The speed at which AI is advancing is incredible. Before the end of last year, most of us thought AI wouldn’t be personally useful for a few years. Then ChatGPT hit, backed by GPT-3 technology, followed quickly by GPT-4, and suddenly, we’re surrounded by artificial intelligence that can improve our productivity.

One of the most interesting is DeepBrain AI’s video synthesis AI model, which can create a functioning digital twin of a human that can rapidly perform tasks that the human it mirrors would typically do.

Let’s talk this week about the emergence of useful human digital twins. We’ll end with our Product of the Week, Lenovo’s Motorola Thinkphone, a smartphone that addresses one of the computer industry’s biggest mistakes in responding to Apple’s iPhone.

video synthesis ai model

Initially focused on news anchor talent, the DeepBrain AI is the first human digital twin I’ve seen that can perform tasks differently from how a human would have done them.

The digital twin is created by allowing it to learn from multiple news videos to build a database of knowledge on the human presenter’s behaviour, quirks, speech and movements.

The resulting digital twin can be fed a script, and from that script, it will act as a news presenter. The digital twin does not replace human talent, and the talent is typically compensated each time a news service uses this avatar, primarily for breaking news or short format teases for upcoming live programming.

Sometimes news services will note that viewers are viewing AI-generated avatars. Where this technology is already in use, it has been accepted by news audiences and talent.

The reason news talent is fine is that they are compensated when an avatar is used, and using an avatar means that the talent is required to conduct or record live short segments, updates or announcements. do not have to go to the studio which usually requires that they return to a studio.

Therefore, the avatar doesn’t hurt their income, and it complements the humans’ work by reducing their workload and associated growth, which should improve job satisfaction for all.

avatar use case

While most of the early use cases for this technology are for video news programs where avatars and newsreels are inseparable (eg in Asia), other uses include:

  • Virtual kiosks in banks where it feels like you are talking to a human but chatting with AI
  • Script powered one-way training video
  • A virtual concierge at a hotel who can assist with things like making restaurant reservations or showing tickets
  • Interactive video where, again, it’s like you’re talking to a live person

Some of these avatars were never real people; They were computer generated, highly realistic images.

The cost benefits are significant because it typically costs about $4,000 to create this short-form content with a live person, but only $100 to do the same thing with a computer-generated avatar.

The avatar required no rehearsal and would act from the written script without illness or any of the conflicts or behavioral problems usually associated with live talent.

Given that the avatar works from text, it can be controlled by other AI such as ChatGPT or IBM’s Watson, which created a level of human-like interactive content that can fool many people into thinking they are Talking to a live person.

Another use that has been explored is celebrity advocacy:

Celebrities don’t scale well because if you use them as advocates, the ability to chat with individuals is almost non-existent. However, a celebrity’s avatar may interact with fans at large in addition to the customer’s current or future customers.

As mentioned, this technology can scan both real people and artistically created characters, which could solve some of the problems for companies like McDonald’s (Ronald McDonald), Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Jack in the Box. Where everyone will exchange regularly. Actors so as not to tie the actor so tightly to the character that they cannot be changed.

With a digitally created avatar, the firm owns the virtual actor, and human-source problems disappear when you remove humans from the mix.

Humans and Virtual Digital Twins – What’s Next

DeepBrain’s current focus is for the most part on enhancing people, not changing them. However, their use of fully synthesized avatars, which bear no relation to any human, is more of a replacement than an augmentation model. While they are initially focused on short-form content, nothing stops the technology from eventually moving into long-form productions such as TV shows and movies.

The hyper-realistic nature of the avatars will improve with additional training and, as technology advances, even in longer form. Virtual actors will become indistinguishable from real people, even if they are blends of those, much like products such as Dell-E create art from a blend of images.

Given the massive cost advantage of using virtually produced content compared to live action, the potential for such technology to disrupt the media industry is significant. Looking ahead, it’s not just the cost of talent escaping. The entire cost of the studio where the talent will perform can also be waived off.

Since GPT-4 is already doing interesting work with scripts and stories, you can put this on the roadmap for fully photorealistic movies and TV shows created entirely by AI based solely on user preferences. Can

Finally, instead of watching the same TV show and movie as everyone else, this technology, combined with generative AI, could create customized videos at scale and potentially feature you and your family as the main actors. (with your permission, of course).

Granted, you can then share those videos on social media with people who are interested in seeing what others create, potentially creating massive amounts of unique content that can be analyzed and marketed to potential customers. Services will be needed to present the world.

wrapping up

Being able to have your twin do some of the work that DeepBrain AI is currently focused on is game-changing. But while we can take synthesized images and do the same thing, especially for long-form content, it will massively disrupt all forms of entertainment. For example, the pornography industry has already gone through all this. Reddit content has been doing this for a while, and most users don’t care.

Everything from in-game non-player characters (NPCs) that exist like real people, to being able to build entire virtual sports teams with accurate representations of real, fictional, or even dead players All are potentially on the table. Which suggests a level of disruption we’re only just starting to see.

In short, it is already difficult to tell what is real and what is not, and this difficulty will only increase. This can be a good thing when it comes to entertainment, but it can have very problematic effects when it comes to our ability to see the truth. We are nowhere near ready for this.

tech product of the week

Lenovo Thinkphone by Motorola

One of the biggest mistakes the computer industry made was to focus solely on the iPhone. The irony was that the industry initially didn’t believe in consumer-centric smartphones. Then, instead of fighting that trend on its own merits, it attempted to pivot on the iPhone to transform Apple from late follower to market leader overnight.

This was not the first time. A few decades ago, IBM attempted to pivot to client/server computing and almost abandoned mainframes, taking it from the clear market leader to nearly out-of-business in just a few years.

Today, there is an underserved market for business-oriented smartphones. I once spoke with the then CEO of Bank of America who didn’t want his people to use consumer phones. He wanted something as secure and business-oriented as the Blackberry, but he was disappointed that no one had made such a device.

Well, Lenovo fixed that with its iconic Thinkphone.

Lenovo Thinkphone by Motorola

Lenovo Thinkphone by Motorola (Image Credit: Lenovo)

Building off of the heavily business-focused brand of ThinkPad that originated with IBM, the ThinkPhone has similar dimensions to the iPhone, but is wrapped with a number of unique business-focused features.

These features include:

  • Instant Connect: Phone and PC automatically discover when nearby and connected to Wi-Fi.
  • Integrated Clipboard: Easily transfer copied text or recent photos, scanned documents and videos between devices by pasting into any app on the destination device.
  • Integrated Notifications: Phone notifications appear immediately on the Windows Action Center. Clicking on the notification automatically launches the corresponding Phone app on the PC screen.
  • File Drop: Easily drag and drop files between ThinkPhone and PC.
  • App Streaming: Open any Android application directly on PC.
  • Advanced Webcam: Take advantage of the powerful ThinkPhone cameras and AI capabilities, using it as your webcam for all your video calls. Why buy a separate webcam when your smartphone already has a better camera?
  • Instant Hotspot: Connect to the Internet directly from a PC with a single click to take advantage of ThinkPhone’s 5G connectivity. This is huge and potentially reduces the need and cost of WAN capability in your PC.

Like the ThinkPad, the ThinkPhone is wrapped with protection and tested to Military Standard 810H (MIL-STD-810H), as it uses aramid fiber (used in bullet-proof vests), aircraft-quality aluminum, and Victus has been used – the strongest solution by Gorilla Glass.

The Thinkphone is waterproof up to a depth of 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes. It also has a red button to launch an important application. I generally choose the camera because it’s the one I often need to access quickly. Others may use it to re-implement push-to-talk for police, security, and other uses where instant communication is important (this is supported in the Microsoft Teams Walkie Talkie app).

Designed to embrace remote management, ThinkPhone can be centrally configured and managed to ensure device security and that it is not used improperly, business-oriented computing device There is a specific requirement for Thinkphone has a unique processor called Moto Secure that separates PINs, passwords and cryptographic keys, keeping them in a tamper-resistant environment so bad actors can’t access them.

The ThinkPhone comes with a unique and very small 68W universal charger that will charge the phone in minutes and is also strong enough to power most business-oriented laptops or other USB-C devices – even gaming machines or workstations No.

Lastly, the phone has a high-quality 50MP camera, which should cover most photo needs, whether capturing a personal event or for an insurance investigator or anyone else who needs to make high-quality records. be necessary

The ThinkPhone fills the void in business phones that has existed since BlackBerry and Palm exited the market, and it’s my product of the week.

Videoconferencing, podcasts and webinars grew in popularity during the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021 as remote working became part of the new normal. With the pandemic now in the rearview mirror, video communication technologies have shown no sign of slowing down.

What has been amusing to me is that despite the prevalence of video communication, very little attention has been paid to how ineffective we appear on camera, often using weak, low-resolution webcams. Bad lighting is undoubtedly a big problem when using video calls mainly from home. The sub-HD resolution webcams built into most, even high-end laptops, don’t help.

Without the professional assets available in a professional television studio, politicians, celebrities and industry experts often look sinister when interviewed remotely from their homes.

Regular videoconferencing calls from home are especially vulnerable to an “amateur hour” look and feel, especially during a formal presentation where wandering eyes (eg, not looking directly into the webcam) can distract the viewer. Huh.

The location of the webcam is responsible for this unwanted effect as the camera is usually integrated on top of the laptop panel or on a separate stand which is difficult to place in front of a desktop display.

Because typical videoconferencing using a desktop or laptop PC does not have proper teleprompter functionality, which is complex, bulky, and expensive, it is nearly impossible to read speaker notes without avoiding the annoying phenomenon of a terrible webcam angle that obscures your Looks up or down the nose. ,

Is there any quick way to cure eye sight problem?

There are a few ways to mitigate this problem in a typical desktop or laptop home setup. However, these approaches are entirely artificial and do not eliminate the problem.

Some companies offer small external webcams, often equipped without an integrated microphone, to reduce the size of the device and allow placement in the center of your screen, in front of any text content or text you may be using. In front of the viewing window of the going video app.

These cameras use a thin wire wrapped and clipped on top of the display. This way, you look directly into the webcam and can see most, though not all, of the presentation or text you’re presenting.

Yet, another method is using a clear piece of acrylic plastic that allows you to mount almost any webcam and hook it over the top of the display so that the webcam suspends itself in front of the center point of the display. Do it

The advantage of this approach is that it frees you up to use your preferred webcam. The downside is that the webcam’s size and acrylic plastic device often obscure a good portion of the screen, making it less useful as a teleprompter alternative.

Down the road, we may see laptop and PC displays with integrated webcams behind LCD panels, which are invisible to the user. While this is an ideal solution to the problem I described above, the downside is that these specialized displays will cost a lot, which most manufacturers will hesitate to offer due to the price elasticity implications.

AI can fix eye contact issues easily and cost-effectively.

The idea of ​​using artificial intelligence to reduce or eliminate eye contact during videoconferencing calls is not new. When done correctly, AI can eliminate the need to purchase expensive teleprompting equipment that television studios use or resort to some of the gimmicky methods mentioned above.

The challenge with employing AI to perform eye contact correction on the fly (live) or even in a recorded scenario is that it requires processor horsepower to do the heavy lifting.

Apple Silicon has had this integrated capability with its iPhone chips for a few years now. Many users don’t know that Apple’s FaceTime app has eye contact correction (which can be turned off), which ensures that your eyes are centered in the middle of the screen regardless of the iPhone’s orientation.

Eye Contact Settings for Apple's FaceTime App

Contact settings in Apple’s FaceTime app

Microsoft has also joined the AI ​​party to fix problems with eye contact. Last year, it announced that it would add Eye Contact Solution capability to Windows 11 by leveraging the power of Qualcomm’s Arm Solutions and Neural Processing Unit (NPU) silicon to enhance video and audio in meetings — including subject framing, Background noise suppression is included. , and background blur.

Many of these features are already available on Microsoft’s Surface Pro X device, which uses an Arm chip. Nevertheless, Microsoft will be deploying this functionality more widely this year on compatible models from major PC OEMs.

nvidia broadcast with eye contact

Nvidia’s Broadcast app, which works on a wide range of Nvidia external graphics cards, is a robust AI tool that improves video calls and communications on x86-based PCs. Last week, Nvidia enhanced the utility in version 1.4 to support its implementation of Eye Contact, which makes it appear as though the subject within a video is looking directly at the camera.

The new eye contact effect adjusts the speaker’s eyes to recreate eye contact with the camera. This capability is achieved by harnessing the AI ​​horsepower in Nvidia’s GPUs to accurately capture and align the gaze.

nvidia broadcast eye contact feature

The new Eye Contact effect in Nvidia Broadcast 1.4 moves the speaker’s eyes to simulate eye contact with the camera. , Image credit: Nvidia

The advantage of Nvidia’s approach is that the capability isn’t limited to a single videoconferencing platform or app. Apple only supports its eye contact correction capability using the iPhone’s FaceTime app. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple expands this capability to macOS users later this year with its Continuity Camera capability.

In addition, Nvidia provides Broadcast Vignette functionality that is on par with what many Instagram app users experience. In this way, Nvidia Broadcast can generate a brief background blur to get an AI-simulated blurred view on your webcam, instantly boosting visual quality.

Replacing background images on videoconferencing calls is nothing new. Still, Nvidia’s approach will likely deliver better quality as it harnesses the power of its graphics cards, which are optimized for video content creation and gaming.

closing thoughts

The Eye Contact feature in Nvidia’s Broadcast app is currently in beta form and not yet ready for deployment. Like any beta feature, it will suffer from the inevitable glitches, and we should delay a formal judgment of its quality until a production version is made available.

Furthermore, Nvidia Broadcast isn’t just a run-of-the-mill app, but an open SDK with features that can be integrated into third-party apps. This opens up interesting new capabilities for third-party applications to directly take advantage of the functionality in Nvidia Broadcast.

Despite this, I am baffled by some of the adverse reactions that have appeared over the past few years around the prospect of using AI to correct eye contact. Some technical analysts use phrases such as “creepness factor” to categorize this feature in the most attractive way possible.

In fact, the potential would inspire many, perhaps deserved, jokes if the latter effect seemed unnatural and artificial. However, the creepy designation sounds over the top and pretentious. The same objection can be made about using makeup or deploying advanced equipment that corrects audio deficiencies during video calls. Apps like TikTok or Instagram wouldn’t exist without filters, which create far from creepy images in my opinion.

Like it or not, videoconferencing has survived as one of the positive outcomes of the post-pandemic world. Using technology that facilitates more productive, compelling and impactful video calls is something we should welcome, not scorn.

As someone who produces a weekly video podcast and recognizes the potential to eliminate or even reduce eyestrain, which in turn can offer teleprompter-like advantages, I’m coming up next. I look forward to testing this much needed capability in the weeks to come.

Streaming video content from non-mainstream providers can unwittingly make you a victim of content piracy. At first you may not care if you get a bargain pricing offer. But you have a chance to become a victim of scammers and hackers, lose personal data and have your financial assets stolen. This is a huge financial loss for consumers and legitimate creative content providers.

Paying a low-balled sign-up fee is often the first sign that you’re dealing with an illegitimate media operation. What most people don’t realize is that bad actors can just as easily steal legitimate creative content to make piles of money. The piracy occurs by using content operators’ mobile apps or content delivery systems against them.

This process turns participating consumers into a weapon that can dramatically hurt businesses’ profits and drive away less legit customers, says CEO of Verimetrics, a longtime security expert for the media and entertainment industry. Asaf warns Ashkenazi.

This digital piracy operation is becoming widespread in the video content space. Its new weapon is harmful to legitimate retailers and advertisers and a growing threat to Hollywood and other sectors like sports and entertainment.

“It is very difficult to measure the extent of piracy today. But it’s much broader than people think,” Ashkenazi told TechNewsWorld.

video piracy mitigation

Verimatrix is ​​a cyber security company based in California, with offices in Europe, that tracks application streams and website traffic. Its dual mission is to protect enterprise applications in mobile phones and provide anti-piracy services to businesses.

The insights Ashkenazi shared about this new approach to video piracy come from unexpected discoveries of digital traffic patterns when monitoring customers’ networks.

His company monitors what hackers do online with developed tools that can identify patterns that indicate an attack is imminent, so it can be minimized or thwarted.

Specialized cyber security protects automotive firms, banks and enterprises from data loss through their apps. Ashkenazi said the customer base is about 300 customers worldwide.

insider view

The cyber firm’s CEO articulated a philosophy that’s a bit unique to Digital Spy. He openly professes the belief that you can never completely prevent digital content from leaking.

Instead, Verimatrix developed proprietary technology services that disrupted the pirates’ business model. The goal is to eliminate a rogue service fast. When possible, they work to remove intrusions from video distribution pipelines.

“If we can make it more difficult for pirates to grab customer data and force them to spend more money to keep operating, they won’t make enough money. Then they don’t go after our customers,” he explained.

For example, let’s say cyber security can disconnect illegal distribution network connections after 10 minutes. In that case, illegitimate Pirate users won’t be able to watch the sporting event they paid for, Ashkenazi explained.

“Also, all the advertising revenue and continued subscription payments no longer go to the pirate streaming service. This would put them out of business,” he continued.

From file sharing to outright piracy

Ashkenazi considers the growth of digital piracy to be an interesting development. Criminals migrated from file-sharing exploits to advanced new technologies, and they learned to adjust to the technologies on their way to becoming modern-day content pirates.

“They’re no different than any other thieves. It’s really fascinating how digital criminals have evolved with technology,” he offered.

In the past, it was more organized enterprises that were doing it. A lot of the activity focused on file sharing. Much of it focused on The Pirate Bay, which launched in 2003, but mostly involved people sharing content with their peers.

Ashkenazi submitted that when people used file-sharing networks, they knew they were doing something illegal. Cheated customers of pirated video streaming networks today are not even aware that they are dealing with an illegal operation.

“When we moved into streaming, the pirates went away and became a more organized group that provided services. And what we see is that these services are looking more and more like legitimate services that are offered by legitimate providers. provide a better user experience than what is being provided,” he said.

The robbers are collecting incoming material from various suppliers. They offer a one-stop video shop with a great experience. He said that it is becoming a very lucrative business.

monetize hacked video distribution

It begs the question: How do they make money? They make money in three ways, often maximizing two or all three approaches in a single video streaming event.

The first method is very straightforward. Rogue business looks like a well-fixed legitimate service. The scams involve offering subscription prices that are much lower than what legitimate content streaming services charge. Because thieves don’t have to pay the source for the material, it’s all a profit for them.

Today video pirates access content distribution with very sophisticated high-tech equipment. According to Ashkenazi, initially, they were stealing content and re-streaming it.

Now they have ways to add and inject their content through legitimate suppliers and stream it for free. The pirating operation allows their unsuspecting customers to connect to the same delivery system that honest services use.

Creative content providers use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) of interconnected servers to speed up webpage loading for data-heavy applications. The legitimate content distributor pays the full cost of preparing the content for streaming and cloud services. Content pirates don’t need to do anything to re-route the video feed to their own streaming outlet.

“We found by working with our clients that legal service providers are paying approximately 20% of their costs to stream content to pirates. It is difficult to know the exact amount,” Ashkenazi said.

“Service providers cannot determine a legitimate paying user from a customer connecting to a hijacked video stream. Users are often not even aware they are using a pirated service,” he said.

two more plans

The second monetization method comes from customers who have to install apps that connect to the CDN. They inadvertently grant app permissions that enable piracy operators to grab your personal data.

Pirates sell this data to third parties. Criminals then use the stolen user information to initiate ID theft and make fraudulent credit card purchases and bank account withdrawals.

A third way that video content pirates make money is by injecting their own advertisements and other advertisements that are sold to legitimate retailers and businesses that do not know the deceptive company’s background.

hide and run tactic

The CEO of the cyber firm said that much of the growth in pirated video activity involves sports streaming. Some fake providers entice users for a short term or special event series and then disappear.

In the process, operators create maximum cash flow. They may suddenly stop and set up again with new URLs. Typically, their scams go undetected by victimized users, and businesses have little recourse through legal scrutiny.

“We have seen a large increase in two types of pirated services. These covert operations can be easily hidden because they do not have the infrastructure that can be identified and tracked by law enforcement,” Ashkenazi explained.

From the users point of view, the websites look legitimate. The money collection process takes place through channels that appear legitimate and are difficult to trace back.

Children who played video games for three hours or more a day performed better in tests of cognitive skills, including impulse control and working memory, according to research released Monday.

The study of nearly 2,000 children was conducted by researchers from the University of Vermont in Burlington and sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and other institutions of the National Institutes of Health and is part of an ongoing study on adolescent cognitive development.

According to the NIDA, several studies have examined the relationship between video gaming and cognitive behavior. Nevertheless, only a handful of neuroimaging studies have addressed the topic, and the sample size in those studies was small, with less than 80 participants.

Vermont researchers examined cognitive and brain-imaging data from nine- and 10-year-olds participating in the large Adolescent Cognitive Development Study. The study subjects were divided into two groups — those who never played video games and those who played for three hours or more a day.

The researchers rated each group on two tasks that assessed their ability to control impulsive behavior and remember information, as well as their brain activity while performing the tasks. The scientists found that video gamers were faster and more accurate at tasks than non-players.

They discovered higher brain activity in areas of the brain associated with attention and memory, and in frontal brain regions associated with more cognitively demanding tasks.

Less brain activity was found in brain regions related to vision. Researchers believe that there may be less activity in visual areas because repeated play practice causes the brain to become more efficient at visual processing.

calming words for parents

One of the study’s authors, assistant professor at the University of Vermont, Badar Charani, said, “There’s a lot of published work that says that video games are associated with negative mental health and cognitive outcomes, which can lead to parents playing their children’s video games.” worry about.”

“We’re seeing heavy video game players — three or more hours a day — and we’re not seeing any association with negative outcomes,” he told TechNewsWorld. “So the message for parents is to be less worrying, and may actually benefit from video gaming.”

Although the study did not find an association between video gaming and the depression, violence, and aggressive behavior found in other studies, it did find that game players report higher mental health and behavioral issues than non-players.

However, the researchers noted that the finding was not statistically significant, meaning they could not tell whether the issues were related to game play or just chance.

“I don’t think video gaming can affect some children’s cognitive skills, because it can help them become more sensitive and attentive to certain subjects,” said Mark N. Venna, president and principal analyst at SmartTech Research. San Jose, Calif.

“But there is also the possibility that certain types of violent video game content may improve cognitive skills at the expense of desensitization, which would be bad for children and society,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“It’s not a simple topic,” said Michael Goodman, director of TV and digital media strategies at Strategy Analytics, an international research, advisory and analytics firm.

“You can’t paint the entire video game industry with one broad brush,” he told TechNewsWorld. “There are aspects of video games that are positive and negative for children. A game can improve your cognitive skills while at the same time making you vulnerable to violence.”

balance imperative

“I think the results of this study are very promising and give us solid data that playing video games can have a positive and meaningful impact on children’s cognitive abilities and performance,” said Dr. Lynn E. Feelin said. University School of Medicine.

“I believe parents will see this as important and valuable findings, considering how many children play video games,” she told TechNewsWorld. Feelin is also director of the play2PREVENT lab at Yale, which works on developing video games targeting important health outcomes in teens.

“We believe and have demonstrated that well-developed and evidence-based video games can positively affect children and adolescents through cognitive training,” she said. “This recent study provides complementary data to support what we have observed.”

As beneficial as video games can be, those benefits can be muted by too much of a good thing. “I think spending too much time on the exclusion of other activities that are important to childhood and adolescence are some of the downsides associated with children playing video games,” Feilin acknowledged.

“Balance is important,” she continued. “But I think we have shown, and this recent study further demonstrated, many positive features and benefits of playing video games.”

NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow agreed that balance is key.

“Video gaming can lead young people to neglect other activities, such as doing homework, going to sleep, and having social interactions, which are extraordinarily important for their brain development,” she told TechNewsWorld.

“Like anything, it’s a question of balance,” she agreed. “The lesson we have to learn is how we can optimize video gaming technology to develop tools that can be applied to maximize the improvement of one’s various cognitive skills.”

need more granularity

One of the study’s shortcomings is that the researchers had no data on the style of games played by the video players.

“We need to study this in more detail,” Volkow said. “There are a wide variety of video games. In this particular study, they do not address those differences.”

“You can have a game that is maximizing people shooting. That will improve your reaction time. It will speed you up a lot,” she explained. “Or you can have a video game where you have to escape. There may be a need for a route. It’s going to enhance your memory.”

“We have no granularity in this study as to whether there were tasks-related differences in the types of video games these children were using,” he said.

There will be time to gather that information as the larger cognitive study follows participants into their twenties.

“We plan to follow them in the coming years, and we will have more information about the games they are playing,” Charani said. “For now, we’re seeing this improvement regardless of the type of game they’re playing.”

“It will be interesting to find out whether we still see these benefits as these kids get older,” Volkow said.

Marketers are increasingly focusing on presenting potential buyers with a mix of product video as a model that adopts live commerce goals based on consumer-based and consumer-focused product discovery.

The developing new marketing method shares many names. The foremost usage centers on live commerce and livestream shopping. Whatever you call it, marketing strategy allows sellers to showcase products to a live, online audience who can participate in the experience.

This method of showcasing merchandise is common on social media and is now slowly finding new website outlets. The format is very similar in that it enables buyers to communicate directly with promoters through online video and chat.

Industry analysts project Interactive Live Commerce will generate $25 billion in revenue by 2023. They further predict that live commerce sales could generate 20% of all e-commerce by 2026.

This trend began in 2016 with China’s Alibaba online shopping network and has proven to be very effective in Asia-Pacific markets. The innovative approach established the success potential of blending online livestream broadcasts with an e-commerce store to allow viewers to watch and shop simultaneously.

Buyable videos, on the other hand, have a similar role to customer engagement, but they are more limited than live purchases. Shoppable videos contain retail products available for consumption with a link embedded within the video. Clicking on those links redirects viewers to the purchase window without leaving the video page.

As we recently reported, live shopping probably won’t grow as widely with US customers as it is in the Asia-Pacific market. Nevertheless, merchants should not flag potential live shopping offers for increasing e-commerce sales.

Overarching Customer Engagement Approaches

One of the key features of shoppable videos is the “add to cart” feature offered by Jennifer Silverberg, CEO of SmartCommerce, a consumer packaged goods digital marketing firm. Their company’s advertising content for customers is designed with dynamic features that take into account the user’s context to enhance the experience.

“It helps marketers create interactive advertising experiences that put consumers in the driver’s seat,” Silverberg told the E-commerce Times.

Traditional video advertising strategies rely on third-party cookies for targeting, while interactivity allows brands to not only measure authentic actions, but also use those metrics to optimize campaigns and drive actual purchases . Purchasable ads can unlock views in details relevant to specific groups of consumers without the need to leave the video.

Kerv Interactive is a platform provider of technology aimed at reducing additional costs and production times for creating shoppable ads.

“Whether to purchase with a QR code on CTV [connected TV] The ad or product tile in a digital or social video ad has the ability to drive brand consumers to a destination relevant to the time of day or location, and/or serve creatives that take into account the location, time of day, or weather. can,” Kerv COO Marika Roque told the e-commerce Times.

However, the terms and their strategies are not interchangeable. Shoppable and live commerce video serve the same purpose but have their own approach to consumers.

An essential role of a buyable video is to drive greater customer engagement through the ability to buy immediately. Videos are looped and recorded before they are posted, so that buyers can watch them whenever they want.

Live commerce videos, on the other hand, are real-time events that the host is involved in. This approach promotes entertainment, education and product all at the same time.

Benefits of live commerce

One advantage of livestream shopping is that online customers see the products they are interested in. Silverberg suggested that the content is no longer displayed by third parties that decide what buyers see.

“Now I am being invited through my filter. What I saw contains information that is highly relevant to me because I have been invited,” she said in the pattern of audience response.

Viewing appeal is getting buyers to engage with a topic and a presenter that the audience can relate to. Engagement matches the context of the lifestyle or gives the audience a way to emulate what that presenter represents.

“Now I am being offered a product that I think is getting me closer to that interest. It is completely different,” said Silverberg, speaking as a potential buyer.

Another powerful driver of live commerce is the high conversion rate compared to other online marketing methods that the livestream approach achieves. He said that, to some extent, viewers are already opting to watch live video.

“Conversions always come down to matching strategy to consumer expectation and product category expectation. When you get all of those things right and when the message is relevant, then you get a 70% conversion rate,” Silverberg explained.

“It always matches where the consumer is to their propensity to take action,” she said.

The deciding factor

Shoppable ads are a largely untapped measurement tool that allows brands and content platforms to solve cross-platform measurement. They provide new forms of data at a time when consumers are becoming increasingly careful about sharing their information, Kerv’s Roque said.

According to Silverberg, the difference lies in what’s happening beneath the surface. She thinks consumers have become more vulnerable to spam, and to shoppable ads and live commerce addresses.

According to Silverberg, the cost of producing a live commerce presentation can be an advantage over a buyable video, with the potential for higher conversion rates. Shoppable videos also get more conversions.

Traders are increasingly using live commerce strategies. So are social media influencers, and anyone anywhere can use the marking tool. The cost of making a live commerce show depends on the product category.

“If you are intelligent and create something that is both entertaining and relevant and can be shown to a wide audience, the cost makes perfect sense,” Silverberg replied without offering more specific pricing.

in-house or outsource

Keep in mind that live commerce strategies can drive sales more quickly. The results come from the ability to garner a larger immediate audience than other marketing plans.

Plus, the additional personal engagements associated with live commerce justify the associated production costs. According to market research, video content tends to have more engagement than other types of content.

This encourages buying as well as building brand awareness more effectively. Some industry reports suggest that audiences are more likely to share recorded productions with their friends than they usually do with static ads.

A final consideration is whether to opt for in-house production or contract with a professional marketing service. If you opt to do it in-house, expect to get live video shopping tools, a live chat platform, and shopping cart integration.

The video game market is segmented into five segments: legacy PCs and consoles, evolving mobile devices – mostly phones but some tablets and the emerging cloud. It’s four, I’ll get to the fifth section in a minute.

Looking at these segments, Qualcomm is present mostly in the developed mobile devices. Plus, it has an interesting connection to the emerging cloud segment, as you can’t play games in the cloud unless you have a client device – at least not now. The preferred client device is a smartphone because it is almost always with you.

Now for the fifth segment: VR gaming, which is mostly surrounded by Meta’s Oculus Quest 2 which also uses Qualcomm technology.

Let’s talk about Qualcomm, gaming growth and the roadblocks that currently prevent the expansion from consoles and PCs to more mobile devices and the cloud — and video game trends.

Then we’ll close with our product of the week, which is arguably the best gaming smartphone on the market.

console gaming

It is the oldest form of mass market video game. I say “broad market” because there were video games you could play on a mainframe, but only a small number of people knew how to play them and had access to a mainframe to do so. Console gaming has many enduring advantages, but there are also some significant disadvantages.

On the benefit side, the hardware is dedicated, and all patching and updates are handled by the console manufacturer as long as that version of the console is supported. If you use approved games (which are often downloaded today), you don’t have to worry about malware, and you can be almost certain that any existing title will run well on current consoles. Hardware costs are affordable—typically less than $500 to start—and you can use a good TV screen, so you don’t need an expensive monitor.

The downside is that the game console only plays games. Chances are it doesn’t belong to you unless you’re at home because it’s a bit of a pain to take it on vacation, and it’s a good luck playing games on a console in a car or plane while in transit. This is offset by consoles like the Nintendo Switch that allow for mobile gaming but are aimed at a younger audience.

So, consoles are great for gaming, but not the flexible or portable one most want for today’s games. But gaming on TV at home is good if you have room and no one else wants to use TV while gaming.

pc gaming

The PC gaming market really took off after Windows 95, as that operating system came with the game. This segment has a distinct set of advantages and disadvantages.

Benefits include being able to play and work at the same time, and PCs come in both desktop and laptop forms, allowing for both greater hardware diversity and greater mobility than most consoles. Games that use keyboards and mice work better with PCs, but you can often also use gaming controllers if needed. You can build a custom desktop PC that, in itself, is a status symbol for other gamers, and buy your way to a strong competitive edge.

The disadvantage of PCs is that gaming rigs tend to be expensive. You can easily drop over $5,000 in a top-notch desktop gaming rig. Gaming on a laptop can result in using a smaller display and reduce battery life. A gaming laptop can cost as much as a gaming desktop when fully equipped. While we carry our PCs with us more often than most consoles, we still can’t have them with us when we want to play games. They are large, which makes them difficult to use in a plane or car.

I find laptop gaming performance too restrictive on the size I want to use frequently. I play mostly on a custom gaming desktop rig with a large Dell 49-inch display.

mobile gaming

This is where Qualcomm performs, and it is the fastest growing segment. Also it has advantages and disadvantages as well.

There are advantages with availability and flexibility. Like PC gaming, you can use a smartphone for more than just gaming, and you can multitask. The smartphone is always connected, which can lead to a better connected experience. People carry their smartphones with them so they can play anywhere and often where a PC or console isn’t viable, such as standing in a line. Titles are constantly improving over time, and the richness of mobile games can reach what you see on consoles or even some PC games.

The disadvantages are that smartphones are typically designed for connectivity, not gaming, and a non-gaming smartphone, even if it has Qualcomm’s latest and most powerful Snapdragon processor, will probably be very quick when used for gaming. Will start throttling because the phone cannot dump sufficient amount of heat being generated from it. Performance is usually traded against dynamics. The screen size is much smaller (but can be offset with a head-mounted display) and the smaller screen is also a control surface (but can become a dedicated controller with a head-mounted display).

Overall, smartphones are closing in on the usability and capabilities of PC and console games, but are still limited by the lack of head-mounted displays that force people to play on less capable displays than those typically used on phones. Qualcomm is leading this effort hard, funding gaming tournaments with decent rewards and toughening its flagship Snapdragon 8 and 8+ platforms to meet gamer needs.

cloud gaming

This is highlighted by services like Nvidia’s GeForce Now which provides cloud instances of high-performance gaming PCs for remote gamers.

The advantage is that you get good PC-level performance with any device you can use as a client. These services favor games designed for PCs, but can be played on set top boxes such as Nvidia’s own Shield or on a smartphone based on the controller interface. These services offer the most flexibility in terms of hardware and the lowest cost of entry for top-tier games.

The disadvantage is that they are very network dependent, which means you probably can’t access the service on a plane or cruise ship where network bandwidth is low, and latency is very high. You have to pay a monthly fee; You do not own the Service, and the Service may not contain the game you want to play.

However, it is likely that cloud gaming represents the ultimate future of gaming. We do not yet have the network infrastructure to make it effective.

we are. gaming

While there is VR gaming on a PC, the need for a PC and the limitations of having a cable connected to it have limited the popularity of that approach. Right now, the most popular VR gaming platform is Meta’s Oculus Quest 2.

The advantage is that it is portable and does not require a tether. Games, especially those tied to movement, are fun and very playable. You can play it in the car or plane, and you can watch movies on it in private, just like you would on your PC or smartphone with a head-mounted display. Like game consoles, you have dedicated controllers and the cost is less than $400 to get started.

The disadvantage is that the expectations of VR gaming are ahead of the hardware. Resolutions are lower than people expected, and game content is limited. People are often mocked for using the technology, which creates resistance to adoption. There isn’t much in the way of Cloud Games anymore and Meta is experiencing a shaky $1 billion a month and if Meta fails, there’s no one in the wings to take on Slack.

There’s also AR gaming, highlighted by games like Pokémon Go, but it’s still very limited and the promise of this type of game, as highlighted by the old HP video Roku’s Reward, has never been achieved in production.

wrapping up

Console and PC gaming continues to thrive, but the real growth appears to be in mobile gaming, considering how fast it’s growing and how relatively convenient it is. However, this is constrained by the size of the mobile screen and the need for a gaming phone to truly experience robust mobile gaming. With head-mounted displays, mobile gaming has far greater potential, but these displays are not in widespread use yet which lessens their impact.

VR gaming has immense potential and I expect gaming’s long-term future to be in the virtual space, but we won’t be there for a decade or so because we still need better human-machine interfaces to meet consumer expectations. be able to reach Something like a holodeck.

As a result, gaming is in flux. Console and PC gaming are still viable markets, but mobile gaming is growing rapidly and has the potential to overtake both by the end of the decade. For now, Qualcomm is in a good position on both mobile and VR gaming, which puts it in a good position to help define the future of gaming.

We’ll see soon how it all goes.

Technical Product of the Week

Xiaomi’s Black Shark 5 Pro Gaming Smartphone

The best gaming smartphone in the market right now is the Black Shark 5 Pro.

It uses the latest Snapdragon 8 processor, has a massive 4550mAh battery with over 1,200 charge cycles, offers a 144Hz refresh rate, has liquid cooling and a 108MP triple camera system. Its starting price of $799 makes it a good value, though personally I’d pay $100 more and get the better equipped 12GB + 256GB model.

Black Shark 5 Series Gaming Smartphone

Black Shark 5 Series Gaming Smartphone / Image Credit: Black Shark

Another difference is that it has physical game triggers making it far quicker than screen-based triggers which is important for competitive first-person shooter (FPS) games. I’ve had a Xiaomi phone before and I’ve been impressed with the quality of the firm.

This phone comes in two colors white and black. I like the black version. But what makes this device stand out is the extreme cooling, mechanical triggers, top Qualcomm processor and bigger battery to prevent processor from throttling.

Other features include a 6.7-inch OLED display, HDR 10+, 5 million to 1 contrast ratio, and a dual zone pressure-sensitive display. The Black Shark 5 Pro is a beast of a gaming phone – and my product of the week.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network.