This week, Leap Motion revealed their very own AR platform with hand tracking (so cool!), the Arduino Yún is back with a sequel, Samsung has an interesting wider watchface concept, Apple poached Google’s head of AI and more! It was a huge week!

Leap Motion's new AR platform, the new Arduino Yún and Samsung's smartwatch concept

Leap Motion’s new AR platform, the new Arduino Yún and Samsung’s smartwatch concept

Learn how to build a conversational voice assistant!

A whole series of in depth, step-by-step articles and accompanying content that’ll help you build a virtual assistant/chatbot no matter your skill level! Content is almost all in there for early access release! Pre-register and get a discount code when it’s out as my way of saying thanks for the support!


Virtual Reality

VR’s biggest reason to jump in now: price drops

Been waiting for VR to get cheaper?

Wipeout got ported to PSVR by just 5 people

It’s apparently a really good experience on PSVR too — just goes to show you that you don’t need a massive team to bring things into VR.

Virtual harassment: the social experience of 600+ regular virtual reality (VR) users

Jessica Outlaw put together a big survey of VR users which is worth reading!

Facebook data concerns spread to Oculus and VR

The Verge look at how Oculus is handling VR users’ personal data.

This VR exhibit lets the visually impaired touch art

Prague’s National Gallery introduces a tactile VR experience for the blind — just fantastic to hear!

HTC Vive Pro v Vive: we match the VR headsets against each other

Wareable did some comparison between the old and new Vive!

Field of view: Apple could still be working on a mobile VR headset for gamers

Waiting for Apple’s VR headset? It might still be coming.

Common sense report highlights potential impact VR has on children’s development

It highlights parents’ concern around the impact of VR on kids (not research on the actual impact).

High Fidelity teams with NeoSensory for ‘Exoskin’ haptic jacket

The creator of Second Life wants to bring realistic haptic feedback to their social VR platform.

This week in mixed reality: Issue 1

The Mozilla Mixed Reality team are doing quite a bit — from a new browser for standalone AR/VR headsets to a new social platform.


Augmented Reality

Unveiling Project North Star

Leap Motion have a reference design for a full augmented reality platform! This is crazy exciting and I already want to develop for one.

Microsoft HoloLens 2 will have these big changes

It’ll run on an ARM chip instead and have better battery life. Reportedly coming early next year.

Apple’s reality: All the latest details on Apple’s AR exploits

They’re likely making glasses that utilize MicroLED and will run a new fork of iOS called rOS.

Progressive WebXR

“The promise of WebXR is having web pages work in 2D, and across the full range of AR and VR devices”. Mozilla’s Mixed Reality team have a detailed piece on progressive WebVR and what it means.

US army begins using AR to locate mines on the battlefield

Now that’s a different use case for AR!



Samsung patents a smartwatch with large display

More screen real estate as this watch extends horizontally.

Alexa, Fitbit and Apple watch are your digital snitches

“What happens when our digital devices become star witnesses for the prosecution?”

“Alexa, turn on my jacket”

They say the Mercury is the world’s first truly “smart coat” and pre-heats with an Alexa-directed voice command.

Fitbit Ionic v Fitbit Versa: Comparing the tracking giant’s two smartwatches

Wondering what the difference between the two is?

AI predicts your lifespan using activity tracking apps

For me, this initially read as something crazy morbid — does that mean I already know I need to be more active before I’ve even installed the app?


Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles and Robotics wants to do for machine learning what GitHub did for code

“ allows data scientists and developers to easily monitor, compare and optimize their machine learning models”.

Microsoft’s XiaoIce AI learns how to interrupt tactfully

“What this means in real terms is that future bots will be less dependent on a wake-word.”

AI will eclipse Moore’s Law as a driver of tech innovation.

I think this is pretty spot on.

Google’s AI head boffin been poached by Apple

Apple is definitely looking to grow their capabilities here (and as AI is the future’s driver of tech innovation, as per the last link, this is a pretty big win for Apple!). As the Inquirer says in this piece, it’s “time to get Sirious”.

Video shows Tesla Model S Autopilot veering towards barrier where fatal crash occurred

One guy took his Tesla onto the highway where the fatal crash happened to see whether Autopilot would make the same mistake twice — it did (he was paying attention though and took control of the wheel).

Intel, Waymo compare vision systems in wake of Uber’s first fatal autonomous car crash

Intel and Waymo insist their autonomous systems could have prevented the crash (which I think is 100% true). It’s the danger of rushing to market too soon they’d all warned about…

The real story behind Microsoft’s quietly brilliant AI design

The company studied human personal assistants make better virtual ones.

In pursuit of the perfect AI voice

It is something that I never really considered — but the voice of our AI is pretty important!

Delivering voice-powered business analytics with Alexa for business

There is potential here for a business-focused voice enabled app to take businesses by storm.

What’s hot in AI: deep reinforcement learning

Some see it as “a path to artificial general intelligence”.

Google employees demand the company pull out of Pentagon AI project

They say “Google should not be in the business of war”.

Social robot Fribo is Facebook meets Furby

An interesting concept — you can’t talk to Fribo, but it listens to your environment to work out what you’re up to.

Elon Musk worries that AI research will create an ‘immortal dictator’

Whether the dictator is kind or not, Elon asks whether we’ll want that in a new documentary.

Machine learning zone: OpenAI competition takes on Sonic the Hedgehog

OpenAI has announced a competition to apply machine learning to Sonic!

From AI to Russia, here’s how Estonia’s president is planning for the future

Kersti Kaljulaid, Estonia’s youngest and first female president, wants to move the country to a digital society.

Calls to boycott South Korean AI research lab for ‘working on killer robots’

They apparently deny that’s what they’re up to though.

Adobe brings more of its AI smarts to its video tools

The latest updates to Premiere CC and After Effects CC bring some AI into the fold!


Internet of Things and Makers

Yes, this developer can control JavaScript with her mind

I just had to do a piece on JavaScript tinkerer extraordinaire, Charlie Gerard, and her mind-controlling of JavaScript!

Introducing the new Arduino Yún Rev 2

The Arduino Yún is back!

Microsoft will invest $5 billion in IoT. here’s why.

Microsoft’s goal is “to give every customer the ability to transform their businesses, and the world at large, with connected solutions”.

Mirai variant botnet launches IoT ddos attacks on financial sector

This could be “the first IoT botnet used in a DDoS attack since the initial Mirai attacks”.

5 reasons the IoT needs smarts at the edge

Edge computing is where people keep their data in gateways or on on-premises instead of sending it all to the cloud. Stacey Higgenbotham explains more in relation to the IoT!

How Alexa is influencing the next generations of kids

This is worth thinking about — every technological advancement affects the generation to come, how will voice assistants affect kids?

The new Alexa Skills Kit Developer Console is now generally available

They’ve revamped how you can make Alexa skills natively on their platform.


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AI Expo Global (18-19 Apr)

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AI Expo Europe (27-28 Jun)

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