This week, we suddenly had double the number of Amazon Echo devices to keep up with, along with the news of an improved PlayStation VR headset coming soon and so soooo much discussion on the Fitbit Ionic smartwatch!

The new PSVR, new Echos and the new Fitbit

A new PSVR, many new Echos and lots of Fitbit talk!


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

Sony is releasing a new PlayStation VR headset with integrated earphones and a slimmer cable

It’ll cost the same as the first one, so maybe wait before buying one!

Updated Move controllers coming alongside the new PSVR

They still look ridiculous, but will have micro USB rather than mini USB and better battery life.

Intel makes the case for wireless PC-based high-end virtual reality

Rather than Project Alloy, Intel think wireless PC-based VR is the way to go.

Samsung Odyssey Windows Mixed Reality headset price, spec and release date revealed

Samsung’s new Windows Mixed Reality headset might be out 6th November!

Space Pirate Trainer launches out of VR early access on October 12

Space Pirate Trainer is finally about to exit Early Access and release its 1.0 version on October 12, 2017! “The biggest change is the inclusion of new waves, new enemies, and an all-new boss fight.”

Oculus Rift and Gear VR now offer refunds for apps and games

Not too happy with that VR app you bought? Refunds are available now!

Editorial: VR is exactly where it needs to be

A piece on why VR isn’t dead and is doing alright!

Scientists test VR system to control robots from virtual cockpits

Researchers used VR as a cheap solution for “teleoperating” robots.


Augmented Reality

Vuforia 7 helps augmented reality blend into real life

“Vuforia 7 can take any given real-world scene and figure out where the ground or flat surfaces like tables are. It can also identify objects with much better accuracy than it did in the past.”

Vuforia’s new ARKit app, Chalk, helps you help others using augmented reality

This looks genuinely like a really helpful iOS 11 AR app!

Act like a child without judgement and chase pigeons in this AR app

Feed them, chase them… live the life you know you want to lead.

Is Magic Leap having a nervous breakdown or making an announcement?

Their site has had an update and there are a bunch of clues that may lead somewhere or lead absolutely nowhere at all…

Michael Jackson ‘Scream’ compilation features eerie augmented reality experience

Promotional posters and a poster that comes with the CD will trigger different mobile AR experiences!

Snapchat leak reveals new location-based AR feature

A pretty poorly designed website flaw revealed Snapchat’s partnership a day early. Really poorly designed. Maybe it wasn’t that secret?

Topology lets you try before you buy glasses using AR in an app

An AR app providing “custom-fit glasses from a 3D scan of your face”!

ARKt and ARCore are leaving VR in the rearview mirror

A look at some reports and forecasts!



Smart tattoos turn your skin into a health tracker

“With enough refinement, the scientists expect to make tattoos that only last for as long as you need them.”

Fitbit Ionic review: a basic smartwatch with amazing battery life

A relatively positive review after two weeks of use.

This one basic problem with the new Fitbit Ionic smartwatch will put off Australians

It can only show calories, not kilojoules (I could live with that to be honest).

The future of Fitbit: new sensors, serious health tracking and more

An interview with Fitbit’s head of research on what’s next!

Fitbit still hasn’t signed up a music service for the Ionic outside of the US

If you are outside the US and are keen to use it for music, keep this in mind!

How to transfer music to the Fitbit Ionic

Especially useful if you aren’t in the US (see the link above!).

Samsung’s latest fitness tracker won’t work with iPhone until Apple signs off

The Gear Fit 2 Pro is advertised as iPhone compatible but its app hasn’t been approved by Apple yet.

Wearables that never were: from Nokia Moonraker to Pebble Time 2

A look at wearables that may exist in parallel worlds but didn’t work out here.

TomTom is officially taking a step away from wearables and action cams

It is “doubling down on navigation technology” after poor sales of their wearables and action cams.

LED matrix watch

This is pretty darn cool… you kinda just need to see it.


Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles and Robotics

Insights into the world of machine learning from a chief scientist

What do you need to get into machine learning? What is machine learning? How does Natural Language Processing (NLP) work? Dr. Sid J Reddy answers those questions and more!

God is a bot, and Anthony Levandowski is his messenger

Levandowski is the engineer at the center of the Uber and Waymo lawsuit but he’s also apparently starting his own religion around AI…

Google could unveil its own Bluetooth headphones with Google Assistant integration next week

Well, in the next few days from this newsletter going out. This is something I thought they’d be doing pretty soon, so I’m glad it’s on the way!

Microsoft’s Satya Nadella echoes musk with warning over AI governance

“How do we approach this with a set of design principles that allow us to control what AI creates?”

Intel’s self-learning ‘Loihi’ AI chip wants machines to think like humans

The chip will be shared with universities to advance AI development.

Microsoft is using Excel as a gateway drug to AI

“Microsoft wants everyone to Excel at machine learning”.

Where human intelligence outperforms AI

There are still going to be some areas where this is true!

Dialogs, buttons, and menus make bots more productive

A nice look at structuring conversational interfaces!

People, not tech companies, should pick their AI assistant’s personality

I really liked this piece on AI!

Artificial intelligence is about the people, not the machines

A fascinating read about AI, past, present and future.

AI dissonance will end when we ask the right questions in the boardroom

A lot of companies aren’t actually using AI quite as much as they claim.

Google to replace Microsoft as the search brain of Apple’s Siri

Google will be taking over as the default search engine for Siri.

Olly – the first home robot with personality

It’s like an Amazon Echo that learns over time!


Internet of Things and Makers

Amazon’s New Echo lineup: What’s the difference?

Amazon had a big event and released a bunch of new Echo devices! There are now twice as many Echo types! This will get you up to speed.

Alexa’s ‘routines’ will combine smart home control with other actions, like delivering your news and weather

We’ll be able to group a range of tasks into single phrases!

Alexa delivers rich, easy-to-use new features for smart home consumers and developers

They’ve updated the Smart Home Skill API and also have Echo Buttons on the way to add a whole new way to interact and play games with the Echo.

Are there now too many Amazon echo devices?

I think there might be *just* enough now.

Google pulls YouTube off the Amazon Echo Show

Bit disappointed by this, hoping that Amazon and Google work it out soon!

Google is building a smart screen competitor to Amazon’s Echo Show

Funnily enough, it’ll almost certainly have YouTube.

5G isn’t just faster, it will open up a whole new world

It definitely sounds exciting and quite different to the shift to 4G.

Keep calm and automate to unlock the opportunity in the vertical Internet of Things

A look at the current state of the Industrial IoT.


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!

AI Expo Global 2018 (18-19 Apr)

Can’t make it to the AI Expo in Santa Clara? The event is also headed over to London in 2018! Use the discount code DEVDINER20 to get a good deal on your tickets! They have a a free track on AI for developers too!


Got questions on emerging tech? Feel free to DM me on Twitter, Snapchat me (devdiner) or just send me an email and ask! That’s what Dev Diner is here for 🙂

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