All posts in “Video”

GoPro to license camera lenses and sensors to third party manufacturers

GoPro is today announcing a multi-year deal with Jabil that aims to put GoPro technology in everything from police body cameras to video conferencing solutions. Through this agreement, Jabil will use GoPro’s design and intellectual property for use in approved third-party devices. This is the first time GoPro is letting other manufacturers build products with GoPro parts. The products will not be branded GoPro at this time.

GoPro has worked with Jabil since the GoPro Hero4, which was released in 2014. Jabil is a United States-based manufacturing firm that operates 90 facilities across 23 countries. Financial terms of this new agreement was not announced.

Irv Stein, Jabil’s vice president of Jabil Optics, said in a released statement that it sees “early market feedback indicating strong demand in the enterprise action camera segment for applications in smart homes, military, fire, police, rescue, and security.” And that’s just the beginning.

GoPro CTO Sandor Barna sees opportunity for GoPro to provide the lens and image sensors for video conferencing solutions, robotics and self-driving cars.

It seems GoPro is ready to expand from the action camera market and leverage its brand in other segments. This agreement allows for licensing a range of GoPro’s products and service including digital imaging and consumer products. At this time, third party action cameras are not allowed as the agreement only covers products that do not compete with GoPro’s products.

GoPro, who’s stock is at an all-time low of less than $5.00 is struggling to stay afloat. The company just laid off a good chunk of its drone division and has struggled to find its footing even as the company releases new and improved products. This move could put GoPro on solid ground. Even though GoPro undeniably makes the best action cameras on the market, the company keeps losing value. It’s a smart move to leverage its brand through a partner to brand out into new markets.

The new Light Phone 2 keeps things basic but adds e-ink and ‘essentials’

Light is back with a new twist on its anti-smartphone phone. But this time, instead of doing just one thing, the Light Phone 2 does a few, and exists somewhere between the original Light and your overwrought iPhone – though still far closer to the first-generation Light phone overall.

The new design features a matte finish e-ink display, which occupies most fo the front face of the device and can show text, act as a virtual keyboard for sending messages, show your contacts and alarms and more. The phone uses Light’s own proprietary operating system, which is heavy on the text and limited on the total number of options and features, and you use physical keys on the side of the phone to navigate through menu options.

The Light Phone 2 has 4G LTE connectivity and, since it’s not yet finalized but is instead kicking off its Indiegogo crowdsourcing campaign, could add features including directions, ride-sharing specific apps, playlists, weather reports, and voice commands according to the company’s founders, on top of the basic call, messaging, contact book, alarm and auto-reply features that are definitely going in. Whether those other add-on features make the cut will depend in some part on backer feedback.

But with those potential additions, plus the larger, device-commanding active display, the Light Phone 2 is starting to sound a lot more smartphone-y and a lot less “Just a phone.” But LIght’s creators say that it’s definitely not, under any circumstances, going to add social media, advertising, email or news features to the phone.

Really, those are the things that truly turn our mobile companions into huge time sucks and mood altering devices. Light Phone 2 is definitely more of a compromise than a purist dumbphone like the original, but it still also sounds like it fits the company’s chosen tagline of being “a phone for humans” better than your average flagship smartphone does today.

Light’s been out of stock of its current generation device for a while now, which was probably because it was looking forward to this launch. The phone’s Indiegogo campaign has $225 as the early bird price fo the device, with $400 as the target retail cost, and estimated shipping is April of next year (yes, over a year away) so the company also seems to have learned a lesson or two about manufacturing and shipping hardware, and is giving itself ample buffer for this redesign.

Nokia is relaunching its ‘Matrix’ slider phone and other high-concept simple phones like the Punkt MP01 are out there trying to wean people away from their smartphone habits. It’s an appealing dream, but it’s hard to tell if it’s just a brief hiccup due to information ennui, or a real movement in the early offing. How Light Phone 2’s campaign does overall might be another indicator as to which it ends up being.

YouTube suspends ads on Logan Paul’s channels after “recent pattern” of behavior in videos

More problems and controversy for Logan Paul, the YouTube star who caused a strong public backlash when he posted a video of a suicide victim in Japan. Google’s video platform today announced that it would be pulling advertising temporarily from his video channel in response to a “recent pattern of behavior” from him.

This is in addition to Paul’s suspensions from YouTube’s Preferred Ad program and its Originals series, both of which have been in place since January; and comes days after YouTube’s CEO promised stronger enforcement of YouTube’s policies using a mix of technology and 10,000 human curators.

Since coming online again after a one-month break from the service in the wake of the Japanese video, in addition to the usual (asinine) content of his videos, Paul has tasered a rat, suggested swallowing Tide Pods, and, according to YouTube, deliberately tried to monetize a video that clearly violated its guidelines for advertiser-friendly content (we’re asking if we can get a specific reference to which video this might be — they all seem pretty offensive to me, so it’s hard to tell).

“After careful consideration, we have decided to temporarily suspend ads on Logan Paul’s YouTube channels,” a spokesperson said to TechCrunch in an emailed statement elaborating on the Tweet. “This is not a decision we made lightly, however, we believe he has exhibited a pattern of behavior in his videos that makes his channel not only unsuitable for advertisers, but also potentially damaging to the broader creator community.”

Yesterday, during a series of “Fake News” hearings in the U.S. led by a Parliamentary committee from the UK, YouTube’s global head of policy Juniper Downs said that the company had found no evidence of videos that pointed to Russian interference in the Brexit vote in the UK, but the platform continues to face a lot of controversy over how it vets content on its site, and how that content subsequently is used unscrupulously for financial gain. (YouTube notably was criticised for taking too long to react to the Japanese video that started all of Paul’s pain.)

This is a contagion problem for YouTube: not only do situations like his harm public perception of the service — and potentially have an impact on viewership — but it could impact how much the most premium brands choose to invest on ads on the platform.

Interestingly, as YouTube continues work on ways of improving the situation with a mix of both machine learning and human approaches, it appears to be starting to reach beyond even the content of YouTube itself.

The Tide Pod suggestion came on Twitter — Paul wrote that he would swallow one Tide Pod for each retweet — and appears to have since been deleted.

Generally, YouTube reserves the right to hide ads on videos and watch pages — including ads from certain advertisers or certain formats.

When a person makes especially serious or repeated violations, YouTube might choose to disable ads from the whole channel or suspend the person from its Partner program, which is aimed at channels that hit 4,000 watch hours in 12 months and 1,000 subscribers, and lets the creators make money from a special tier of ads and via the YouTube Red subscription service. (This is essentially where Paul has fallen today.)

Since YouTube is wary of getting into the censorship game, it’s leaving an exit route open to people who choose to post controversial things anyway. Posters can turn off ads on individual videos. From what we understand, Paul’s channel and videos will get reevaluated in coming weeks to see if they meet guidelines.

But that does not really fix the bigger content issues on the platform. While an advertising suspension might mean a loss of some revenue for the creator, it’s not really a perfect solution.

Logan Paul, as one example, continues to push his own merchandise in his videos, and as a high-profile figure who has not lost his whole fan base, he will still get millions of views (and maybe more now because of this). In other words, the originally violating content is still out there, even if it doesn’t have a YouTube monetizing ad attached to it.

Featured Image: YouTube Kavos

5 social media skills you need to get ahead (and where to learn them)

Image: Pixabay

In 2018, social media is life. But is it also your career? It can be. With everyone and their mom using social media, it’s no surprise that careers in the space are on the rise. But a “career in social media” can mean many things. 

There are Social Media Coordinators that build brand awareness for companies while handling the occasional crazy customer freakout. There are Marketing Managers that fuel customer acquisition and retention for brands. And there are Social Media Celebs (i.e., your teenage YouTube millionaire). Let’s go ahead and rule out the latter, and note that this article will not explore how to become the next Cardi B.

Instead, let’s talk social media skills that are relevant in the 2018 job market — and how you can learn them without spending significant money. All of the skills listed below are taught in detail in the Pay What You Want Social Marketing Mastery Bundle. There will be more later on how awesome this “pay what you want deal” is — but in short, it’s exactly what it sounds like.

1. Facebook skills that make you (and your company) money

Way back in 2010, social media jobs were aplenty. Companies paid savvy millennials to make their brand look cool and give stuff away on Facebook. Today, only about 4% of Facebook followers see a brand’s organic (non-paid) posts. Companies are understandably shifting their resources towards what works: customer acquisition and retention via paid Facebook ads. 

This Social Marketing Bundle includes six courses focused on the complex world of Facebook marketing: from how to create a Facebook ad campaign to how to optimize creative for conversion. You’ll learn how to get the lowest cost per click possible and how to optimize your spend. Whether your future company is looking to generate B2B leads or sell products via e-commerce, these are the types of skills that will make you bank.

And if you’re thinking “but six courses?!” C’monnnn, you can do it. There’s a ton of stuff to know before you go spending a company’s money!

2. Driving traffic through Google AdWords

It’s only natural that the next skill relates to the other half of the online duopoly: Google. A Google Ad strategy is key to any contemporary marketing program, and a skilled professional knows how to build and run effective campaigns. Two included courses, Google AdWords Business Training and The Complete Google AdWords Course, will teach you to identify profitable keywords and optimize campaigns for success.

3. Don’t ignore Snapchat

Gen Z, the Snapchat Generation, is finally entering the workforce and represents up to $143 billion in buying power. This change is leading marketing trend analysts to believe that Snap is about to get a lot more relevant to money-hungry brands and companies looking to invest in paid social spend. We may see some reallocation of that mega Facebook spend to this important platform, and you’ll want your skills to be ahead of the game. The included course, Snapchat For Business: Grow Your Brand & Reach More Followers, delivers a blueprint that will make you confident in adding “Snap Expert” to your résumé right in time.

4. Embrace video as a medium

Facebook’s video favoritism is only part of the reason for the rise of video (albeit a big part). There’s no question that audiences are engaging more with video, and that any well-rounded marketing strategy should consider that. Throughout the bundle, you’ll learn how to incorporate video into your social media strategy, including using Periscope’s live broadcasts to bump engagement.

5. Data, data, data

The best candidate for any marketing position is a data-driven candidate. From Facebook persona targeting to AdWord strategy, the courses throughout the bundle will touch on how to remain consistently data-driven. Listen, learn, and make sure to emphasize this keyword when you hit the market.

If you were paying attention, you know that you can learn all these skills in one place: the Pay What You Want Social Marketing Mastery Bundle. Here’s how it works: pay any price at all starting at $1, and you’ll get lifetime access to two of the included courses. Beat the average price, and you’ll get all 15 courses. The best news of all is that this is a brand new bundle, so that average price is the lowest it will ever be. It’s the right place at the right time (at the right price) — so don’t wait to make a career change into social media.

The self-contained Fusion electric guitar lets you truly rock out

As a hard-core rocker and roller I find that my gear has to be ready to rock and/or roll at a moment’s notice. There is no telling when I’ll have to lay out a face-melter during jury duty or blast out some Stairway while giving plasma at the local blood bank, and I often note to friends that I enjoy rocking and rolling all night and part of every day. Are you in the same rocking boat? Then let’s take a look at the Fusion Guitar.

An Indiegogo darling, this crowdfunded guitar is now shipping and costs $999 in maple and rosewood. The guitar itself has the fretboard of a full-sized electric but a squat hollow body that is full of batteries, a 20-watt amp, and speakers which gives it a sort of lumpen shape. It’s surprisingly dense – it weighs eight pounds but most of the weight is in the body – and it runs for six hours on a charge.

Like the Yamaha Transacoustic I played a few years ago the trick is that the Fusion contains an amp and speakers, allowing you to turn up the tunes and even run the audio through an iPhone to add audio modeling and record your hot licks. The guitar is compatible with iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 6, 6 Plus, 5/SE and iPhone Touch Gen 5 and an iPhone X shield is coming soon. It has three lines out including a P.A. out, a standard 1/4-inch jack for amps, and a 3.5mm jack for headphones. A small speaker on the top of the guitar acts as a sort of built-in monitor.

$999 gets you the guitar, a strap, and a case along with a set of compatible plates. There is no Android compatibility.

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I am not a great guitarist but I am a gear head, a sad state of affairs which puts me at a loss when reviewing these in depth. The folks at Guitar World created a far more detailed video of the thing but let me offer a few points for the amateur guitarist. This is a solid learning guitar simply because you can run learning apps front and center and plug the thing into headphones to hear the results. It’s also a very fun tool for looping and noodling, allowing you to record and replay various licks and, with the help of tools like Garage Band, record sketches of songs on the fly. I did enjoy my time with the Fusion and found it to be a clever take on the traditional all-in-one guitar. I could definitely see this as a busker’s friend, allowing a guitarist to fill a little more space without the cost or inconvenience of carrying a full amp, and if you’re fast and good enough you could do some real damage with loops and other digital tricks.

If I had any complaint it’s that the built-in iPhone dock, while clever, didn’t quite work as well as I’d like. While you can see below that various iPhone apps can make your Fusion experience quite unique I didn’t find the entire system to be very intuitive. I mostly enjoyed the amplification and a bit of distortion from the hum bucking pickups and internal amp and ignored a the apps.

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I’ve found that guitarists either love or hate gadgets like the Fusion. The familiar, analog sound of a Stratocaster paired with a good amp is always welcome in a music studio but a clever amped guitar like this one is a far harder sell. Like other wacky guitars of the past – the Fusion reminds me a lot of the Vox Guitar Organ – playing these are an acquired taste and require a real investment on the part of the player. At $1,000 the Fusion is far too expensive to be a first guitar – you can get a beginner’s Telecaster for $200 – and too weird to be a daily driver. If you very specifically need a guitar that can be heard in a crowded hall without outside amplification or if you’re a gadget fiend, the Fusion is for you. Otherwise, a digital Line 6 amp or Roland Go:Mixer and some kind of six-string are all you need to recreate this guitar for less cash but I doubt you’ll get the same self-contained satisfaction that this weird Frankenguitar has to offer.

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