Tag: nab show

Ray Kurzweil

Shortly after the Wachowski Brothers released a film called The Matrix in 1999, I got a job on a film shooting in Hendersonville, North Carolina about summer camp and spent a beautiful month and a half in a small cottage reading Ray Kurzweil’s The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence. It was a potent combination – the movie and the book; what the Matrix was doing for me spiritually, Kurzweil’s book seemed to be prepared to manifest on Earth.

Cut to a decade later, where I will be attending my fifth consecutive NAB Show – the largest tech and entertainment media show of its kind in the world – and have the opportunity to see Kurzweil actually speak in person for a power session entitled “The Acceleration of Technology in the 21st Century: the Impact on Media, Communications, and Society.”

Kurzweil will begin the session with a presentation on how information technology is transforming traditional industries, including media and entertainment, into infotech businesses. He will explore how the exponential growth of technology and the influx of new chip-driven tools is upending free enterprise as we know it and paving the way for an unparalleled change in human history. After his presentation, Kurzweil will be joined on the stage by Professor Donald Marinelli for a special discussion highlighting topics that directly impact Hollywood and the entertainment technology arena.

This is precisely what I have been asked to speak about throughout most of my career – the confluence of technology and the arts – so you can imagine how excited I am to hear these two go on about it.

To give you a better idea about Kurzweil’s relevance (besides the fact that he invented speech recognition technology) he has been described as “the restless genius” by The Wall Street Journal and “the ultimate thinking machine” by Forbes and ranked 8th among entrepreneurs in the United States by Inc. magazine. PBS included Kurzweil as one of 16 “revolutionaries who made America,” along with other inventors of the past two centuries. He is a six-time national bestselling author whose works include “The Age of Spiritual Machines” and “The Singularity is Near.” Which reminds me, Kurzweil also recently spearheaded the opening of The Singularity University where he invites the world’s foremost thinkers, doctors and technicians to figure out how to live forever, in harmony, probably with robots. And he is totally serious. And he might even pull it off.

Donald Marinelli is a tenured professor of drama and arts management at Carnegie Mellon University and is also the executive producer of that institution’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC). The ETC is recognized internationally as Carnegie Mellon’s “Dream Fulfillment Factory.” Its emphasis is on bringing artists and technologists together to work on substantive, real-world projects combining the latest digital media technologies with myriad artistic, educational, and entertainment efforts. Marinelli’s book “The Comet & the Tornado” will be released on April 6th.

This event joins an impressive line-up of previously announced keynote conversations, including Dana Walden and Gary Newman, Chairmen of Twentieth Century Fox Television (TCFTV); and Stan Lee, the iconic comic book visionary who co-created Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk and The Fantastic Four.

“A key theme of this year’s NAB Show is transmedia: developing, integrating and monetizing content for multiplatform distribution,” said Chris Brown, executive vice president, conventions & business operations for NAB Show. “Stan Lee has epitomized the concept of transmedia with his amazing creations, which have been turned into smash hit feature films, television series and innovative digital content.”

Did I already mention how excited I am?   This is like Christmas for prognosticators like me, never mind robotics fans. And manifesting dreams.  And wanting to live forever.  And SEO types.  And comic books.

The NAB Show will take place 10-15 April, 2010 in Las Vegas (exhibits open 12 April). It is the world’s largest electronic media show covering filmed entertainment and the development, management and delivery of content across all mediums. Complete details are available at www.nabshow.com.

A year or so ago I wrote about designer 3D glasses for everyone as 3D was poised to takeover movie screens with offerings from the biggest filmmakers including James Cameron, Robert Zemeckis, Steven speilberg and many others.

2009 delivered, as box office saw enough success and available screens to be called a watershed year for 3D Cinema, where some films can even be profitable on exclusively 3D theatrical releases. Speaking at the National Association of Braodcasters Conference in Vegas, Chris Chinnock, President of consultation and market research firm Insight Media predicted that 2010 will be a “watershed year for 3DTV.”

This is an amazing prediction considering most consumers have yet to hear or see anything about 3D solutions for the home theater. And yet the installed user-base is already sufficiently in place that the chicken/egg conundrum that usually delays new platform rollouts due to lack of standardization has already been hatched; over 2 million DLP/Plasma 3D screens already sit in consumer home-theaters and yet 99% of their respective owners aren’t even aware of their home screens capabilities. As the content becomes avaialble and is broadcast, these screens will be able to handle the incoming signals.

Chinnock and his companies research identified over 40 different market segments for 3D in play today each with their own hardware and software approach to the emergent technology.

While the public is most familiar with standard stereoscopic 3D that requires either active or passive glasses to view properly, end-users will begin seeing more and more AS-3D products – that is – auto-stereoscopic 3D – that require no glasses to be correctly viewed. Already there are AS-3D picture frames coming out of China for a street price of about $300 although at this time quality is still considered sub-par, and with a viewing angle between 15 and 45 degrees.

I will continue to report on this market segment over the coming days from here at the NAB show in Vegas.