NewsWrap brings you the latest today in Tech News from China and the world at large. Today we look at the unveiling of the Google Music Store, optical gaming in Eye Pilot, Sina Weibo’s progress in the U.S., the incredible possibilities of mobile advertising in China, and the development of Gree and DeNA.
Google Music Store Unveiled
After almost a year of beta testing Google has unveiled their Music store. They have partnered with EMI, Universal, Sony Music Entertainment and numerous other smaller indie labels.
There are several things that make Google Music seem pretty cool. First is something they’re calling Artist Hub. This service allows independent artists to sell their music, singles or albums with artwork, as well as upload information on the band with not per album or annual upload fees. On top of that the Artists keep a whopping 70 percent of the revenue. The other feature is that all of your purchased songs get stored in the cloud.
There are some downsides; this service is U.S. only, like iTunes Match. It also is only available for devices running Android 2.2 or higher. This leaves a considerable number of users, 13 percent, unable to use Google Music.
Eye Pilot: Optically Controlled Gaming
A collaboration between Damian Sommer, Drawing with Frames and Superbrothers, Eye Pilot is an optically driven video game. The gamer wears a device on their head and a webcam tracks the users eye movement. The gaming aspect is the tracking. It is visualized as a glider, which moves wherever your eyes look. You try to glide as far as you can before hitting the ground. A simple game but the goal at this point is not complexity but to show the possibilities of optical gaming.
Weibo’s Progress in the U.S.
According to a public relations representative, Sina Weibo has reached 450,00 users in the U.S. An impressive number for a website that many questioned whether there would even be an audience at all outside of China. Of course it’s unclear how many of these 450,000 users are Chinese students or citizens. In any case, the site is being increasingly used by Westerners to connect with the Chinese population. These users include, Tom Cruise, Bill Gates, Emma Watson, and IMF director Christine Lagarde.
Mobile Advertising in China: Incredible Opportunities
According to a Google study, China has one of the world’s highest rates of smartphone penetration. 97 percent of urban residents in China own a mobile phone and of those 35 percent own a smartphone. This suggests huge opportunities for mobile advertising, particularly after considering some of the behavior traits of these users. Noticeably, according to the study, 50 percent of Chinese users notice mobile ads, 39 percent click on the ad, 39 percent search for additional information, 32 percent visit the company’s mobile website, and 32 percent make a purchase.
Gree vs. DeNA: Battling for Supremacy
VentureBeat published an interesting article profiling the growth of Gree and DeNA and also outlining their current and future plans. The conclusion: “DeNA and Gree are gearing up for war, spending hundreds of millions of dollars on growing their existing services into global products.” The article suggests that the two companies are also going in slightly different directions. Gree is focusing on size and growth while DeNA is putting more resources into actual game development.