CineSquid suction tripod system looks to add car-mounted footage to your video repertoire

By Billy Steele  posted Feb 23rd 2012 10:49AM



You may recall Cinetics from the outfit’s Kickstarter campaign to fund its CineSkates rolling tripod. Well the same folks are at it again — only this time suction cups are the videography weapon of choice.

The company has launched CineSquid, a suction mount solution reminiscent of its elder sibling. Soon, you’ll be able to capture exterior shots via DSLR from your Jeep while heading down the Blue Ridge Parkway. Packaged with a tripod and ball head, the system will set you back $235 with the first hundred pre-orders shipping March 24th. What’s that? You already splurged on the CineSkates? No worries. For $120, the set of suction cups can be yours that’ll play nice with your previous Cinetics purchase. If you’re in need of a little more convincing, take a look at the video demo just beyond the break.

CineSquid Suction Mount from Cinetics on Vimeo.

Will HAL invade your living room?

Brad Dick February 24th, 2012

Controlling a TV set is easy. Just push the appropriate button.

Not good enough say TV set makers and others. We want you to instead use your cell phone, tablet and now your voice.

According to the January Consumer Electronics Show (CES) exhibits television set makers and other vendors are about to actually enable viewers to really talk to their TV sets. Several companies have recently demonstrated new TV remote controls that empower viewers with voice control over their TV sets. Just before CES, LG demonstrated their Cinema 3D smart TV with voice control, called Magic Remote. The company claims the device enables a wide range of television set control functions via voice. At CES, Samsung announced voice control for some models of their TV sets too.

But Samsung and LG aren’t the only vendors looking to bring voice control to your television set. Just six days before Apple released iCloud and Siri, behemoth Google filed a patent application for their “Google TV” remote and application. According to patent materials, the new remote, “will use voice controls associated with Google’s own cloud services.” The device will allow viewers with Android phones to control their TV sets. The web site Patently Apple suggests that Samsung’s voice remote may actually be an early implementation of the Google technology.

The site’s documents describe the Google application in some detail. In addition to voice control over standard functions like channel change and volume, the Google device would enable a wide range of options. Viewers could remotely direct their TV to turn on and find a program by name.

With location-based devices like cell phones, once you near your house, the phone could tell the TV set to turn on and find the program “Happy Days”. The patent application also discusses creating music play lists and similarly controlling them by remote. By the time you enter the house, the TV set is on and tuned to your favorite channel. If the show is not available, the Google computer would program your PVR to record the show.

As proposed, Google would use the cloud for storage, translation and transmission back to the TV set. Of course, the overall system could connect to all devices owned by a viewer, passing the proper metadata between the Google cloud sever and local devices.

I’ve always felt that such an audio-controlled TV device wouldn’t work because of background noise. Google has thought of that and the door for commands remains closed until the viewer speaks a “trigger” word. After the trigger, the control link opens and awaits a voice command.

Finally, many of us have heard the rumor that Apple is coming out with an Apple TV, now presumably powered by a voice-activated Siri-based TV remote. Keep in mind that’s still a rumor.

While I’m a fan of technology, computers can enable a whole new range of issues. I mention that from personal experience. My 15-year old son, Jeremy, once reprogrammed my VOD channel password. I couldn’t watch VOD movies until I called the cable company for a reset. Somehow he had figured out how to change the password on his own.

All this predicted new voice control stuff reminds me of the movie, “2001”. The story revolves about a spaceship, Discovery One, which is entirely controlled by a new, really smart, human-like talking computer named HAL. In an interview HAL with the BBC network, HAL declares itself “foolproof and incapable of error”.

Even so, one of the astronauts, Dr David Bowman, becomes convinced that HAL is defective and even responsible for the deaths of fellow crewmembers. Bowman then decides to deactivate HAL and heads to the door leading to the computer room. “Open the door HAL,” Bowman says.

HAL replies, “I’m sorry Dave, I can’t do that.”

Could happen.

Study: Mobile-TV Viewing Surpasses Broadcast Viewing

Mar 6, 2012 4:24 PM, by Franklin McMahon


It is good news for advertising-supported mobile-TV content that consumers’ viewing and purchasing preferences seem to be closely aligned.

InMobi has just released the results of its latest survey, and the results may not come as a surprise to many. But it is also a look into the future and a good indicator of exactly how far content creators have come in designing a mobile-TV landscape.

The survey is tracking the numbers, and it shows that now 27 percent of participants are spending more time viewing content on mobile as opposed to 22 percent viewing actual TV. As mobile use continues to climb, these numbers are the reverse of even a year or two ago, where broadcast was still the king and mobile was just getting up to speed.

The biggest boom is not the content though, it is the advertising. The survey outlines that consumers are now more comfy with mobile advertising and their purchase behavior is more geared toward purchases centered around mobile.

Willingness to do transactions over mobile has been steadily increasing and, as more ads appear on mobile, along with more ways to have mobile transactions, it only makes sense that consumers are enjoying more TV time in the palms of their hand.

The survey states that 42 percent of respondents have said that mobile was the place where they first learned of a new product, and a beefy 76 percent have stated that they will make mobile purchases over the coming year. Twenty-three percent noted that they feel mobile purchases can save them time and money, and they are influenced by mobile advertising.

All of this is good news for mobile-TV content producers. There has always been a growing need for shows on devices, but content needs to be advertising-supported, and this survey clearly shows that consumers are eager to support the programming with their dollars and purchases.
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A Call to Compassion: Washington National Cathedral 10th Commemoration of 9/11

Courtesy: Washington National Cathedral, 2011
Not for distribution, but for demonstration purposes only.

Videotape Segments at 22:32 (Honor), 33:35 (Heal), and 44:55 (Hope) produced by Darren Williams, Hawkeye Productions, in strategic partnership with IMG (Interface Media Group-Washington, DC) and their client, Washington National Cathedral.

It was an awesome event with which to be associated, and I’d like to thank IMG’s Vice President Adam Hurst, Executive Producer Joel Westbrook, and Producer Matt Uvena for allowing me to be a part of it!!!

Event Description:
President Barack Obama delivered his only formal remarks the evening of Sunday, September 11, during “A Concert for Hope,” the capstone event of a three-day commemoration of the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001.

The event also featured R&B legend Patti LaBelle, country superstar Alan Jackson, and renowned mezzo soprano Denyce Graves. Music, readings, and reflections instilled a sense of renewal and hope for the decade ahead.