25th August 2011

Boston Company Looks At The New Gaming Landscape

Not exactly Canadian, but I felt that I would take advantage of editorial license as the company doesn’t state exactly where the survey respondents were from – if they were all living in the USA or not.

Over the past few years, the popularity of mobile phones and tablets have contributed to an explosion in gaming by offering users the newfound ability to game anytime and anywhere. A study just released by the research consultancy, Latitude, offers a deeper-dive investigation into the new gaming landscape and the profile of tomorrow’s gamer, suggesting opportunities for both game developers and companies across industries. A complete study summary (PDF) is available for download from Latitude.

The study included a Web survey of 290 smartphone owners between the ages of 15-54 who self-identified as “casual gamers,” with nearly half labeling themselves “game enthusiasts.” More than two-thirds said they expect to be gaming even more over the next few years. The multi-phase The Future of Gaming: a Portrait of the New Gamers study was designed by Latitude to investigate the evolution of gaming, to profile tomorrow’s gamers, and to showcase resulting opportunities across industries for the future of gaming.New Gamers Infographic Smartphone ownership was a criterion for survey participation, but engagement with mobile games was not.

The study found that the stereotype of the reclusive gamer is outdated; this emerging demographic is social, heavily engaged with the “offline” world, and extremely goal-oriented – with a strong drive to improve themselves and the world around them. The new gamers are not constrained to any single platform, and have many different motivations for gaming in addition to just having fun [See New Gamers – Infographic- right]. Moreover, they expect that online games will continue to move out of the traditional screen environment, blending seamlessly with the “offline” world in new and engaging ways that go beyond just “checking in” with apps like Foursquare and SCVNGR.

“This study is part of our larger People Connected initiative, a series designed to offer a snapshot of intentionally small groups who are currently redefining what’s possible through the Web,” says Neela Sakaria, Senior Vice President of Latitude. “We go beyond just identifying changes in technology, delving deeply into technology’s potential impact on us as people – how we think, relate to each other, and approach our daily lives. Profiling dynamic user groups like ‘the new gamers’ gives us a window into how companies can not only develop meaningful tech experiences today but, more excitingly, grasp opportunities that are just on the horizon.”

The study pinpointed three key insights summarizing what the new gamers are expecting for the future:

1. Games Go Beyond the Screen
Eager to get beyond their smartphone screens, gamers are actively seeking new levels of interactivity, more Chart 5intuitive interfaces (e.g., gestural or telepathic controls), and personalization of the physical world that mirrors what’s possible online. Future games should register and respond to people as they exist in the offline world, which may mean using a player’s location, mood or stress level as metrics in a game, or allowing players to overlay virtual environments or information onto their actual surroundings, as with augmented reality [See ‘New Gamers – Chart 5 - right].

Study participants expressed an overwhelming desire for immersive integration of digital content with traditionally offline spaces and activities:

  •     95 percent would like to see more games that do a better job of combining digital content with the real, physical world.
  •     90 percent agreed that current and future technologies will play a critical role in extending games beyond the traditional screen environment, moving them out into the real world.

“The gamers of tomorrow won’t be limited by platform or location. As technology becomes more seamlessly integrated with our lives, everyone will be a gamer, and the world around us will become the ultimate playing field,” explains Natalie Stehfest, a senior research analyst who led the study and who heads up Latitude’s qualitative research team. “Technology will allow us to measure – and, ultimately, improve – ourselves in the context of our daily activities and surroundings. Many people making small changes can have a large impact in society, and this study suggests that the new gamers are ready to ‘level-up,’ and be challenged in this way.”

2. Life Becomes Play
Not only did participants want games to be well-integrated with the offline world in a technological sense, they requested games that better fit into the context of everyday life activities, and could provide added incentive to do things they want or need to do anyways. Currently, a variety of “life games” exist for personal wellness, learning, and even for completing household chores.

  •     92 percent would like to use more “life games” (e.g., games that fit into the context of things they do anyways in life)
  •     More than two-thirds would like games to help them achieve their personal goals, such as being healthier or more productive.

3. Social Matures into Societal
The social aspect of gaming makes it particularly well suited to tackling larger societal issues, as people can now share meaningful experiences easily in real-time. Obstacles related to engagement, crowdsourcing, and logistics are removed as mobile platforms make it easier to become an engaged community member or to get involved with socially good causes in a way that feels game-like, either overtly or in a broader, “social adventure” sense.

  • New Game Landscape Chart 7    96 percent would like to see more games geared toward creating positive change in society over the next 5-10 years. (Only one-quarter have played games like this before.)
  •     3 in 4 people would be more interested in getting to know their neighbors and the people in their communities if local meet-ups were designed to be more game-like (e.g., involving neighborhood “teams,” scavenger hunts, etc.).

In conjunction with The Future of Gaming survey, Latitude conducted a series of expert interviews with both game makers and game enthusiasts, culminating in the production of a mini-documentary, The Future of Gaming: a Portrait of the New Gamers, produced in collaboration with In the Car Media. This thought-provoking snapshot of the new gaming landscape serves up fresh, insider perspectives on how games have evolved, and who exactly is playing today – or will be tomorrow. The full video, featuring Buster Benson, CEO of Health Month, is available in HD on Vimeo.

“Our interviews are meant to bring to life what we found in the study: that the new gamers are connected – often outgoing – people who live and play in the ‘real world,’ and who have a serious interest in bettering themselves and society as a whole,” says Dan Hemmerly-Brown, the video’s director and an Innovation Engineer at Latitude. “These conversations have even inspired Latitude to consider possibilities for building game elements into our own research techniques and technologies.”

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25th August 2011

RIM Announces BBM Music

Research In Motion has officially announced BBM™ Music, a new BBM (BlackBerry® Messenger) service for socially connected music fans. BBM Music is an easy-to-use cloud-based service that enables social and viral music discovery by allowing users to build an evolving, community-based music library that is shared amongst their BBM Music friends. The size of the music library continues to grow as new friends join the community and each user can select music from a catalog with millions of songs from leading music companies – Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI.

“More than 45 million customers already love the social communication benefits delivered through BBM and we are thrilled to be extending the experience into a uniquely social and interactive music service,” said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion. “We have partnered with leading music companies to provide a ‘full track’ music sharing and discovery experience that will provide users with quality music on demand and allow them to connect with friends on a whole new level.”

Key features of BBM Music include:

  • Music made social – BBM Music is a cloud-based, social music service that allows you to share and discover music with your friends, creating a continually evolving music library:
    • Build a personal music profile with 50 of your favorite songs. You can refresh your profile by swapping out up to 25 songs each month.
    • Invite your BBM friends to subscribe to BBM Music and to join your BBM Music Community.
    • With each friend that is added to BBM Music, you grow your music collection since the songs from the profile of each BBM Music friend are available to you at any time.
    • Up to 50 tracks from your personal profile are shared with your BBM Music Community, and each member of your community shares up to 50 songs from their profile with you.
    • Enjoy a truly social community-based music experience – the more friends who join your community, the more songs you can listen to.
    • Easily discover music that your BBM Music friends are listening to, and comment on your friends’ songs and playlists.
    • You can create multiple playlists from music in your profile as well as all of your friends’ profiles, and with one click you can shuffle the entire collection of music from your BBM Music Community. You can even see which friend contributed each song while it plays.
    • Within your BBM Music app, you also see a visual timeline that shows the recent updates of all users within your community. It gives you a chronological view of community updates, including who added new friends, which songs were added or removed, which playlists were created and what comments were made by your BBM Music friends.
  • Listen to Full Tracks – BBM Music subscribers can listen to full tracks from their friends’ profiles – not just previews.
  • Offline Listening - Music can be saved to smartphones for offline listening, allowing users to access songs even when they don’t have wireless coverage.
  • Topping the Charts – Keep track of how many friends are listening to your tracks.

Omnifone, a premier cloud music service provider, is providing RIM with a back-end solution for the BBM Music service that provides content management, music hosting and reporting functions based on Omnifone’s award winning technology. As part of RIM’s proprietary service, Omnifone’s back-end solution helps facilitate the delivery of a full music catalog to BBM Music users and comprehensive compensation reporting for copyright holders.

“A major component of online music continues to be about community, and the ability to discover new artists and music through word of mouth,” stated Rob Wells, President of Global Digital Business for Universal Music Group. “BBM Music dynamically and elegantly integrates the excitement of this social music discovery process with a high quality music service, enabling tens of millions of BlackBerry users to experience new music and to share those experiences with their friends virtually anywhere and at anytime.”

“We are pleased to be partnering with Research In Motion on their BBM Music service. RIM and its large base of BlackBerry Messenger users represent an exciting platform for expanding the reach of commercial digital music around the world,” stated Thomas Hesse, President, Global Digital Business, U.S. Sales and Corporate Strategy, Sony Music Entertainment. “The combination of a premium music solution and instant messaging will enable viral music discovery and emphasize the social power of digital music. It also offers an effective way of serving younger consumers by integrating music into the fabric of an important hub of their digital activity.”

“A dynamic social music experience is a powerful way for our artists to connect with fans and also for fans to discover music by interacting with each other,” said Michael Nash, Executive Vice President, Digital Strategy & Business Development, Warner Music Group. “Addressing more than 45 million BlackBerry Messenger users with a service tailor-made for its mobile community, BBM Music has the opportunity to reach a broad and engaged audience.”

“We are very excited to work with Research In Motion to bring our artists’ music to BBM’s huge and very loyal user base,” said Mark Piibe, Executive Vice President of Global Business Development at EMI Music. “BBM Music’s unique social discovery experience offers fans a great new way to discover music, share their favorite tracks with their friends and build a stronger connection with the artists they love.”

“The widespread adoption of mobile devices provides the perfect foundation for consuming and sharing music. Brands that want to deliver a unique interactive experience must create services that are mobile, social, and contextual,” said Maribel Lopez Principal at Lopez Research and Constellation Research Group.

A closed beta trial of the BBM Music service is starting today in Canada, the United States and the UK. The BBM Music service is expected to be commercially available to customers later this year for a monthly subscription of $4.99 USD in Australia, Canada, Columbia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, the United Kingdom and the United States. Pricing may vary by country and will be announced upon availability in each country. Data charges may apply if music is downloaded over wireless networks in conjunction with limited data plans. Check with your network operator for the terms of your data plan.

 

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24th August 2011

BCIC Entrepreneurship At Wavefront Program Deadline Is Looming

bcicBCIC and Wavefront (the Canadian wireless commercialization centre) launched its second annual entrepreneurship@Wavefront Program today.  A 12-month program, entrepreneurship@Wavefront is designed to support and nurture early-stage B.C. wireless companies from product concept to market entry. After a successful pilot, the accelerator program is expanding to support 12 companies this year and will be working closely with the BC Regional wavefrontScience and Technology Network to increase accessibility of the program for participants outside the Lower Mainland.

“The first year program enabled eight entrepreneurs to turn their product ideas into successful emerging wireless companies,” said Mark Payne, Acting CEO of BCIC.  “Wavefront has done a great job working with these startups in our program, which have collectively generated over half a million dollars in external investment, over $350,000 in revenues, 18 new jobs, and new products that are penetrating growing markets.”

Among the first year graduating class is Vancouver-based RewardLoop, this year’s B.C. TIA Award winner for ‘Most Promising Startup’.

“The entrepreneurship@Wavefront was the catalyst that enabled us to work full time on bringing RewardLoop to market.  We have already signed deals with some of North America’s largest retail chains and are expanding our reach through international distribution partnerships , “ said Nigel Malkin, CEO and Co-Founder, RewardLoop. “The guidance, feedback, and support we’ve received from the program at Wavefront were invaluable to us in making these accomplishments possible in such a short period of time.”

Companies selected this year will receive office space in Wavefront’s downtown accelerator centre, access to their wireless expert advisory, training, and testing services, sales and marketing coaching, and connections to key industry contacts. Program participants also benefit from BCIC’s Mentor Program, a network of seasoned entrepreneurs and industry experts who provide entrepreneurs with support that is critical for growing a successful company.

“The wireless solutions being developed by the entrepreneurship@Wavefront companies span from Machine-to-Machine (M2M) to next generation networks to enterprise applications that address issues faced across many industries.  We continue to work closely with BCIC to ensure cross-sector opportunities, creating an environment within our accelerator centre that fosters collaboration and success,” said Jim Maynard, President of Wavefront.

Full details and applications for the entrepreneurship@Wavefront program are available online. The deadline for applications is Friday, August 26th at 11:59 p.m.   Selected companies will be announced September 7, 2011 with the program and access to Wavefront’s downtown Vancouver offices beginning immediately after.

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24th August 2011

IUGO Launches Animal Academy

IUGOIUGO is pleased to announce the launch of its next mobile social title, Animal Academy, a time/resource-management game that lets you build and customize your school for adorable animal teachers and students.animal academy

“We wanted to create a fun experience for all ages,” states IUGO’s CEO Hong-Yee Wong.  “Animal Academy is very easy to pick up, and the friendly and intuitive activities will keep you delighted for hours.”  The game launches with 20 cheery classroom themes and 23 endearing animal characters, with more being added with regular updates.

Animal Academy Description

  • Customize your school – Build classrooms that will delight the students of Animal Academy. Reading, writing and arithmetic are the basics, but this ultra-fun school can also teach subjects such as paleontology, robotics, fashion and football to name but a few.
  • Attract adorable animals – Each new classroom unlocks a new animal species! Cats, dogs, penguins, foxes, robo-mice and more.
  • Play with friends – Pitch your students up against rival schools in friendly competitions or help out by supervising a friend’s classroom! Playing with friends earns you daily in-game rewards.
  • Play the role of Principal – Build and maintain the greatest school in the land. The students at Animal Academy have been known to reward beloved Principals with heart-felt, home-made gifts.
  • Expect tons of future content – IUGO is committed to keeping Animal Academy fresh with frequent and continuous updates. Check back often for new classrooms, animal species, game features and more.

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The iPhone and iPad enhanced game is available now in the Apple Appstore and is today’s free download thanks to @FreeAppADay. Animal Academy is rated 4+ and is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices running iOS 3.0 or later.

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24th August 2011

Red Nova Episode Two Now Available

Celsius GamesCelsius Games has released the next installment in the Red Nova saga. In Episode 1: Red Nova, which was released earlier this year, players were introduced to the Earth Colonial Fleet, brave soldiers tasked with protecting the people of our home planet. While out on a test flight with the shiny new prototype fighter ESC Red Nova, the crew happens upon a previously unknown alien fleet preparing to stage a sneak attack on the human colonies.red nova iPhone

In order to give the Red Nova a chance to escape and warn the rest of the fleet you have volunteered to attack the aliens head-on. With a choice of any of the fighters on deck, you have to use your wits, guns, and ample supply of homing missiles to survive the alien onslaught for as long as possible.

In Episode Two: Mercy, the ESC has been receiving reports that a massive alien mothership has begun an assault on the shipyards at Gamma Crucis, a mere 88 light years from Earth. It has disabled the fleet there and without your help the crew of those ships will perish.

While the Red Nova occupies the mothership you must use your skill to pilot your heavy transport ship, the Raven, against the alien’s fighter onslaught launched from the mothership. Battle through the waves of enemy ships and rescue the stranded citizens at the shipyard before it’s too late.

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Episode Two is a free update for those who already own Episode One – if you haven’t yet purchased this challenging game for your iOS mobile device, you can get it in the iTunes App Store for only 99 cents (USD) – a very good value for such a polished title.

New features added in Episode Two include an added “Gun Pod” power-up which, when activated, will orbit your ship, targeting the nearest enemy and firing at a rapid rate. Gun Pod is backwards compatible with Episode 1. Another new feature is the anti-capital-ship explosive enemy type, which is only featured in Episode 2. This feature offers lots of hit points and will only attack capital ships.

Fixes included with the Episode 2 Update:

  • Optimized rendering engine, should improve performance
  • Changed pause button to make it easier to see the radar
  • Radar markers now change size based on distance to target
  • Fixed a pause/resume bug that would occur when the game entered the background during “Game Over”
  • Increased the range at which energy orbs will become attracted to the ship
  • Improved loading time from optimized data files
  • Improved menu navigation

Red Nova is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices running iOS 3.1.3 or later and is Rated 9+ for Frequent/Intense Cartoon or Fantasy Violence. For even more insight into the Red Nova story, check out the short story Test Pilot by game creator Colin Walsh.

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24th August 2011

Canada Media Fund invests 3.4 Million Through English POV Program

Canada Media FundThe Canada Media Fund (CMF) announced today an investment of $3.4 million in 16 projects through its 2011-2012 English Point-of-View (POV) Program. This program is designed to encourage English POV documentary production.

Of the 49 applications received for the English POV Program, the CMF has approved the funding for 16 projects. $2.7 million has been committed to television components and $0.7 million to digital media components. Fourteen projects were presented with a rich and substantial digital media component, of which 11 will be financed by the CMF, while two are using video on demand (VOD) and/or digital distribution as their additional platforms.

Of the approved projects, two are from British Columbia, one is a co-production between Nova Scotia and Nunavut, six are from Ontario, six from Quebec, and one from Saskatchewan. These decisions and funding commitments are preliminary, as all requests must undergo a contracting process.

 

Convergent Project Title  Applicant(s) Region Platform $ Commitment 
An Ill Wind  Dark Lullabies Inc. (dba DLI Productions)  MTL  Television  $188,169
 Moonray Studios  TOR  Digital Media  $100,000
 Total:  $288,169
Arctic Defenders  John Walker Productions Ltd.  NS  Digital Media  $50,000
 Television  $195,000
 Total:  $245,000
El Huaso  The Handshake Productions Inc.  MTL  Television  $69,000
Election Fever  Karma Film Inc.  SK  Digital Media  $100,000
 Television  $250,000
 Total:  $350,000
Exhibition (The)  Jove Pictures Inc.  BC  Digital Media  $171,500
 Television  $29,150
Total:  $200,650
Fly Colt Fly      Barefoot Bandit Productions Inc.  TOR Digital Media  $44,000
Television  $250,000
Total:  $294,000
Hue  Honalee Productions Inc.  BC Television  $89,194
Indie, with Child   Les Productions Catbird Inc.  MTL Digital Media  $25,000
Television  $230,300
Total:  $255,300
Lost Highway (The)  Insurgent Project 1 Ltd.  TOR Digital Media  $24,976
Television  $147,000
Total:  $171,976
Mirror Mirror     Dark Lullabies Inc. (dba DLI Productions)  MTL Television  $180,000
My Astronomers  Inigo Films Inc.  TOR Digital Media  $36,873
Television  $250,000
Total:  $286,873
Pyongyang Express  Zarathustra Films Inc.  TOR Digital Media  $34,045
Television  $222,104
Total:  $256,149
Rise Again   Diatribe Pictures Inc.  TOR Digital Media  $82,000
Television  $257,178
Total:  $339,178
Waiting Room (The)   Périphéria Productions Inc.  MTL Television  $25,000
When Jews Were Funny  Sudden Storm Entertainment Ltd.  TOR Television  $211,511
When the Trumpet Sounds  Parabola Films  MTL Digital Media  $12,000
Television  $80,000
Total:  $92,000
Number of POV projects:  16  Total Commitments:  $3,354,000

 

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24th August 2011

Endemol Recognizes Endgame As Quality Programming

I managed to miss the original announcement of this, but I’m sharing it with you all now – because there is a very endgameimportant little nugget of hope contained in this news release from Endemol – providing our favourite locally-shot quirky crime drama does not face the possibility of re-location. It would be hard to watch the show if it were shot anywhere but in Vancouver, with the cast and crew as is – and I know many people who would rejoice at the chance of viewing the show on TV sets outside of Canada.

Endemol recently  announced the launch of Endemol Studios, an LA-based independent scripted TV studio operation, to be headed up by newly appointed CEO Philippe Maigret. In his new role, Maigret will report to Endemol North America Chairman, David Goldberg.  Maigret will continue to oversee North America rights acquisitions for the Group, where he has served as Executive Vice President, North America Acquisitions, since joining the company in March 2010. Joining Maigret, Jeremy Gold is appointed Head of Creative Affairs, Endemol Studios. Gold joined Endemol in 2008 as Senior Vice President, Scripted Programming and launched Endemol USA’s scripted TV development division.

Endemol Studios will develop and produce US scripted TV programming for global exploitation across all platforms.  The operation is resourced to finance the development of projects; deficit-finance the production of pilots and series; and to oversee all related activities. Endemol Studios will focus on primetime U.S. cable drama productions based on original projects developed internally, as well as scripted formats adapted from Endemol’s international portfolio.  The studio will also partner with US networks and producers on projects already developed, coming on board in a studio capacity.

“Endemol Studios represents a significant step in our ongoing strategy to expand and diversify our activities in North America at the same time helping fuel our global growth. Philippe and Jeremy bring together a powerful blend of experience and a track record of delivering projects with global potential” said David Goldberg, Chairman of Endemol North America.

Maigret added: “It is something of a wish fulfillment to build a new-generation TV studio business. Endemol Studios will draw on Endemol’s world leading creative resources in the US and around the world, as well as leveraging the Group’s global distribution platforms.”

The launch of Endemol Studios capitalizes on Endemol’s successes in US scripted television to date. These have included AMC’s recent series order of the Endemol USA-developed series Hell on Wheels, premiering November 6; as well as the rights acquisition of  TV Land’s Hot in Cleveland, Happily Divorced and The Exes, TNT’s Leverage, The Hub’s The Haunting Hour in the U.S. and Showcase’s Endgame in Canada.
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24th August 2011

New Handycam Camcorder From Sony Broadens Creative Possibilities For Shooters

Sony CanadaThe CaveChild would kill for one of these cameras.

The new Handycam® NEX-VG20 camcorder from Sony allows videographers to explore the artistic potential of the growing range of E-Mount lenses for shooting cinematic Full HD video and high-resolution still photos. The new camcorder offers several enhancements over Sony’s acclaimed NEX-VG10 – the world’s first consumer HD camcorder with interchangeable lenses – including comprehensive manual controls, improved imaging quality and upgraded sound. Significantly refined ergonomics include enhanced grips for balance and to support low-angle shooting and a second record button, among many others.

“Whether you’re shooting video or stills, this camcorder’s large sensor rivals the expressive picture quality of a DSLR camera,” said Michelle Seemann, marketing manager of camcorders at Sony Canada. “We’ve also made several enhancements to deliver the type of camcorder that video enthusiasts will love.”

Sony NEX-VG20With a resolution of 16.1 effective megapixels, the camcorder’s Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor assures outstanding video image quality, with extremely low noise in low light. It also captures pristine 16 megapixel still photos, with RAW format support for all the post-processing flexibility that’s familiar to DSLR users. The sensor also allows the creation of background defocus (‘bokeh’) effects with a user’s E-mount lenses.

Full HD video shooting in the AVCHD™ format is now complemented by a choice of 24p and 60p (progressive) frame rate options. Footage shot at 24p can be enhanced with Cinema Tone Gamma™ and Cinema Tone Color™ for an even richer, more cinematic look.

Dialogue and other sounds are captured by the precision Quad Capsule Spatial Array Microphone that now supports stereo and 5.1 channel surround. The camcorder also offers a new audio level control.

Several ergonomic refinements let videographers shoot HD video and stills in even greater comfort. The camcorder’s handgrip has been redesigned for excellent stability. Allowing manual adjustment of exposure, iris and other settings, the control dial can now be accessed even when the LCD panel is closed.

The button layout now features ‘hard’ function keys, direct access to each shooting mode (Iris, Shutter speed, Program AE), a second REC button for low-angle shots and expanded focus button – all located for intuitive operation so users don’t have to take their eyes from the electronic viewfinder.

Shooters can frame and review footage on the three-inch (7.5cm) Xtra Fine LCD™ display that features TruBlack™ technology for clear, high contrast images. The screen can rotate up to a 270-degree range for easy framing in any position, even with the camera held low. A touch-panel simplifies fingertip operation of shooting functions.

The NEX-VG20H camcorder comes with the SEL18200 F3.5-6.3 E-mount lens. With a wide 11x optical zoom range and built-in Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilization, this versatile lens offers smooth, quiet autofocus operation during movies and still shooting.

A choice of seven E-mount lenses can cover virtually any shooting situation. The optional LA-EA2 lens mount adaptor provides even wider compatibility with the established family of A-mount optics. Sony is also planning to develop a third-party “eco-system” to allow consumers to use the camcorder with other brands’ lens assets.

The Handycam NEX-VG20H camcorder kit includes the E-Mount SEL18200 lens and will be available in November at Sony retail stores and other authorized retailers throughout the Sony dealer network at a retail price of about $2,200. A body-only version, the NEX-VG20, will be available for about $1,600.

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24th August 2011

Kobo eReader Touch Edition Launches at Best Buy

koboThe Kobo eReader Touch Edition is now available at Best Buy stores in both Canada and the USA as part of its strategy to deliver eReading to everyone, everywhere. To support the launch of the new Kobo eReader Touch Edition at Best Buy, Kobo specialists will be alongside Best Buy’s Blue Shirts to demo the eReader to consumers, providing them with a hands-on experience to see, touch and try the slim, light and innovative touch screen eReader.

The Kobo Wireless eReader has been available in-store and online at Best Buy for the last four months. Best Buy is now expanding its Kobo offering by carrying the Kobo eReader Touch Edition, which is available onlineand at select Best Buy stores nationwide. This in-store roll out allows consumers to gain an in-depth, hands-on comparison of the Touch Edition against competing eReaders. Kobo is currently expanding the Touch Edition availability through multiple retail channels on a number of continents, and Best Buy is one of several planned launches in the United States for Q3 and Q4.

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24th August 2011

Largest Online Collection of Study Notes to Launch Across Canada

notesolutionNotesolution.com, an online note sharing platform for post-secondary students is about to launch its free service to over 20 universities across Canada. Notesolution is a Toronto based start-up, originally exclusive to the University of Toronto, but now with over 10,000 active users sharing 12,000 study documents.

“From Facebook to Foursquare, people are looking to their peers for the best source of information. Notesolution is the next natural progression for this concept of social learning” says Jack Tai, CEO and co-founder of Notesolution. Notesolution believes the future of education should revolve around the concept of peer-to-peer learning and will be releasing Notesolution 2.0 later this week.

Notesolution.com currently holds the largest collection of university notes in Canada. Students share their own study guides, lecture and textbook notes to earn credits which they use towards downloading notes from their peers. Students earn credits every time their notes are downloaded and can also exchange the credits for gift cards through Notesolution’s reward program. The Notesolution reward program encourages students to take quality notes.

“We believe that experience is the best teacher, so why not learn from the experiences of fellow students? Notesolution is a gateway for students to exchange study materials with each other, connecting and enhancing their university life.”  said Kevin Wu, COO and co-founder of Notesolution.

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