In this week’s emerging tech news, Owlchemy Labs has found a way to become a VR spectator using mobile AR, we’ve got a curious VR game that’s like human Tetris, and Facebook has their very own connected camera/speaker device with Alexa built in!

VR spectators in mobile AR, human tetris in VR and Facebook's new Portal device

VR spectators in mobile AR, human tetris in VR and Facebook’s new Portal device

Learn how to build a conversational voice assistant!

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! I’m turning it into an e-book — sign up, let me know what you think and you’ll get the e-book version as soon as it comes out!


Virtual Reality

Owlchemy Lab report: Mobile spectator – AR spectator camera experiment

Wish you could see what was going on in your friend’s VR experience? This Owlchemy Labs experiment lets you see what’s happening using mobile AR. Very very cool.

Fit It is human Tetris with HTC Vive trackers

In this VR game, three HTC Vive Trackers watch your body’s movements as you try to fit into virtual body shaped holes in walls coming towards you. It’s a cool idea!

Oculus Quest tracking is indoor-only

We won’t be able to accurately use the Oculus Quest standalone headset outdoors — the tracking is built for indoor use only according to Oculus.

Close conversation is the future of social VR

“In this study, research participants mostly ignored instructions and just started goofing off with each other once they entered”.

Daydream’s final chance: what Google must do for Daydream to survive

360 Rumors think that with YouTube coming to Oculus Go, Daydream could be in danger of fading off — but they think the Mirage Solo standalone 6 degrees of freedom headset (similar to the Oculus Quest) might be the thing to save them.

Japanese students construct VR rollercoaster attraction inside classroom

A whole real world wooden track set up for you to experience while wearing a VR headset — talk about an incredible student achievement!


Augmented Reality

Facebook debuts Portal and Portal+ with AI-enhanced messenger video calls and Amazon’s Alexa

You can make Facebook Messenger calls, have AR-enhanced video calls and chat with Alexa. It is actually nice to see they’ve provided a cover to hide your webcam when you don’t want it watching — Facebook has been working hard to try to make this device not creep people out.

Magic leap teaser for Dr. Grordbort’s Invaders previews forthcoming release during L.E.A.P. conference

The long-awaited Dr. Grordbort’s Invaders game on the Magic Leap that has been seen in videos and such from from Weta Workshop had a preview this week — it should be out by the next newsletter.

Snap CEO memo confirms spectacles are first step toward AR smartglasses

In a leaked company memo, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel has made it clear that the future of the company lies not only AR but also hardware that enables those AR experiences — just like we’ve been expecting them to edge towards!

New ‘Ghostbusters World’ gameplay footage revealed, haunts your neighborhood in the spirit of Pokémon Go

It’s like Pokemon Go but with Ghostbusters ghosts and adjustments to the gameplay concepts.

Windows 10 Mixed Reality Viewer gets an update and a rebrand – it’s now 3D Viewer

Microsoft is rebranding is Mixed Reality Viewer on Windows 10 to “3D Viewer” and is giving it a bit of a refresh!



Fitbit data helps California police catch killer

A murdered California woman’s Fitbit data helped local police catch her 90-year-old killer.

Pip-Boy-themed ‘Fallout’ smartwatch, ‘Ricky & Morty’ smartwatch in development

The company that released Batman and Flash themed watches is preparing for two more!


Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles and Robotics

A one-word turing test suggests “poop” is what sets us apart from the machines

In the robot apocalypse when you’re trying to tell man from machine, just see whether they say the word “poop”.

Amazon streamlines device setup for Alexa companion app

“Amazon’s improved Alexa app makes it easier to add devices and features an all-blue color scheme”. It’s only an iOS update for now, Android is coming soon!

AI as fact checker: algorithm identifies fake news

These researchers are aiming to use algorithms to spot fake news.

Star, an Arduino robot recreation

This developer has recreated a 3D printed robot that can adjust its height to fit into tight spaces and even crawl under (some) doors. Here’s a Hackaday look at how they put it all together!

California bans ‘secret’ election bots

California has signed legislation which bans the use of undeclared bots during elections.

A new brain-inspired architecture could improve how computers handle data and advance AI

Researchers are developing a new computer architecture, better equipped to handle increased data loads from AI that draws on concepts from the human brain and “significantly outperforms conventional computers in comparative studies”.


Internet of Things and Makers

ESP8266 clock puts time in a jar

This is a really cool digital clock nicely placed within a jar!

Towards open biomedical imaging

Apparently anyone can build a CT machine or an MRI machine these days. Here’s Hackaday’s look at doing just that.

Hack my house: running Raspberry Pi without an SD card

Stuck with a Raspberry Pi that has a corrupted SD card? Hackaday has your back.

What to expect at Google’s October 9 event: Pixel 3 and 3 XL, Pixel Slate, Home Hub, and more

By the time you’re reading this, the Google Home Hub might indeed have been announced — possibly a second generation of Google Pixel Buds too.


Events and Conference Discount Codes!

IBM Community Day: Artificial Intelligence (11 Oct)

15+ virtual tech talks on the latest trends and practices in the AI space. Ask questions live, book 1:1 mentor sessions and have access to talk replays. Completely online and free to attend!

AI & Big Data Expo North America (28-29 Nov)

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

AIMed North America (12-15 Dec)

The biggest conference of its type in North America – content developed by clinicians, specifically for clinicians – focusing on how AI and ML are effectively deployed to transform healthcare systems and patient outcomes. Use the coupon code MP20 for a discount!

JOLT Roadshows (early 2019)

At JOLT Roadshows, inspirational speakers from the world’s leading enterprises will share how they have embraced AI to improve revenue, customer retention, and experience! They’re at six locations throughout early 2019 in both USA and Canada. Click the link for info — it’s free!


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