While he first burst onto the scene as a music artist, 50 Cent has quickly become just as influential in the world of business.
The man born as Curtis James Jackson III joined the long line of artists with their own headphone line, founding Studio Mastered Sound (SMS) last year, which has rung up strong sales at retail. At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, he introduced Street by 50, a new high-end line ranging in price from $180 to $300.
With over-the-top platforms proliferating and social media changing the way we interact with content, the traditional tube is on the way out. These 10 pioneers are launching technologies and making deals to transform TV.
Voice command may seem like a natural evolution for television, given the popularity of Apple’s Siri on the iPhone. But is it ready for primetime?
Samsung’s ES8000 LED set, the company’s flagship “smart TV” model introduced at last year’s CES, can be turned on simply by talking to it. LG’s Magic Wand remote control uses gesture control. Even accessories like Google TV and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 videogame console let people search for programming by shouting at the devices.
The looming public launch of Redbox Instant by Verizon appears to be an escalation of the war between Redbox and Netflix. But the streaming service plans to focus on movies, rather than a catalog of TV shows, which could put the companies on parallel paths.
“Movies are the core business of Redbox,” said Redbox CEO Shawn Strickland at CES. “TV is increasingly becoming available via multiple sources, and while there is valuable content there, and our strategy could evolve, we didn’t see there was a clear offering to come out around television.”
50 Cent’s first foray into headphones didn’t go well. In fact, it was something of a disaster.
A 2010 investment in Sleek Audio failed to materialize any headphones, but it did spawn a lawsuit. It also convinced the hip-hop icon that if he wanted to pursue his own branded line of musical headgear, he’d have to do it himself.
After spending much of the past year educating consumers on the merits of UltraViolet, Hollywood is ready for the digital locker service to go mainstream in 2013.
Launched by a consortium of more than 70 major entertainment players, hardware manufacturers and retailers in late 2011, UltraViolet was designed to serve as a convenient way for people to store their purchased movies, TV shows and other forms of entertainment online so they could be played using various devices without worrying about formats.
OLED TVs have been touted as the next big thing in television for the past six years, when Sony rolled out the first prototype — an 11-inch set that sold for $2,500. To date, though, the organic light-emitting diode TVs have failed to materialize on a large-scale basis. But the technology’s time may finally have come.
That seemed the case in 2012, when LG and Samsung both had OLED sets prominently on display at CES to wide acclaim (LG’s 55-inch OLED won CNET’s coveted Best of CES award, with Samsung taking a very close second place).