narration

Capture every moment with wearable cameras

CNET Update keeps track of it all:

In this episode of Update:

- Sony's Lifelog wearable camera could track your life. But for now, Sony is just pushing its Smartband and Lifelog app.

- Snap a photo from every minute of your life with the Narrative Clip. (CNET is putting this wearable camera to the test, so stay tuned for a review.)

- Track your dog's activity and sleep patterns with the Whistle, a wireless coin-like device that attaches to a collar.

- There can be more uses for a fitness tracker than gathering health data. Engineers at … Read more

Narrative Clip wearable camera to ship November 1

About a year ago, Kickstarter project Memoto hoped to raise $50,000 toward the development of a small, wearable camera that would automatically snap photos throughout your day, the idea being to "lifelog" your experiences in searchable, shareable records.

The campaign raised $550,000.

Unfortunately, the estimated delivery period -- February 2013 -- came and went, and went, and went. But early backers are finally going to receive their cameras: the newly christened Narrative Clip (so named because of a conflict with the Memoto moniker) is scheduled to ship November 1.… Read more

Dynamic narration makes this action RPG a joy to play

Editors' note: The regular price for this game is $4.99, but it is on sale for a limited time for 99 cents.

Bastion is a faithful iOS port of the award-winning artistic action RPG that first came out for the Xbox 360 in 2011. Now you'll be able to explore the strange world of The Calamity on the go, and solve the mystery of the catastrophe that shattered our world (literally) into pieces.

Enter a broken world You play as the Kid, an adventurer trying to piece the world back together by finding crystal-like "cores" and … Read more

Windows 8 will be more accessible to those with disabilities

Microsoft is enhancing some of the accessibility features in Windows 8 to make the new OS easier for people with disabilities.

Certain "assistive technologies" have long been a part of Windows. The built-in Narrator can read text aloud to people who are blind. The Magnifier can zoom in to display content for people who have trouble seeing. Speech recognition allows people who are unable to type to navigate via voice.

But as described in the latest Building Windows 8 blog by Jennifer Norberg, a senior program manager on Microsoft's Human Interaction Platform team, Windows 8 is taking those features a few steps further.… Read more

The 404 904: Where it's safe to assume we're being sarcastic (podcast)

Robots are slowly taking over the world, and a startup in Illinois called Narrative Science is targeting journalism as the next profession to go extinct. Well, maybe just the journalists covering local youth sports and number-crunching quarterly earning reports, so we're safe for now, but let us know if they come out with a robot that can podcast and tell dirty jokes.

Not all robots are out to drive humans to obsolescence, though. We'll also report on a Japanese pet robot named Evolta training for the Hawaii triathlon. The little guy is only 20 inches tall and runs on two AA batteries, so officials are giving him 10 days to complete the 140-mile race.

After the break and a couple voice mails quizzing Wilson on high-school chemistry, we'll offer a couple pro tips on how to handle business in the office, inspired by this helpful article on Gawker. Can't give out too many details here, so check out the show today!

The 404 Digest for Episode 904

Journalism is the next victim of AI-assisted robotics. Tiny Japanese robot to tackle Ironman triathlon. Everything is new in Windows 8, including the Blue Screen of Death. Gawker tells us how to poop at work. The 404's daily bathroom break: Longboard fail like a boss.

Episode 904 Subscribe in iTunes (audio) | Subscribe in iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS VideoRead more

iBooks update brings narration feature to some titles

A new update to Apple's iBooks application lets books narrate to readers, including following along word by word, and automatically turning pages.

The feature, which went out today as part of a software update, is targeted at children's books, some 44 of which were available earlier today before Apple pulled mention of it from the iBookstore, along with several of the titles.

Two books CNET downloaded with the feature enabled ahead of the removal do not have working narration, suggesting that the feature may not have been ready for prime time. An Apple representative did not immediately respond … Read more

Power to Prezi!

Is it a presentation tool? Or a visual storytelling tool? Visualization software? Or a zooming editor? Budapest-based Adam Somlei-Fischer, founder and lead designer of Prezi, and Peter Halacsy, founder and CTO of Prezi, were interested in soliciting feedback on their product’s category when they visited frog design’s San Francisco studio last week and demoed their tool. Having marketed mind-mapping software previously in my career, I felt sympathetic: At the time, we went through a similar exercise, and after endless discussions and focus groups we ended up with a label only a committee could come up with: “enterprise productivity … Read more

Coup d'etat on Twitter

Matt Webb pointed out in his LIFT presentation today that humans “take pleasure in watching things unfold.” True – even if the events are a quasi-authentic account of something that has already happened.

Coincidentally, the Spanish site Per Soitu reports about a fascinating example of “fake authenticity” and the emerging trend of using Twitter for storytelling. On February 23, 2009, exactly 28 years after about 200 soldiers and paramilitary members of the Spanish Civil Guard toppled remnants of General Franco's dictatorship, a group of Spanish Twitterers revived minute by minute the historical coup d'etat that occurred on February 23, … Read more

Understanding Google Chrome

Google's new Chrome browser is an interesting entry into the revitalized "browser wars." Given Google's Apps and Gears, the browser has essentially become the "OS" that contains them, so it makes perfect sense that Google would want to extend into that area to give it more control, and provide custom functionality that could not be accomplished with other browsers that it does not control.

But what is also interesting is how Google chose to describe some of its capabilities and intentions to the world: with comics.

The comics form has a number of benefits, … Read more

Goldmail: Talkie slide shows made super-easy

Goldmail is a new service for creating narrated slide shows. I've seen other multimedia presentation products, but never one as drop-dead easy as this. It's a great tool. And I say this despite the fact that Goldmail's CEO, Guy Longworth, introduced the product to me with worst pitch I've ever heard anyone give a writer: "Text is lifeless." Gee, thanks.

To create a talkie in Goldmail, first you grab your images, either from your hard disk, by taking screen grabs, or by creating text slides in Goldmail. You sort the images into the order you want. Then you press Record, and while you're talking, click the "next slide" button to advance the show (you can also use an audio file from your PC). Goldmail records the transition points. It's a more natural authoring environment than any other I have used.

Once you've created your presentation, you get an option to e-mail it, link to it, or embed it. I like that the app doesn't pretend it's an e-mail client or a blogging tool--but it gives you just what you need to work with the tools you already use.

It's not flashy, though. There's no control for transitions. You can't overlay a music track. You can't embed or record video in a show. And it's far too easy to backtrack and mistakenly erase your audio track. But for creating a slide show, either of photos you want to share with your family or of a collection of slides you want to make into a business or academic presentation, it can't be beat.

One major downside: The Goldmail authoring platform is downloadable software. There's no Mac version. The team is working on a Web 2.0 version that will be open to everyone, but it's not here yet.

The consumer version of Goldmail is free and allows unlimited views for your talkies, but all messages end with advertising. There's a pro version for $9.95 a month that has no ads and that offers tracking, so you can see who's viewing your messages and when.

Longworth says he's already having success pitching Goldmail to nonprofits and other companies who want to send out pitches that tug on the heartstrings, which a talking slide show can, I admit, do better than most text.

The Goldmail site is live now, and I expect the company to make its big announcement on Monday.

See also: Vizzvox and VoiceThread (review).

Read on to see an embedded Goldmail presentation.

Read more