DMA TECH WATCH: Silicon Valley Super Bowl, a Great Escape App, GarageBand

By Phill Powell

Welcome to DMA Tech Watch, where we review the biggest news events and tech trends now on the radar. Here’s what we’re watching as of January 25, 2016:

SILICON VALLEY SUPER BOWL

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The Carolina Panthers are on the move toward Super Bowl 50. (Photo: NFL)

On Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, Santa Clara, Calif. will become the epicenter of the football world, when Super Bowl 50 is held at Levi’s Stadium. Because this game will be played in the epicenter of the tech world, expect this game broadcast to be the tech-iest yet.

CBS Sports has announced numerous tech innovations in how the game will be televised. Expect multiple reviews of plays from any or all of the 36 cameras that will be mounted around the top of Levi Stadium. Even the end-zone pylons will be high-tech. Each will contain cameras and microphones, to provide an even greater level of detail around touchdown plays.

For the home viewer, get ready for replays shown from 360 degrees as well as views of what the quarterbacks will be seeing when they’re back in the pocket. And all of this will be delivered in higher resolution than ever before.

And now, after a weekend of playoff matches, only two teams remain. Super Bowl 50 will match the Denver Broncos (led by legendary quarterback Peyton Manning) against the Carolina Panthers (led by explosive young QB Cam Newton).

Who’s got the edge? Vegas odds-makers currently pick the Panthers by 5.5 points. Halftime entertainment will be provided by Coldplay, with Beyonce and Bruno Mars. Thirty-second TV spots are going for $5 million apiece.

THE ULTIMATE ESCAPE APP

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“MY NEIGHBOR SAYS A BEAR BROKE INTO MY CAR AGAIN!” Need an unbeatable excuse for getting away pronto? Chelsea Handler’s app can handle that!

Chelsea Handler is a brash, in-your-face comic and talk show host. Although her comedy may not be for everybody (especially kids), she has produced an app that indeed might be useful for anybody.

Called “Chelsea Handler: Gotta Go!” the app is designed to help you out of uncomfortable social situations by letting you pre-load messages from a fictitious source, which you can activate and then receive when you absolutely must get away from that insufferable person you can neither stand nor escape from.

No, we’re not making this up; you can download the Chelsea Handler app at the App Store right now if you don’t believe us…

MARS NEEDS COUCH POTATOES!

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Are you the right choice for life on Mars? Do you like to stay up late? Do you prefer to sleep in?

According to recent findings from an article from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, people who are “night owls” and who stay up late and sleep late might be better suited to colonized life on Mars than Type A “early bird” go-getters who are up at the crack of dawn.

Why is this so? Because a day on Mars is approximately 37 minutes longer than an earth day and that may work better for these “late-risers.”

None of this data is lost on NASA, which reportedly wants to establish a Deep Space Habitat by the year 2018. NASA’s plan is to create the perfect Mars structure and then test it on the Moon during the 2020s before establishing a Deep Space Habitat on Mars during the 2030s.

GARAGEBAND TUNES UP WITH NEW TOOLS

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The hugely popular GarageBand…now with Music Memos.

Apple’s GarageBand is known for its amazing versatility. And that reputation just grew, with Apple’s announcement about an update featuring a cool new tool. It’s called Music Memos and with it, musicians interested in music production can sketch out their ideas can use their iPhone or iPad’s built-in microphone to capture those flashes of inspiration.

But then Music Memos goes further, by recognizing the chords you play on the guitar or piano and then laying in a simple backing track (with drum and bass parts). That way you can get a real feel for how this particular musical idea will probably sound if you flesh it out with other parts.

Music Memos also supplies means for saving and setting up a mini library of your musical flashes, as well as how to share your audio masterpieces, or take them into Logic Pro X for more work.

VR IN ACTION

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This past weekend, the VR faithful assembled at the L.A. Convention Center.

More signs that Virtual Reality is the breakaway technology of the year. This weekend the Big Orange hosted the Winter Expo of Virtual Reality Los Angeles (VRLA). We hear Petree Hall of the L.A. Convention Center was packed with sell-out crowds.

Those in attendance marveled over video games played with the Oculus Rift, as well as the Samsung Gear VR.

Also popular with show crowds: Google Cardboard, just like students use in DMA’s VR tech camps.

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