This week, we’ve got a way of making AR apps that work on both ARKit and ARCore in the latest version of Unreal Engine, an unexpected entrant into the VR space — Metamucil, Arduino-powered light up stairs, and one Japanese engineer who made his own 28-foot high Gundam robot. Just amazing.

Metamucil's VR experience, Arduino-powered light up stairs and a 28-foot Gundam robot

Metamucil’s VR experience, Arduino-powered light up stairs and a 28-foot Gundam robot

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 should be open for early release this month!!! Pre-register and get a discount code when it’s out as my way of saying thanks for the support!

Virtual Reality

New image compression standard JPEG XS focuses on VR and AR

“JPEG XS will compress images using less energy, with higher-quality images being sent with low latency over broadband networks like 5G”.

YouTube VR creator lab now accepting applications

YouTube Space LA is “opening up applications for a 4-month learning and production intensive for VR creators looking to explore YouTube’s new VR180 format”.

Improved AR and VR features available to all with Unreal Engine 4.19 release

There are a bunch of handy VR/AR updates available to the public now, including one that allows devs to create an AR app that will work for both ARKit and ARCore.

Take a VR trip through the human digestive system in gutland

An unexpected entrant into the VR space — “Metamucil invite guests to experience an interactive journey of education and gameplay”.

Google’s new VR tours let you experience imperiled cultural sites around the world

Preservation organization CyArk uses photos and laser scans to make virtual tours of places that may not last in reality.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR is this man’s weight loss tool

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR recently came out on PC and this guy used it to lose 10 pounds!

This week in Mozilla Mixed Reality: Issue 2

They’ve been busy! Most excitingly, they finished their Unity WebVR exporter v1.2.0 release.

The design of Firefox reality

A look at the start of Firefox’s development of its upcoming VR/AR browser — Reality.

VR has proven it can ease the pains of childbirth – next, the opioid crisis

VR is finding uses in hospitals to help with pain.

Will Lenovo Mirage Camera (Google VR180) and Mirage Solo VR headset enable VR to succeed?

The first Google VR180 camera and a standalone Daydream headset with 6DOF are launching on May 6 (available for pre-order).

VR drone: an invisible stabilized drone for any 360 camera (video demo)

Its feed will be stabilized straight out of the camera which is pretty handy!

Creating a virtual universe with blockchain power

Developer Ukiedo wants to “combine AI with Blockchain to create a living VR world”. Sounds kinda cool!

Vive Pro goes AR: Project Ghost Studios takes gameplay from augmented reality into VR with “see through reality” SDK

Project Ghost Studios have revealed some of their “SR SDK” that uses Vive Pro’s dual cameras.

Kat VR scrap Kickstarter for KAT Walk Mini

They’ve decided to instead take pre-orders, no Kickstarter required!


Augmented Reality

Apple has made AR easier, now we just need better games

Kotaku covers how things have gone with ARKit so far, might be a good piece if you’re looking for inspiration to get building AR!

Lumus release infographic that shows AR technology is not just for gaming

This infographic looks at the potential uses of AR by 2025.

The Magic Leap One experience (Part 2, ML1’s terrible view of the real world)

Karl Guttag built a prototype that he thinks matches the Magic Leap One view and shows what it looks like.

Magic Leap’s CEO Rony Abovitz responds kgontech and dodges questions

The CEO of Magic Leap isn’t a big fan of Karl Guttag making educated guesses about his products.

AR drawing tool comes to Facebook Camera

Facebook are rolling out 3D drawing on their camera app.

This app brings music to life in augmented reality

Wavy is looking to help musicians enhance their music videos with AR.

Accessible Realities: Making video games and XR accessible for people who are blind or have low vision

Some innovative ideas here to help those less fortunate enjoy tech too (thanks to Geoff for the link!).



Charged up: what I’m loving (and not loving) about Fitbit’s smartwatches

Michael Sawh at Wareable gives his thoughts on the latest Fitbit smartwatches.


Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles and Robotics

Four things for developers to keep in mind when creating a chatbot

Rae Steinbach from Snaps has some tips to share on making a chatbot that stands out from the crowd.

TensorFlow in your browser

Hackaday has a guide to getting started with using TensorFlow and JavaScript to build AI that runs in the browser!

AI creates ‘Flintstones’ cartoons from text descriptions

This week’s AI authorship are Flintstones cartoons, generated images from textual descriptions.

Google AI experiment has you talking to books

Google has launched a series of “Semantic Experiences” websites showcasing some AI experiences.

Looking to listen: Audio-visual speech separation

Google are teaching AI to pick out audio in a loud scene, just like humans can focus on a voice in a loud environment.

Google’s updated DIY vision and voice kits include a Raspberry Pi zero

Enjoy pre-trained machine learning models to recognize all sorts of things with a camera you’ve made from cardboard!

UK lawmakers advocate for ethical AI

The UK is worried about AI and has come up with a code for AI to abide by.

Love and compassion will save us when AI takes our jobs

Kai-Fu Lee says we’ll need to adequately compensate jobs like teachers and caretakers that require these more human traits.

Algorithm-driven design — how AI is changing design

“Will robots replace designers? No. It’s more like an exoskeleton for designers.” (Thanks to Jason for the link!)

Microsoft is turning down some sales over AI ethics, top researcher Eric Horvitz says

“Significant sales have been cut off” when Microsoft felt companies wanted to use their platform for unethical reasons.

Researchers teach AI to think like dogs and find out what they know about the world

“Their results, they say, show that animals could provide a new source of training data for AI systems — including those used to control robots.”

How more women in AI could change the world

A discussion around whether women designing AI would change the results.

Alice in Putin’s Wonderland: how Russia’s AI assistant compares to Siri and Alexa

This Russian voice assistant is “exploding in growth and is not encumbered by any privacy or regulatory concerns”.

Waymo reportedly applies to put autonomous cars on California roads with no safety drivers

Waymo has become the second company to apply for the newly-available permit to deploy autonomous vehicles without safety drivers on some California roads.

How artificial intelligence will take over the supermarket produce aisles

Machine learning “will help create tastier, cheaper food for all”.

Gecko-inspired adhesives help soft robotic fingers get a better grip

“Researchers have developed a robotic gripper that combines the adhesive properties of gecko toes and the adaptability of air-powered soft robots to grasp a much wider variety of objects than the state of the art”.

Apple considers using AI to improve “hey Siri”

Apple’s latest Machine Learning journal speaks about their attempts to use AI to get rid of the need for initial training of Siri.

Face recognition technology that works in the dark

Researchers have built AI that produces a visible face image from a thermal image of a person’s face in low light.

Japanese engineer wins at life with 28-foot ‘Gundam’ robot

Japanese engineer Masaaki Nagumo made his own massive Gundam robot he can ride in.


Internet of Things and Makers

Apple’s stumbling HomePod isn’t the hot seller it wanted

“Some locations are selling fewer than 10 HomePods a day”.

Qualcomm unveils its first chips designed for IoT gadgets

The US chipmaker has its eye on the IoT market now.

Motion activated stairs

Developer, Dante Roumega, connected up their stairs with Arduino so that they light up each step for him! Seriously cool.

Homeowners get a real charge out of their new Tesla solar roof

A fascinating look at the costs and all involved after one homeowner had Tesla’s roof tiles installed.

10 things every Alexa skill should do

Amazon released a downloadable guide for building high quality Alexa skills.

Microsoft doubles down on IoT security with Azure Sphere

Microsoft announced a new program to help companies build secure IoT devices and… wait for it… are launching a custom distribution of Linux to do it.

Door closer!

A great DIY project — be able to close your door just by asking Alexa to do it for you using a Particle Photon and 3D printed door closer.

An elaborate hack shows how much damage IoT bugs can do

“Rube-Goldbergesque IoT hacks are surprisingly simple to pull off—and can do a ton of damage”.



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AI Expo Europe (27-28 Jun)

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