Unless you've been intentionally cutting yourself off from mainstream movies and TV (and we wouldn't blame you if you had), you've probably become aware of the practice known as product placement--when companies pay money to have their product or brand featured in a movie or TV show.
Used judiciously, product placement can be a way for filmmakers to get a little extra cash and flesh out the realism of their world. It makes more sense to see characters at a bar drinking real brands of beer, after all. Unfortunately, Hollywood isn’t known for its subtlety, and product placement can all too often be jarring and obvious.
And, of course, tech brands are no stranger to this kind of advertising. We’ve put together a gallery of 15 of the most shameless, hamfisted instances of tech product placement in movies and TV shows. Check them out, then hit the comments and let us know what we missed.
For every minute that goes by, Samsung sells 120 television sets. That's assuming Samsung's rate of sales is the same as it was in November, a record month for the world's largest supplier of TVs. Samsung said it sold 5.7 million TVs last month, up from 5 million in October and buoyed by a jump in U.S. sales during Thanksgiving weekend.
Sharp, Samsung, and half a dozen other liquid crystal display (LCD) panel makers may have colluded to fix prices earlier in the decade, according to claims brought on by a class action lawsuit. The display makers agreed to settle the case for a combined $388 million, of which Sharp, Japan's largest panel maker, will fork over $105 million.
Get ready for a big update to your Xbox 360 console, one that Microsoft claims will transform how you enjoy TV entertainment. This is the biggest update yet for the Xbox 360. It will begin being rolled out tomorrow and among its biggest feature additions is voice control, which will integrate with an all-new Xbox 360 experience, including custom applications from content providers.
A couple of days back, Microsoft announced plans for new Kinect hardware specially tailored for PCs, something we faithfully reported to you that very same day. But the motion sensing camera, which holds a world record for being the fastest selling consumer electronics item in history, is now rumored to be headed to “next-generation television sets” as well.
The latest figures from NPD DisplaySearch, previously just DisplaySearch (renamed 'NPD DisplaySearch' by its parent company, The NPD Group), suggests 3D adoption is more about price than available content. To wit, NPD DisplaySearch calculated 6.6 million 3D LCD TV panel shipments in the third quarter of 2011, accounting for 27 percent growth from last quarter, and it's because prices have come down.
At a recent conference, Logitech CEO Guerrino De Luca had some pretty harsh words for one if the company’s won products. Of the Logitech Revue, De Luca said they made serious mistakes that caused the company to lose over $100 million. He went on to refer to the holiday 2010 launch as, “a mistake of implementation of a gigantic nature." The kicker is that Logitech is out of the Google TV game; there will be no sequel for the Revue.
Logitech admitted it was a "mistake" to get in bed with Google to promote the Google TV platform and is content to pull out and cut its losses, significant as they are. There will be no more producing Logitech Revue set-top boxes for Google TV, nor will there be a new model to replace it once current inventory is completely depleted, Logitech CEO Guerrino De Luca told investors.
The very first test of the National Emergency Alert System today, but it appears that the new high-tech system that was due to take over all the airwaves failed fairly spectacularly. At 2PM eastern time, the system was supposed to break into radio and all TV channels to ensure all the parts were working as expected. Instead, many regions didn’t get any alerts at all.
"Now it's no longer just about the desktop but really a broader vision.” This remark was part of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s CES 2009 keynote address, in which he talked about the impending transformation of Windows into “an experience that spans the PC, the phone, the TV and the cloud." Fast forward to the present and Canonical is ready with a similar strategy for Ubuntu.