Digital Media News (week 25)
11 June 2012
Weekly bulletin collating public sector, industry and company news for creative industries by David Hartley.
From Scottish Enterprise
"Attending Digital 2012 has really changed things for a small community arts and media charity from Govan As winners of the Networking Challenge Competition, the charity has partnered with a number of different Scottish based organisations including Moving Targets, a knowledge exchange programme run out of University of Abertay, to help take them through a commercialisation phase and help them realise their potential."
"Six pioneering Scottish projects that will harness digital technologies for the benefit of the arts and cultural sector have been selected to receive funding from the Scottish Digital Research and Development Fund for Arts and Culture run by Nesta, Creative Scotland and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Following the launch of the £0.5 million Fund in January, over 50 projects applied for funding and awards were made totalling £262,000."
From the University of Abertay
"The Prototype Fund funds start-ups and young companies UK-wide who are creating new prototype games and interactive digital media... funded companies have the option of studio space, high-end computers and industry-standard software in the University of Abertay Dundee. The Prototype Fund model has proven a success already, receiving over 200 applications, funding 35 projects."
Local industry news
From the Herald
"A daily deals website has received a £150,000 Regional Selective Assistance grant to upgrade its technology ahead of an expansion of its services. Today's Great Deal has taken on two staff and plans to create 15 jobs over the next three years. Ron Morrison, of Today's Great Deal, said: "The website is growing at such a pace that it was in danger of being constrained by its very success. This RSA grant investment will allow the company to match technical capacity to its long-term aspirations."
From Big Hospitality
"QikServe, an app that allows diners to view a restaurant menu, order food and drinks for their specific table and pay the bill using their own iPhone, iPad or Android smartphone, has been launched in the UK". More detail on QikServe "one of Scotland’s most exciting startup companies" and their "global ambitions to revolutionise the fast-casual dining industry" is available on the QikServe website."
From the Scotsman
"A software firm backed by former executives from Xbox and Last.fm is preparing to post its maiden profit after launching a tool that allows computer game makers to cut their development times by 80 per cent. Dundee-based YoYo Games, which has grown its headcount from one to 20 staff in the past two years, expects to create further jobs following the launch of its design software GameMaker: Studio."
From Dundee United
"Dundee United are pleased to announce a new sponsorship agreement with Dundee based independent games development studio Digital Goldfish. The deal sees the mobile platform game developer's name and logo adorn the home and away shorts of the first team in 2012-13. The distinctive Digital Goldfish logo has been recreated in Dundee United colours to tie in with the overall look of the new kit. The logo appears on the right leg above the Club crest."
From the BBC
"Samsung is to introduce a cloud-based video games service to its premium TVs. It has signed a deal with Gaikai to use the California-based firm's streaming technology to let its customers play titles written for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 without having to own one of the consoles… Samsung said the service would be made available on its Smart Hub environment on high-end televisions released this year. It will initially be restricted to the US where users will shortly be invited to sign up to a trial."
From Tech Crunch
"Microsoft just threw down at E3 2012. After exciting the crowd with Halo and Gears of War titles, the company unveiled new additions to the 360′s vast media offering. Don’t be distracted by the video game trailers: this is Redmond’s biggest news of the show. In fact the new offering could lead to a rival of the cord cutting movement… With these new features, the Xbox 360 has finally become Microsoft’s Trojan Horse. The target? Cable companies."
From The Telegraph
"Sony has unveiled Wonderbook, a peripheral device for their PlayStation 3 home console that will bring interactive storybooks to life. Wonderbook works in tandem with Sony’s PlayStation Eye and Move motion controller, using augmented reality graphics and a book-shaped peripheral. Readers (players?) can then interact with the story as the book progresses, able to take part in games and activities, as well as influencing the outcome of the story. Harry Potter author JK Rowling has written the first release for Wonderbook, named The Book of Spells."
From Tech Crunch
"Basic transfer of money from one party to another in exchange for goods and services shouldn’t be this exclusive. Yet, this is where we find ourselves today. Closed and restrictive payment systems don’t expand economic prosperity, they hinder it. Recent articles questioning if we really need NFC payments, and the lack of democratized payment systems highlight how far we are from a mobile payment utopia."
From the Next Web
"China’s online video market continues to see increased advertising revenues, after research from Analysys concluded that the first quarter of 2012 generated $330 million from ads, a 24.7 percent rise on the previous quarter. The total figure represents a significant 218 percent year on year leap on the revenues from the first quarter of 2011, which stood at $104 million."
From the Guardian
"The number of devices connected to mobile phone networks will overtake the number people on earth within five years, according to technology group Ericsson. There will be 9bn mobile subscriptions by 2017, up from 6.2bn at the start of this year, while the US census bureau predicts the global population will have reached 7.4 billion in five years. Driven by demand for video, internet usage and storage of electronic files in the 'cloud' rather than on home or office computers, traffic over mobile networks will grow even faster than subscriptions."
From the Next Web
"A new report from research firm IDC suggests that Android will reach the peak of its growth in 2012, as overall mobile shipments begin to slow, but states that it will be Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform that will make inroads into the smartphone market currently dominated by Google and Apple. IDC believes that worldwide mobile shipments will see their lowest annual growth rate since 2009, seeing a slight increase of 4% in 2012 as shipments rise from 1.7 billion to 1.8 billion between over the past year."
And finally ...
"Russian fans of the videogame Angry Birds will soon be able to get special debit cards - or "Angry Cards" - giving them discounts on the game's products. Moscow-based Promsvyazbank said Tuesday it will start issuing the new MasterCards on June 4. They will be printed with images of the various characters and will give users a 10 percent discount on all Angry Birds-branded products. Besides debit cards, the bank will also issue Angry Bird cash cards, which users top up with money. The bank will pay a 4 percent annual interest rate on the card's balance."
Compiled by David Hartley