Veeery interesting. Alexa now adds visuals / a screen! With the addition of 100 skills a day, where might this new platform lead?

Amazon introduces Echo Show

The description reads:

  • Echo Show brings you everything you love about Alexa, and now she can show you things. Watch video flash briefings and YouTube, see music lyrics, security cameras, photos, weather forecasts, to-do and shopping lists, and more. All hands-free—just ask.
  • Introducing a new way to be together. Make hands-free video calls to friends and family who have an Echo Show or the Alexa App, and make voice calls to anyone who has an Echo or Echo Dot.
  • See lyrics on-screen with Amazon Music. Just ask to play a song, artist or genre, and stream over Wi-Fi. Also, stream music on Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and more.
  • Powerful, room-filling speakers with Dolby processing for crisp vocals and extended bass response
  • Ask Alexa to show you the front door or monitor the baby’s room with compatible cameras from Ring and Arlo. Turn on lights, control thermostats and more with WeMo, Philips Hue, ecobee, and other compatible smart home devices.
  • With eight microphones, beam-forming technology, and noise cancellation, Echo Show hears you from any direction—even while music is playing
  • Always getting smarter and adding new features, plus thousands of skills like Uber, Jeopardy!, Allrecipes, CNN, and more

 

 

 

 

 

 



From DSC:

Now we’re seeing a major competition between the heavy-hitters to own one’s living room, kitchen, and more. Voice controlled artificial intelligence. But now, add the ability to show videos, text, graphics, and more. Play music. Control the lights and the thermostat. Communicate with others via hands-free video calls.

Hmmm….very interesting times indeed.

 

 

Developers and corporates released 4,000 new skills for the voice assistant in just the last quarter. (source)

 

…with the company adding about 100 skills per day. (source)

 

 

 

The Living [Class] Room -- by Daniel Christian -- July 2012 -- a second device used in conjunction with a Smart/Connected TV

 

 



 

Addendum on 5/10/17:

 



 

 

From DSC and Adobe — for faculty members and teachers out there:

Do your students an enormous favor by assigning them a digital communications project. Such a project could include images, infographics, illustrations, animations, videos, websites, blogs (with RSS feeds), podcasts, videocasts, mobile apps and more. Such outlets offer powerful means of communicating and demonstrating knowledge of a particular topic.

As Adobe mentions, when you teach your students how to create these types of media projects, you prepare them to be flexible and effective digital communicators.  I would also add that these new forms and tools can be highly engaging, while at the same time, they can foster students’ creativity. Building new media literacy skills will pay off big time for your students. It will land them jobs. It will help them communicate to a global audience. Students can build upon these skills to powerfully communicate numerous kinds of messages in the future. They can be their own radio station. They can be their own TV station.

For more information, see this page out at Adobe.com.

 

 

From DSC:
This is where we may need more team-based approaches…because one person may not be able to create and grade/assess such assignments.

 

 

From DSC:
After seeing the postings below, it made me wonder:

  • Will Starbucks, Apple Stores, etc. be “learning hubs” of the future?
    i.e., places that aren’t really what we think of as a school, college, or university, but where people can go to learn something with others in the same physical space; such locations will likely tie into online or blended-based means of learning as well.

“Today at Apple” bringing new experiences to every Apple Store

Excerpt:

Cupertino, California — Apple today announced plans to launch dozens of new educational sessions next month in all 495 Apple stores ranging in topics from photo and video to music, coding, art and design and more. The hands-on sessions, collectively called “Today at Apple,” will be led by highly-trained team members, and in select cities world-class artists, photographers and musicians, teaching sessions from basics and how-to lessons to professional-level programs.

Apple will also offer special programs for families and educators. Teachers can come together for Teacher Tuesday to learn new ways to incorporate technology into their classrooms, or aspiring coders of all ages can learn how to code in Swift, Apple’s programming language for iOS and Mac apps. Families can join weekend Kids Hour sessions ranging from music making to coding with robots. Small business owners can engage with global and local entrepreneurs in the new Business Circuits program.

We’re creating a modern-day town square, where everyone is welcome in a space where the best of Apple comes together to connect with one another, discover a new passion, or take their skill to the next level.

Apple wants kids to hang out at Apple stores — from qz.com by Mike Murphy

Excerpt:

If you’ve just gotten out of school for the day and want to hang out with your friends before you head home, where would you go? In the US, there’s a near-infinite selection of chain restaurants, coffee shops, diners, bookstores, movie theaters, and comic book stores to choose from. But Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s head of retail, wants the answer to be an Apple store.

Apple is in the process of revamping the look and feel of its retail outlets across the world, and to highlight some of the recent changes (including rebranding the “Genius Bar” to the “Genius Grove” and adding foliage everywhere), Ahrendts gave an interview to CBS This Morning, this morning. Ahrendts told CBS that she will see her work as a success when Generation Z, the catchall term for the generation behind the equally amorphous Millennials, decides of their own volition to hang out at Apple stores. As CBS reported…

 

What’s New for Video and Audio (April 2017) | Adobe Creative Cloud

 

 

 

Adobe Creative Cloud Propels Video Forward at NAB 2017 — from news.adobe.com
Latest Release Features New Capabilities in AI, VR, Motion Graphics, Live Animation and Audio

Excerpt:

SAN JOSE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ahead of the National Association of Broadcasting (NAB) conference, Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced a major update for video in Adobe Creative Cloud to help filmmakers and video producers collaborate and streamline video workflows. The Creative Cloud release, available today, delivers new features for graphics and titling, animation, polishing audio and sharing assets; support for the latest video formats, such as HDR, VR and 4K; new integrations with Adobe Stock; and advanced artificial intelligence capabilities powered by Adobe Sensei. Announced at Adobe Summit 2017, Adobe Experience Cloud also allows brands to deliver connected video experiences across any screen at massive scale, while analyzing performance and monetizing ads.

Technology advancements and exploding consumer demand for impactful and personalized content require video producers to create, deliver and monetize their video assets faster than ever before. From the largest studio to next generation YouTubers, a scalable, end-to-end solution is required to create, collaborate and streamline video workflows with robust analytics and advertising tools to optimize content and drive more value.

 

 

Adobe Makes Big Leaps in Video, Just in Time for NAB — from blogs.adobe.com

Excerpt:

Next week, thousands of broadcasters, video producers and digital content lovers will gather for the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) annual conference. Just in time for the event, Adobe is unveiling big updates to our video tools for graphics and titling, animation, and sharing assets; support for the latest formats including HDR, VR and 4K; lots of improvements to video workflows; and more power from Adobe Sensei, our artificial intelligence technology. It’s all part of a major Adobe CC product update available today.

“The newest Creative Cloud video release integrates the advanced science of Adobe Sensei to make common tasks faster and easier. All video producers – whether they’re part of the major media companies or up and coming YouTubers – can now bring their creative vision to life without having to be motion graphics or audio experts,” says Steven Warner, vice president of digital media at Adobe.

 

 

 

These are the latest features in After Effects CC 2017, available now — from provideocoalition.com by Mark Christiansen
Get up to date and up to speed with these additions & changes

[For a detailed overview, check back during NAB when the course After Effects CC 2017: New Features from LinkedIn Learning (otherwise known as Lynda.com) will be updated with everything that’s brand new as of today. This course will feature the examples depicted here in step-by-step detail.]

 

 

Adobe updates Premiere Pro CC for April 2017 — from provideocoalition.com by Scott Simmons
And instead of waiting months for the new CC versions they should be available soon, as in probably today

 

 

 

After Effects NAB 2017 Update — from provideocoalition.com by Chris and Trish Meyer
How to play nice(r) with Premiere Pro editors, as well as other updates

 

 



 Also see:



 

 

 

 

VR resumes are catching the eyes of industry recruiters — from vrscout.com by Kyle Melnick

 

 

Excerpt:

A brand new market requires a brand new kind of CV.

Getting creative with a resume or job application is a common tactic among job-seekers looking to stand out from the pack. A simple Google search reveals incredible examples of resumes iced into cakes, programmed into video games, hidden inside QR codes, the list goes on. In most cases however, the most engaging CV is always the most successful, which is why many developers looking to get into the VR industry are using the immersive technology to build some of the coolest resumes you’ve ever seen.

Through a variety of methods, from VR art programs to 360-degree videos, amateur hopefuls have designed incredible works of art that creatively display their information while simultaneously showcasing their skills in the medium. One art community in particular, Sketchfab, has been a popular platform for distributing VR resumes and applications. Here are some of the best examples of brilliant self-advertising on the web (Click and hold to change angles, zoom in/out and move around the pieces):

 

 

Superb creative photo manipulations by Chunlong Sun — from designyoutrust.com
Chunlong Sun is a talented graphic designer, art director and retoucher who lives and works in Beijing, China. Chunlong focuses on advertising, he creates stunning surreal, sci-fi and humour manipulations.

 

 

 

Apple Releases Education Bundle With Video, Audio Editing Tools — from campustechnology.com

Excerpt:

Apple Friday introduced its Pro Apps Bundle for Education, available for K–12 schools and higher ed institutions.

The bundle is a collection of five apps from Apple that deliver industry-level tools for video editors and musicians:

 

Also see:

 

 

 

 

ISNS students embrace learning in a world of virtual reality — from by

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

To give students the skills needed to thrive in an ever more tech-centred world, the International School of Nanshan Shenzhen (ISNS) is one of the world’s first educational facilities now making instruction in virtual reality (VR) and related tools a key part of the curriculum.

Building on a successful pilot programme last summer in Virtual Reality, 3D art and animation, the intention is to let students in various age groups experiment with the latest emerging technologies, while at the same time unleashing their creativity, curiosity and passion for learning.

To this end, the school has set up a special VR innovation lab, conceived as a space for exploration, design and interdisciplinary collaboration involving a number of different subject teachers.

Using relevant software and materials, students learn to create high-quality digital content and to design “experiences” for VR platforms. In this “VR Lab makerspace” – a place offering the necessary tools, resources and support – they get to apply concepts and theories learned in the classroom, develop practical skills, document their progress, and share what they have learned with classmates and other members of the tech education community. 

 

 

As a next logical step, she is also looking to develop contacts with a number of the commercial makerspaces which have sprung up in Shenzhen. The hope is that students will then be able to meet engineers working on cutting-edge innovations and understand the latest developments in software, manufacturing, and areas such as laser cutting, and 3D printing, and rapid prototyping.  

 

 

 

From DSC:
The following article reminded me of a vision that I’ve had for the last few years…

  • How to Build a Production Studio for Online Courses — from campustechnology.com by Dian Schaffhauser
    At the College of Business at the University of Illinois, video operations don’t come in one size. Here’s how the institution is handling studio setup for MOOCs, online courses, guest speakers and more.

Though I’m a huge fan of online learning, why only build a production studio that’s meant to support online courses only? Let’s take it a step further and design a space that can address the content development for online learning as well as for blended learning — which can include the flipped classroom type of approach.

To do so, colleges and universities need to build something akin to what the National University of Singapore has done. I would like to see institutions create large enough facilities in order to house multiple types of recording studios in each one of them. Each facility would feature:

  • One room that has a lightboard and a mobile whiteboard in it — let the faculty member choose which surface that they want to use

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • A recording booth with a nice, powerful, large iMac that has ScreenFlow on it. The booth would also include a nice, professional microphone, a pop filter, sound absorbing acoustical panels, and more. Blackboard Collaborate could be used here as well…especially with the Application Sharing feature turned on and/or just showing one’s PowerPoint slides — with or without the video of the faculty member…whatever they prefer.

 

 

 

 

  • Another recording booth with a PC and Adobe Captivate, Camtasia Studio, Screencast-O-Matic, or similar tools. The booth would also include a nice, professional microphone, a pop filter, sound absorbing acoustical panels, and more. Blackboard Collaborate could be used here as well…especially with the Application Sharing feature turned on and/or just showing one’s PowerPoint slides — with or without the video of the faculty member…whatever they prefer.

 

 

 

 

  • Another recording booth with an iPad tablet and apps loaded on it such as Explain Everything:

 

 

  • A large recording studio that is similar to what’s described in the article — a room that incorporates a full-width green screen, with video monitors, a tablet, a podium, several cameras, high-end mics and more.  Or, if the budget allows for it, a really high end broadcasting/recording studio like what Harvard Business school is using:

 

 

 

 

 


 

A piece of this facility could look and act like the Sound Lab at the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)

 

 

 


 

 

 
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