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Four things marketers should know about VR

Digiday reports "2016 is shaping up to be a “billion dollar year” for virtual reality, following a smattering of long-hyped product releases from Samsung, HTC and Facebook-owned Oculus Rift. Even Jesus is getting a retelling with the technology. Talk about biblical scale. Here’s what marketers need to know about VR."

VR: Not all legal plain sailing ahead

GamesIndustry reports "The games industry has so far been at the forefront of the virtual reality surge. Following on from the release of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive earlier this year, next month PlayStation VR hits the shelves with the potential to bring VR gaming to the masses - despite its pretty hefty price tag. With the introduction of game-specific peripherals and then later the Wii, Kinect and PlayStation Move, gaming moved from being a sedentary activity to one which often requires physical exertion. This raised a number of legal issues that the industry hadn't faced before, and VR will add another layer, combining physical exertion with an immersive experience in a separate reality. One factor challenging the widespread adoption of VR is the health and safety risk often associated with use of VR headsets. Motion sickness, nausea blackouts, behavioural changes and eyestrain are most commonly cited, but real-world falls, trips and bumps are not to be ignored."

Snapchat ad revenues to reach almost $1 billion in 2017

TechCrunch reports "A new report out this morning from analysts at eMarketer is forecasting explosive growth for Snapchat’s ad revenue by next year. The firm estimates the mobile social application will generate $366.69 million in 2016, but that figure will grow to $935.46 million by 2017 – a jump it attributes to Snapchat’s ability to reach younger millennials, a wider ad portfolio, and ad targeting improvements. The $366.69 million in 2016 is a bit higher than the internal goals Snapchat had reportedly set for itself this year, according to a report from Recode this spring. Sources had told Recode that Snapchat was targeting between $300 million and $350 million in revenue this year, up 6 to 7 times from the $50 million it projected last year."

Intel is buying Movidius, a startup that makes vision chips for...

Recode reports "Intel announced late Monday that it is buying Movidius, a small chipmaker that makes computer vision processors used in drones and virtual reality devices, among other products. The eight-year-old company has grown to about 180 employees, and has landed deals with Lenovo, DJI and Google. Its latest chip, the Myriad 2, can make sense of multiple video streams at once, all in a processor the size of a fingernail. Intel, meanwhile, has been on something of a shopping spree as it looks to make sure that it doesn’t miss another wave of technology. Last month, Intel agreed to fork over more than $400 million for Nervana Systems, a machine-learning startup."

Sky Buys $4.5M Stake in French Streamer Molotov

The Hollywood Reporter reports "Pan-European pay TV giant Sky has acquired a $4.5 million (4 million euros) stake in French streaming video service Molotov, which recently launched its app that allows subscribers to watch or record live TV across devices. The companies didn't disclose the size of Sky's stake. 'This investment is part of a larger Molotov financing round and is the latest in a series of Sky investments in innovative start-up companies,' Sky said."

ICANN’s globalization creates peril and promise

TechCrunch reports "At the end of this month, the US government will finally give up “control” of the internet. In a quiet blogpost, Larry Strickling, the US government’s assistant secretary for communications and information announced that he had “informed ICANN…that…[the US government] intends to allow the IANA functions contract to expire as of October 1”. That sentence may not mean a whole lot to many people, but this move is of huge global significance in how the internet is managed and governed."

OSVR developer fund releases 15 new VR games

VentureBeat reports "Razer’s Open Source Virtual Reality consortium is releasing 15 new games as part of the OSVR Fund that helps developers create and distribute games for VR headsets. The games will roll into the OSVR market, and they support any headset that is compatible with the consortium’s standards. That includes Razer’s own HDK and HDK2 head-mounted displays. This group of games includes RC Soccer VR, PolyRunner, and more."

Ireland will appeal the EU’s Apple tax ruling

The Verge reports "Ireland intends to appeal the European Commission’s ruling that Apple must pay it around $14.5 billion in back taxes. The country’s cabinet agreed to appeal the ruling during a meeting today, with the decision to be finalized by a full vote in parliament next Wednesday, according to Reuters. Immediately after it came down this week, Ireland’s Finance Minister, Michael Noonan, criticized the Commission’s ruling, saying he 'profoundly' disagreed with it. At stake for Ireland, he said, was 'integrity of our tax system' and the ability to provide 'tax certainty to business.'”

Comcast’s DreamWorks Animation Acquisition to Face Anti-Trust Review in China

The Hollywood Reporter reports "China's commerce ministry is launching an anti-trust investigation into Comcast's recent acquisition of DreamWorks Animation. "We will probe into the case based on anti-monopoly laws," said Shen Danyang, a spokesman from China's Ministry of Commerce, during a briefing in Beijing on Friday, as reported by Reuters. Shen said authorities had received complaints that the deal could threaten competition in the Chinese market, but he declined to specify the source of the objections."

Smartphone apps now account for half the time Americans spend online

TechCrunch reports "Here’s a stat that’s sure to worry Google: smartphone applications now account for half the time that U.S. users spend online, up from 41 percent back in July 2014, according to a new report from comScore. And when you add tablet applications into the mix, that figure rises to nearly 60 percent. The new milestone was achieved this July, the report says, and is a testament to our increasing reliance on native mobile applications to deliver us the information we need, as well as the entertainment and distractions we crave – things we used to turn to the web for, in previous years."