Jon Favreau Creates a Virtual Reality World with ‘Gnomes & Goblins’

Courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.

Courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.

By: Hazel-Lovely Saunders

Technology and entertainment are merging faster than ever with the latest tool—virtual reality. Filmmakers and other creators are taking on this tool to create videos, games, news and more. Created by director Jon Favreau, known for Chef and The Jungle Book, is the latest fusion of entertainment and tech. It’s called Gnomes & Goblins.

A preview of the project is being released on Thursday, Sept. 8 for free on the HTC Vive VR headset. The preview of the project is set in an enchanted forest, a similar setting to The Jungle Book, where you act as the lead in the film. During the preview you meet a tiny goblin and befriend him. The way you interact with the goblin determines your path in where your story goes. As the main character you will be free to wander and explore at your own pace.

Cpurtesy of Road to VR.

Courtesy of Road to VR.

“There’s people who come from a gaming background who see the gaming potential [of VR], and there’s people who come from a cinema background that see how they expand it,” Favreau says. “But to me everything in between is the Oklahoma land grab. You can stake out a little piece of land in the middle of this that’s unique.”

The preview of Gnomes & Goblins takes about 10 minutes to play but eventually the idea is what Favreau describes as “Like Disneyland. Where you build more and more out.” If the preview launch becomes successful, he plans to release a more built-out version of the project. Check out the preview below:

Let us know what you think about this new Favreau project. What other films would you like to see become part of a VR world? Tweet us, like us on Facebook, and don’t forget to stay updated with weekly articles here.

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Would You Ditch Netflix if They Started Showing Ads?

By: Kassidy Coleman

 
How often do you binge watch Netflix? Maybe more often than you’d like to admit? It’s okay, we already know that Netflix is one of the more popular subscription streaming video services. But there’s something you may or may not have noticed recently: Netflix prices have been rising while their catalog has been shrinking. In fact, the U.S. catalog for Netflix has shrunk by more than 2,500 titles in less than 2 1/2 years. There’s no question – Netflix is changing.

If you’re wondering why Netflix is changing, think about it for a second. Netflix used to be THE subscription video streaming service, there was absolutely no competition. Now Netflix actually has direct competitors like Hulu and Amazon who could be to blame for the changes. Before, Netflix didn’t have to worry too much about competitors because Netflix had a large catalog to browse and was completely ad free. It’s becoming apparent that Netflix is starting to get a little hurt by its competitors.

If Netflix showed ads it would increase their revenue without having to increase the prices for customers. Would you want to deal with ads on Netflix? According to AllFlicks, most Netflix customers would prefer what’s pretty much impossible – no ads, cost as little as possible, and of course have a catalog full of content.

AllFlicks asked 1,200 people on Reddit if they would rather pay more for Netflix or see advertisements while they watched videos. Over 90% of the participants stated they would prefer to pay more than see ads.

Good thing these findings line up closely to what Netflix found – they opted to increase the price slightly instead of having ads. AllFlicks also discovered that many users would ditch the streaming service completely if they started to show ads. 74% of participants agreed that they would say goodbye to Netflix if they started to show ads. Some participants were so upset by just the idea of Netflix showing ads that they used profanity.

Would you leave Netflix if they started to show ads? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on Twitter!

10 Tech Gifts for Father’s Day

Stumped on what to give dad for Father’s Day this year? We know that dads can be stressful to shop for. But seriously, don’t give Dad another tie this year. Here are 10 gifts your dad will love.

  1. Black Diamond Ember Power Light Flashlight, $37.46 – You can’t go wrong with this gift and Dad will be sure to take it everywhere with him. This isn’t just a regular old flashlight that your father only takes out when the power goes out. This swipe-activated TriplePower LED also has an integrated USB port, so Dad can keep his devices charged while on the road.

travelmug

2. ThinkGeek Dual Heated Travel Mug, $9.99- Nobody wants cold coffee unless it was intentional. Seriously, if you’ve drank cooled-off coffee when you thought it was still hot, it isn’t a pleasant taste. This Dual Heated Travel Mug by ThinkGeek can be plugged into your cigarette lighter in your car or in a USB port in your computer to ensure Dad’s coffee is kept at perfect drinking temperature.


 

3. Netflix Subscription for 1 Year – $96 – Dad will seriously thank you for this one. There’s something for any Dad to watch – from the classics to new Netflix Original Series, streaming video will be sure to keep Dad entertained. If he’s not a fan of streaming, there is still a DVD option.


 

aerix drones4. AERIX Drones Nano Drone for Beginner – $40 – Drones have been becoming more and more popular, but with the higher-end prices of some of them it can be discouraging for some to get involved. This drone is perfect for beginners. Dad will have fun playing with this quadrocopter and the built-in impact guards and landing skids help keep your surroundings safe while Dad learns how to fly it.


 

idevices5. iDevices iGrill Mini – $56.51- Does your dad like to grill? The iGrill2 is a Bluetooth Smart meat thermometer that makes grilling so much easier. This allows Dad to come back and join the party while monitoring the temperature of the meat from his mobile device. He’ll even get a notification when it’s time to take the meat off the grates!


 

rokubox6. Roku 3 – $70 – Give your dad the gift of entertainment. This is the most powerful Roku player, allowing him to enjoy over 2,000       streaming channels that access more than 250,000 movies, TV, games, music, sports, and more. With headphones for private listening, voice search, and more, Dad will have a ton of fun finding stuff to watch.


 

kindlefire7. Amazon Fire – $39 for Father’s Day – This inexpensive tablet was designed specifically for entertainment. Dad will be able to read, watch, and play on this fast tablet. The 7” touchscreen is perfect for taking on the-go or watching at home. The battery life lasts up to 7 hours so Dad can read, watch video, surf the web, and listen to music for an extended time.


 

belkin8. The Belkin WeMo Switch – $34.99 – This smart switch will let Dad be able to control his home electronics from pretty much anywhere on his Android or iOS phone or tablet. Turn electronics on or off or even set up a schedule from anywhere as long as there is Wi-Fi or 4G access. He can even set it up for lights to turn on and off while away to mimic occupancy.


 

blossom9. Blossom 8 Smart Watering Controller – $99 – Is your dad obsessed with his lawn? Help him simplify his life with Smart Watering. Blossom does pretty much all the work by self-programming based on real-time weather data. Dad can have total control right from your phone, ultimately lowering his water bill up to 35%.


 

fitbit10. Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch – $196.99 – Is your father a fitness addict? The Fitbit Blaze can track everything you’d expect in a fitness tracker – steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, and active minutes. But it can also track sleep, give text & calendar notifications, and track all-day activities. You can also completely customize it with interchangeable band, frames, and clock faces on this high-res color touchscreen. Help Dad achieve his goals in style!

 

Are there any tech gifts for dads you think should have been included in the list? Comment below or join the conversation on Twitter!

 

 

 

Can Netflix Replace Traditional TV and Movie Theaters?

By: Kassidy Coleman

Do you remember trips to Blockbuster or Hollywood Video? It wasn’t that long ago that we would have to go to a physical location to rent a movie. And if the location didn’t have what we wanted, we were simply out of luck. Then in 1998 Netflix completely changed the movie renting game with mail-delivery movie rental that ended up demolishing the competition of Blockbuster and Hollywood Video. Netflix brought the convenience of selecting the DVDs you wanted from their online catalog and getting them mailed directly to you which was far superior to driving to the store that Blockbuster and Hollywood Video could no longer compete. (Blockbuster is still kind of trying to hang in there…they still have 50 locations worldwide). Then in 2007, Netflix took it a step further and did something that had never been seen before – subscription streaming video. Today many other websites have joined the subscription streaming video industry- such as Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. However, Netflix has almost become the household word for online video streaming. Kind of like how people say “Xerox” instead of “copy” when they aren’t even using a Xerox machine. But now this raises some questions: Is this the end for traditional TV? With Netflix releasing more original content, what damage will this do to the movie theater industry?

Well, with Netflix’s history of conquering and destroying, it is likely that the company could be a replacement for traditional TV in the future. According to a recent survey conducted by AllFlicks, 75.5% of Netflix subscribers believe that Netflix can completely replace traditional TV. Although the majority of participants believe that Netflix could be a replacement for traditional TV, there are certain things they agree it can’t replace – such as the experience of going to the movie theater or live sports events. Only 24.2% of participants believed the streaming service could replace movie theaters.

But now we are seeing Netflix spending more money on their Netflix original movies and series. In fact, from 2012-
2016, Netflix has added 111 original series and movies
. With Amazon Prime Video trying to compete with Netflix, most likely we will see Netflix boost out even more original content in order to stay at the top. These Netflix Originals cast some big name Hollywood stars, such as Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, and Paul Rudd. It makes some of us wonder what kind of damage this could end up doing to Hollywood. Will Netflix end up doing damage to the movie theater industry? Will we soon just watch new releases in the comfort of our homes? Although that is probably not something that will happen in the near future, it could be a possibility eventually.

Do you think Netflix is a replacement for traditional TV? We think it could definitely be a possibility in the future. But with many Netflix subscribers still paying for TV additionally, it isn’t necessarily considered a complete replacement for TV…yet.

What do you think? Is Netflix going to replace traditional TV? Comment below or join the conversation on Twitter!

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