This week, one man turned his Furby into an Amazon Echo, we have a Google Vision Kit available to help developers add on-device computer vision smarts (with no connection needed) and flame throwing drones!

Furlexa, Google's new vision kit and a flame throwing drone

Furlexa, Google’s new vision kit and flame throwing drones!

Learn how to build a conversational voice assistant!

My fun, relaxed, light-hearted online course is coming soon! No matter your skill level, it should help you build a virtual assistant/chatbot 🙂 Pre-register and I’ll give you a discount code when it’s out as my way of saying thanks!


Virtual Reality

Oculus Go dev kits begin shipping

Their $199 standalone VR headset has begun arriving in dev’s homes.

Daydream Impact is Google’s new philanthropy program for VR

Google’s new philanthropy program, Daydream Impact, aims to help groups use 360 video for positive change.

Drawboard launches from stealth, looks to bring headset owners a better VR controller

It is part of the goal of building a comfortable all-day VR workstation.

Oculus Rift needs a streamlined update in 2018 to boost VR adoption

I think what the author is talking about is the Santa Cruz update.

A true VR camera for everyone: Giroptic iO will have 6DOF VR capture capability

You’ll be able to walk around and capture a scene with this software smarts!

Now you can have ‘dolphin-assisted therapy’ in virtual reality

A Dutch non-profit is “strapping waterproof VR headsets on people submerged in pools so they can ‘swim with dolphins’.”

Dual virtual reality/treadmill exercises promote brain plasticity in Parkinson’s patients: therapy effective even in later stages of the disease, researchers say

VR therapy has been effective in “changing the brain’s behavior & promoting beneficial brain plasticity, even in patients with neurodegenerative disease”.

First look: Settlers of Catan VR

More details on the fascinating work bringing Catan to VR!


Augmented Reality

Turn any Vive or Rift into an AR headset

The ZED Mini depth camera scans the real world and maps it in real-time. It’s shipping in 3 weeks, with pre-orders open now.

MAD Gaze wants to slip its Vader AR headset in before the 2020 rush

This AR headset is doing pretty well with its crowdfunding!

Why the YouTube of AR won’t be YouTube

An interesting discussion around AR and how it “represents a new mass-medium, not a new form of a current medium”.

French national center for scientific research brings the colour back into history with HoloLens

This is amazing — layering digital restorations over paintings and sculptures!



Bye bye basic wearables, the smart wearables are taking over

Wearables are on the rise once again!

Google Assistant wireless headphones: Google Pixel Buds vs. Bose QuietComfort 35 II

A comparison of two Google Assistant headphone options.


Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles and Robotics

Introducing AIY Vision Kit: Make devices that see

Google’s latest DIY kit “features on-device neural network acceleration, providing powerful computer vision without a cloud connection”.

Google’s AI can identify and shame shoulder surfers

This AI can spot if someone is sneaking a peek at your phone in public!

Amazon unveils $250 AI camera and machine learning tools for businesses

They’re ready and waiting to help businesses get into AI.

Google’s AI built an AI that outperforms any made by humans

Google’s AI “has now developed a computer vision system that vastly outperforms state-of-the-art-models.”

From classic AI techniques to deep reinforcement learning

A nice overview of AI techniques!

Why we desperately need women to design AI

Yikes — “Only about 12–15% of the engineers who are building the internet and its software are women.”

AI could make Tinder’s Super Like feature a little less creepy

Tinder are looking to use AI to match people and let AI bring them together by giving them a special sort of “like” they can send.

Flame throwing drone is actually useful

Flame throwing drones are helping clear debris from high voltage power lines!

This robot can solve a Rubiks cube faster than most people

This Raspberry Pi robot definitely beats me that’s for sure.

Robots made from algae, powered by magnets can kill cancer, swim through blood

What a headline, right?

AI can figure out a place’s politics by analyzing cars on Google Street View

It’s amazing what trends AI can pick up in the scheme of things!

Nightmare on ML Street: the dark potential of AI in radiology

A look at the dangers of AI which need discussing.


Internet of Things and Makers

Amazon’s Echo smart speakers are finally coming down under

They’re coming officially to Australia and NZ early 2018!

How do I set up an Amazon Echo in Australia before then?

I’ve got a new workaround for setting local Australian (and potentially NZ too!) addresses in the Echo settings in this updated post!

Google Home finally smart enough to do two things at once

It can now multitask! You can ask it things like “OK Google, turn on the TV and tell me the weather.” That’s pretty handy.

I turned a Furby into an Amazon Echo. Introducing: Furlexa

This guy turned his Furby into a Pi-powered Echo!

Amazon FreeRTOS is a new operating system for microcontroller-based IoT devices

It is an extension of the FreeRTOS OS.

Optimizing smart water meters: a new ultrasonic-sensing microcontroller from TI

TI’s new device can deliver more accurate smart water meter measurement.

Minimizing ESP8266 battery drain

ESP8266 using too much power? Here’s a way to optimise it!

Gesture control for lunch money

Here’s how to add gesture control to your PC using an Arduino, a breakout board with a gesture controller and an interconnect PCB.

Web App Controlled Gate Operator Add-on

This guy customised a Liftmaster gate operator to be IoT compatible!

Jim Beam has a bourbon-pouring smart speaker and it’s no April Fools

Nobody saw that coming.


Events and Conference Discount Codes!

AI Expo Global 2018 (18-19 Apr)

3 co-located events. 15 conference tracks. 9,000 attendees. 300+ speakers. 300+ exhibitors. It’s all happening in 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!


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