Internet TV investments, pizza orders from your car make splash

News Tribune news servicesJanuary 8, 2014 

Members of the media photograph a glass speaker called Clio during the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The speaker, produced by ClearView Audio, uses a single piece of curved millimeter-thick acrylic glass that sits on a dock, which vibrates it in a finely tuned way so that it can play music. It works with Bluetooth streaming and with a 3.5-millimeter jack.

JULIE JACOBSON/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

International CES LAS VEGAS — Highlights Tuesday from the International Consumer Electronics Show, an annual gadget show held in Las Vegas:

 • Yahoo is leaning more heavily on its recent acquisitions of technology and talent as CEO Marissa Mayer tries to attract more traffic and advertising to the Internet company’s services.

Mayer unveiled the latest steps in her efforts to accelerate Yahoo’s lackluster revenue growth during an hourlong presentation at the International CES, The additions include a mobile app that pulls news from various digital sources to highlight the top stories twice per day. The digests will be put together by Summly, a technology that Yahoo bought last year to automatically condense long stories.

Yahoo also revealed that Mayer’s biggest acquisition so far, Internet blogging service Tumblr, will begin to use the company’s tools to target ads based on people’s gender and location.

 • Sony says it will start an Internet-based TV service in the U.S. this year, offering a mix of live TV programming and video on demand.

Andrew House, group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., said the service will have personalized channels catered to the viewer’s tastes. He says it will enable viewers to see what their friends are watching. Sony plans to start testing the service in the U.S. this year.

 • Aereo, a Barry Diller-backed startup that provides broadcast television channels over the Internet for a monthly fee, said Tuesday that it has secured $34 million in additional funding from outside investors.

The money will help Aereo expand beyond the 10 metropolitan areas it now serves. It also will allow Aereo to develop apps for additional devices, such as Internet-connected TVs and game consoles, while battling copyright-infringement lawsuits filed by broadcasters.

 • Domino’s Pizza, which has been touting its online innovations, plans to offer a mobile application later this year that works with Ford’s voice-activated Sync system, allowing you to put in an order — and pay for it — from your automobile while driving, perhaps even to pick it up. “Our goal is to make it so people can order Domino’s anytime, anyplace,” said company spokesman Chris Brandon. “It allows for partnerships where people can have a cool experience that they couldn’t have from other places.”

 • Sprint Corp on Tuesday unveiled a new option called “framily” plans that give up to 10 family members or friends big service discounts if they sign up as a group, the latest move in an increasingly competitive market.

The new option, which could represent a service discount of almost 50 percent from Sprint’s existing family plan in some cases, follows aggressive discounts by Sprint’s smaller rival T-Mobile US that sparked a new wave of competition.

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