequent product development rate.
The largest maker of social games on the internet, with 298 million monthly active users, is running into serious problems, announcing it is laying off 18% of staff, and closing OMGPOP (which it bought last year for $200m). Whilst the company that came up with famous titles such as FarmVille had managed to grow to a worth of $1bn+ within 4 years, the dramatic shift in social gaming, from web-based desktop games to mobile apps, has seen Zyngas fortunes turn. This has been further compounded with the large, corporate scale and management structure that founder CEO Mark Pincus created (interestingly hiring 1,200 before IPO, re-investing none of the $600m raised via IPO, and then laying off 800 the following year) – leaving smaller studios in a position to move in and take users through more creative uses of technology. The announcement sees Zynga shrinking in size and refocusing on mobile.
I’m going underground
City Hall have raised a proposal this week, under which we could see London’s tube stations being branded by corporate sponsors. While, this is proving to be a fun guessing game as to what they could be (Heinz Park Corner, Abercombie & Finchley, or just call the whole thing the Dominoverground) it is easy to see why this could be implemented when it has the potential to raise £136m a year. Schemes like this have already been seen in Madrid (home to the Line 2 Vodafone). Time will tell whether this is a proposal which will be implemented, but due to recent cuts of £80m, it may be a necessity for the TFL group.
YOU MAY HAVE MISSED
Lets all pack up and go home, Google releases Google Web Designer
Microsoft pulls a huge U-turn on Windows 8; with the return of the start button.
Pigs might fly… but only in pepperoni form as Dominos creates a pizza delivery drone
eBay creates shoppable windows. (Thanks Aki!)
3D printer manufacturer MakerBot opens 50,000sq/ft factory in Brooklyn
Thalmic Labs raises $14.5 to create Mylo, the arm based wearable controller, and whilst you wave your arms around you can measure your focus with Melon, which has smashed its target on Kickstarter. (Thanks Michael!)
A crafty sixteen year old breaks vine with a three minute long Rick Roll
With 500m users but no visible external impact, Google+ isn’t a social network its the Matrix…
Are we trapped in a world of 1960s product design? Forget Google Glass. These are the Interfaces of the Future
Comedy central to broadcast live improvised advert
BBC creates ‘perceptive radio’ with tailored content according to your location
Captcha makes it impossible for the blind to sign online petition supporting copyright treaty for the blind.
Disney have joined the meme-bandwagon, and not quite grasped the concept.
Enjoy the sun!