This week, we got a fancy new SteamVR home beta environment complete with boxing ring (excitement levels high!), burger cooking robots and a parrot that taught itself to order things with the Amazon Echo.

Parrot with an Amazon Echo, the new SteamVR Home boxing ring and a burger flipping robot

This parrot ordered his owner some new stuff using the Echo, we’ve got a new SteamVR Home boxing ring and a burger flipping robot!


Learn how to build a conversational voice assistant!

My online course is getting closer to completion! I’m making a fun, relaxed, light-hearted online course on how to make a virtual assistant using! Registrations for early interest are open now! Register and I’ll give you a discount code when it’s out as my way of saying thanks!

Sydney NodeBots Day 2017

I’m also running Sydney NodeBots Day on the 28th October for any Sydneysiders who want to make JavaScript-powered robots! If you want a ticket with a robot kit you can bring home — grab a ticket soon!


Virtual Reality

SteamVR Home: Trophies, artwork, and more

Sign up for the SteamVR beta and you’ll get a sneak peek at the new SteamVR Home, complete with boxing ring!

How do I sign up for the SteamVR Beta?

Want to sign up and get access to that new stuff but not sure how? Here’s a super quick step by step guide!

HTC to further support Vive following $1.1 billion Google deal

A bunch of HTC employees are headed to Google which just might be very good news for more funding for the Vive development team!

Google Daydream meets a virtual web in new WebVR update

Google Daydream’s latest Chrome update apparently lets you browse the web in VR whether or not it has WebVR specific elements.

A-Frame v0.7.0 – Windows Mixed Reality headsets and glTF 2.0

A-Frame now supports Microsoft Mixed Reality headsets and controllers on Microsoft Edge!

LG files patent for a VR display that eliminates the screen-door effect

It’s an interesting solution to the problem!

World’s first 8K VR headset races past crowdfunding goal on first day

That’s the other way to get rid of the screen door effect.

Intel Alloy VR headset has been scrapped

Other VR initiatives by companies like Microsoft made it hard for Intel.


Augmented Reality

Report: Amazon is working on Alexa-powered smart glasses

Yep, Amazon might want to get in on the action too.

Here are the best ARKit apps for iOS 11 you should try right now

iOS 11 is now out with ARKit for all! Here are TechCrunch’s app picks.

The day that everything changed

It wasn’t the most recent Apple event, but Apple’s 2017 WWDC.

Sketchfab’s giant asset library comes to augmented reality with ARKit support

Yet another way you can look at Sketchfab 3D models!

IKEA’s new augmented reality app means you’re never not at IKEA

Throw any bit of IKEA furniture into your home using AR!

3 ways augmented reality will transform UX design

AR will impact tech in ways we don’t often consider!.

Lowe’s looks to AR again with launch of two new apps

One is a virtual showroom, the other is an AR measurement tool.

Report predicts companies will lose business unless they engage with AR

They’ve got “six months to produce AR apps or lose business”.



Connectivity fault hampers new LTE Apple Watch Series 3

The new cellular Apple Watch is having some big technical issues.

Verizon gives up on its Android Wear watch after 4 months

Verizon’s Wear24 smartwatch only launched in May, but it’s already discontinued.

Fitbit’s Ionic smartwatch is landing on 1 October with five days of battery life

Their SDK is launching this week for interested developers too.


Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles and Robotics

Buddy the parrot surprises owner with an online shopping order

It turns out even parrots can use the Amazon Echo.

Bill Gates and Satya Nadella disagree with Elon Musk about an imminent AI threat

“Nor should we blithely ignore the fact that eventually that problem could emerge” says Gates.

Developers should pledge to create ‘ethical’ AI, says report

We need some sort of a system to ensure our AI future is bright, is this it?

Dubai tests a passenger drone for its flying taxi service

Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed rode an autonomous Volocopter on its maiden flight. That’s one big drone right there.

Does Siri sound different today? Here’s why

Siri’s vocals have had a big revamp using machine learning.

Nvidia targets China with hardware and unveils software to slash AI costs

Lots of good news for AI enthusiasts out there!

Voice technology will change your relationship with customers

Looking to read up on the business case for voice interfaces?

Microsoft launches new machine learning tools

They’ve launched the Azure Machine Learning Workbench, Experimentation service and Model Management service.

This news-reading AI could scan for police shootings nationwide

Police shootings have been hard to track but AI could be the answer.

Flippy, the hamburger cooking robot, gets its first restaurant gig

Soon your burgers just might be flipped and cooked by robots.

Designing an adorable robot and killing it on stage to teach empathy

Now there’s a headline I wasn’t expecting this week.


Internet of Things and Makers

Nvidia picks up Alibaba and Huawei as partners for smart city platform

It involves running a variety of AI-enabled analysis applications, “which can assist with everything from law enforcement to urban planning”.

Nest’s outdoor Cam IQ brings facial recognition to your backyard

“The speaker is 15 times louder than on the indoor model, so you can shout at trespassers if you catch them in the act.”

Arduino widens wireless offerings with two new boards

One long-range radio (LoRa)-equipped MKR WAN 1300 and one cellular-capable MKR GSM 1400. Not the catchiest of names.

Keep your cabinets secure with a touch-sensitive lock

This is a really useful tutorial!

Arduino Sunflower

Here’s an Arduino-powered sunflower that follows the light!

DIY LiPo Protectors

Want to keep your LiPo cells safe? Here’s a DIY method.

iPhone 8 and X have a sort-of secret weapon in NFC

There may finally be more NFC around with the latest iPhones!

Alexa and her kind let the disabled or illiterate make the web work

The Internet of Things might be providing a new way for people out there to access the web itself — this could be life changing for many.

Game Boy Advance hiding in a medical device

Where did medical device manufacturers turn for LCD screens in 2000? Apparently, the Game Boy Advance handheld console!


Other Emerging Tech

Microsoft makes play for next wave of computing with quantum computing toolkit

For those keen on really getting into the future of computing, Microsoft is taking sign ups for its quantum preview today!


Conferences Discount Codes and Competitions!

AI With The Best (14-15 Oct) & IoT With The Best (14-15 Oct)

A great conference series that is entirely online! No need to leave your home! Watch from anywhere and view the replays any time afterwards. Want 30% off? Use our code DEVDINER30! They also have a bundle for two or three conferences (they’ve got a cybersecurity one too!)

Web Directions Summit (9-10 Nov)

Summit will have two tracks — one product/design and one dev focused. Use the code devdiner and you’ll get a free upgrade to the next pass level!

Deep Learning Dance Smackdown (23 Nov)

For the final Melbourne Creative AI meetup of the year they are running a small competition! The basic idea is, build a program that generates some dance moves from data! Sounds like a lot of fun!

AI Expo North America 2017 (29-30 Nov)

3 co-located events. 15 conference tracks. 9,000 attendees. 300+ speakers. 300+ exhibitors. It’s all happening at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Silicon Valley! It even has a free track on AI for developers! Want to attend the whole event? Use the discount code DEVDINER20!

BuzzConf Technology Festival (1-3 Dec)

BuzzConf is a family-friendly tech festival in country Victoria, Australia. Learn and play with tech by day, enjoy live music by night! I’m running a workshop on making voice assistants! The code special_devdiner will give you 20% off my workshop and the ticket price!


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