This week, we’ve got what is basically a Presidential VR Simulator, an Autodesk robot that can construct Lego creations and George Takei (of Star Trek fame) had a rather odd cat-themed, AR parody app of Donald Trump. It has been an odd week.

VR president simulator, Autodesk's Lego masterpiece constructing robot and George Takei with a cat version of Donald Trump

VR president simulator, Autodesk’s Lego masterpiece constructing robot and that last image speaks for itself


Learn how to build a conversational voice assistant!

It’s here! I’ve released early access to my course full of step-by-step articles to help you build a virtual assistant/chatbot no matter your skill level! A free update is slowly being added in — as Dialogflow already has evolved! Sign up and let me know what you think!


Virtual Reality

This VR horror game is exactly as scary as your body can handle

This VR game combines VR and a heart rate monitor to adequately terrify you.

Cardiologist use VR to visualise heart defects

After that horror game, head to this children’s hospital so they can use their VR simulation to model how your heart is doing.

AMD, Nvidia and Microsoft join forces on one-cable VR standard

They’re looking to stick to USB-C as the standard to rid us of all those messy cords and connectors. That’d be wonderful…

It’s not all champagne and canapes as you learn to become Mr.President

It’s like Job Simulator but you get to be president.

Joshua is a paraplegic but through VR is experiencing the joys of walking

This was a really great story to read in the Sydney Morning Herald around VR!

Digi-Capital launches AR-VR analytics platform

This will be an area that will grow for sure as developers look to be able to track what is used in their apps.

Sansar and Intel remake the Smithsonian’s Art of Burning Man exhibit in VR

The VR exhibit is part of the Smithsonian’s mission to reach a billion people with its art — VR is just one of its approaches!

Marvel Powers United VR: free with Oculus Rift bundle

Marvel Powers United VR will be released on July 27 and if you’re looking to get a Rift — you could get both at once!

Disney to debut its first VR short next month

Disney is preparing to debut its first VR short film, Cycles, in August. It is “about a house, what happens inside of it and how those that live there make it a home”. I’m excited to see what Disney produce!

Experience the extraordinary life of Nelson Mandela in VR

Celebrate his 100th birthday on the Oculus Go!

They’ve got the power, now UK power networks are looking to VR to train staff safely

Always fascinating to see more industries looking to use VR for training!

Take VR into your own hands with these DIY builds

Make have some interesting VR projects you can play around with.


Augmented Reality

Augmented, Virtual & Mixed Reality Ecosystem Report 2018 – Highlighting Australia’s Innovation Capabilities

Patricia Haueiss put together a massive report on the state of Australia’s AR/VR community! Definitely worth a read!

ASUS mixed reality headset review

Wareable say it has “display jitters” and a bit too high a price point compared to the other Windows Mixed Reality headsets.

AR brings soccer team cave rescue to life

The New York Times showed details of the difficult conditions of the Thai cave rescue using AR.

Disney research reveal AR poser, a new photo-ops programs

They interpret your pose in front of the camera and match it up with a 3D pose, all powered with what appears to be Vuforia!

Nickelodeon’s Screens Up blends live TV with AR

Viewers will be prompted on-screen to lift their phone camera up to the TV, “at which point exclusive sequences synced to that moment will be viewable”.

Magic Leap signs content deal with comics giant Grant Morrison

Grant Morrison’s company Square Slice Studios will make interactive experiences for Magic Leap’s headset.

Microsoft HoloLens art project turns New York into an undersea dystopia

Neat concept to show the public the potential with AR!

Unreal Engine update brings support for latest augmented reality toolkits from Magic Leap, Apple, & Google

Unreal Engine 4.20 includes updated support for ARKit and ARCore, as well as Magic Leap One early access. Lots to explore here bringing AR and Unreal to an exciting place!

George Takei targets Donald Trump with House of Cats augmented reality app

In a sign that we clearly live in an odd era, the actor who played Sulu in Star Trek has an app where he has turned Donald Trump into an augmented reality cat.

Video demo from 6d.AI shows why occlusion is the next big thing for mobile AR experiences

Here’s why mobile AR apps will be better with occlusion!

Turn any surface into an AR experience with Post Mobile AR

Spacee has come up with a way to do AR experiences that don’t need phones, tablets, glasses or any wearable. Big companies like Coca-Cola and Walmart are keen!



Fitbit releases new wristbands for its Versa smartwatch

The Verge say they “still look a whole lot like an Apple Watch though”.

Living with Fitbit’s new female health tracking features

Wareable take a closer look at the practical side of Fitbit’s female health tracking functionality.

Samsung accidentally leaks new Galaxy Watch product on its website



Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles and Robotics

Autodesk’s Lego model-building robot is the future of manufacturing

Now this is pretty darn cool.

Alexa can crank the bass on your Echo when you ask

An interesting idea — an equalizer controlled by voice.

The science behind the ‘beats to study to’ craze

This curious piece asks “Can AI-generated music help you concentrate?”

Harvard’s robot arm can grab squishy sea animals without hurting them

The technology you’ve all been waiting for (yes there is actually a genuine use for this tech — did you really want your robot servant crushing your arm every time it needs to grab it?).

Tesla’s Model 3 performance has an experimental ‘track mode’

Tesla’s Model 3 has a ‘Track Mode’ test feature that removes the usual driving limits.

Bug-sized robot competitors to swarm DARPA’s ‘Robot Olympics’

Insect-sized robots will compete in what sounds like the best Olympics ever.

This clever app lets Amazon Alexa read sign language

A fantastic use of Alexa to help those who need it most.

Waymo’s autonomous cars have driven 8 million miles on public roads

That’s a whole lot of miles.

Eagle-eyed machine learning algorithm outdoes human experts

Computers beat humans in the race to quickly and consistently detect and analyze microscopic radiation damage to materials under consideration for nuclear reactors. Sounds pretty important to me.

IBM’s AI watermarking method protects models from theft and sabotage

“Researchers at IBM have developed a method to watermark machine learning models in order to protect against theft and adversarial attacks”.

Rolls-Royce is building cockroach-like robots to fix plane engines

This could be a fantastic way to improve how we can fix planes!

The accent gap: how Amazon’s and Google’s smart speakers leave certain voices behind

Their machine learning appears to be leaving users with an accent behind.

Sprawling robot climbs walls, crawls like a turtle

This is one pretty talented robot!

AI experts stand up to lethal autonomous weapons

More than 2,500 AI researchers have vowed to steer clear of lethal autonomous weapons! Hooray!

IBM extends deal using Watson to support veterans with cancer

Another fantastic cause that I’m glad is continuing!

Artificial intelligence is automating Hollywood. Now, art can thrive.

“The next movie you watch could have been optioned, performed, edited, and recommended by artificial intelligence”.

Promethean AI uses artificial intelligence to help artists fill out game worlds

Promethean AI thinks it can help game artists do their jobs better through automation!

How a flock of drones developed collective intelligence

Just like groups of birds or insects, these drones organise themselves into cohesive groups.


Events and Conference Discount Codes!

IBM Data Science Community Day (24 Jul)

If you’re reading this newsletter early enough, you might be able to catch some of this! It’s on right now! No need for a code either — it’s totally free! Data scientists are all joining together for a virtual conference! All skill levels welcome!

Unity Developers Workshop (24 Aug)

A 1 hour free Unity workshop is happening in Melbourne at the end of Magnify World Australia’s first AR/VR Business Summit! Entry only after 4pm to 7pm. Paid tickets available at the link above for the Summit itself (check that out too!) as well as free Unity tickets for those attending the free Unity workshop after!

AI Expo North America (28-29 Nov)

3 co-located events. So much great stuff happening. Get ready for the AI Expo coming to North America in November! The discount code DEVDINER20 will get you 20% off!


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