3 Startups That Are Using Technology to Reinvent Entertainment
These companies are using blockchain, augmented reality and 3D in groundbreaking ways.
For the first time ever, Netflix received more Emmy nominations this year than any other TV network, as reported by BGR. The video streaming company received 112 nominations from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences last month, beating out former Emmy dominator HBO, which received three fewer nominations.
The success of Netflix demonstrates the power of technology in the home entertainment industry. When Netflix debuted its streaming service in the early 2000s, it gave users access to thousands of titles with the push of a button. At the time, it was the first service of its kind.
Today, the streaming company has changed the way people enjoy and access entertainment at home and it’s led to an influx of similar companies offering new tech innovations in home entertainment with a variety of viewing options for consumers. In 2017, these video streaming services contributed to a 5 percent increase in home entertainment spending, seeing it rise to $20.5 billion in the United States, as explained by Deadline.
Now new tech innovations are being applied to home entertainment, revolutionizing the industry even further.
Those who have heard about blockchain or are familiar with this innovative technology likely associate it only with the cryptocurrency market and most notably, Bitcoin. But blockchain is being utilized by a growing number of markets. The technology can be used to create a highly secure ledger of transactions, and its potential applications are numerous.
Hollywood producer Andrea Iervolino, best known for backing the James Franco film In Dubious Battle, founded a new home entertainment company TaTaTu and is using blockchain to reward customers. TaTaTu pays TTU tokens to consumers for watching movies, playing games and listening to music. And with blockchain,TaTaTu can record each transaction in an open distributed ledger, which ensures users get rewarded. The blockchain also ensures content providers are compensated by using a digital rights management platform to create an accurate record of work for talent, distributors and studios involved in the site. Eventually, tokens will be able to be traded for cash or used in the company’s own ecommerce store.
“Blockchain technology is providing the opportunity that rights holders are looking for. No longer will they have to take someone’s word for it when it comes to distribution across different territories," Lervolino wrote in the company's white paper. "Once we bring a system of digital rights management into place, rights holders will be able to see exactly when and how their content has been shown -- via the irrefutable ledger that is the blockchain.”
Futuristic settings in movies often feature some kind of augmented reality (AR). The technology lets users apply digital layers to the real world. In science fiction movies these layers often appear in the form of advertisements. Whether through a pair of high-tech glasses or some kind of cortical implant, characters see billboards and pop-up ads wherever they go. It’s like the notifications you receive on your phone when walking near a business, but instead, the advertisements appear before your very eyes. If you follow my articles, you know that I'm a partner of an augmented reality platform called FluffAR, which rewards users with cryptocurrency for viewing AR experiences.
AR is currently being tested in the world of advertising to bring these ideas from the movies to life, but it’s also being used in innovative ways in the area of home entertainment. Tech startup Eyecandy’s augment.tv project lets users access digital overlays while watching sports, documentaries, kids programming and more. In order to see the digital layers, users point AR-enabled smartphones or tablets on a video screen. The digital layer is then overlaid on the content.
For example, when it comes to sports, users can see an overlay containing a newsfeed of relevant stats and data about the match, teams and players. And augment.tv will even give users the ability to replay content themselves. Other features will include letting users shop for the clothing and accessories seen in the movies or tv shows they’re watching.
While some companies are using technology to enhance a user’s viewing experience. Other companies are using technology to bring content to life.
3D technology has become ubiquitous in the movie industry. With dozens of movies being released in 3D every year, nowadays moviegoers have the option of watching most action blockbusters in 3D. According to recent reports by True Industry News, the global 3D and 4D market are expected to reach $168.6 billion by 2023.
New startup Urus is using 3D imaging technology to bring the 3D viewing experience home in a new way. The company is working to make movie and other video content scenes appear as if they are playing out in a viewer’s living room. Urus is using 3D technology to modify a user’s home scenery to match the look of the movie they’re watching. Using the technology they already have at their fingertips -- their smartphones -- users take a panoramic photo of their surroundings using their phone’s camera. This image is used to reconstruct a 3D model that then blends in the action on screen.
Just as Netflix revolutionized the home entertainment industry more than a decade ago, these startups are ushering in a new wave of home entertainment innovation, bringing technology usually reserved for science fiction movies, to life.