This week we have a patent that shows PSVR has hand tracking in the works, deep learning has put Harrison Ford back into the latest Star Wars flick, an auction for an AI-created artwork is about to take place and much more!

PSVR's hand and finger tracking patent, Harrison Ford added via deep learning and an AI-created artwork soon to be on auction

PSVR’s hand and finger tracking patent, Harrison Ford finds his way into the latest Star Wars with the power of deep learning and an AI-created artwork soon to be on auction

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

CCP CEO says current VR falls short of expectations

CCP CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson says, “we expected VR to be two to three times as big as it was”.

This Week in XR: AWE EU wrap up, a China scale VR conference, augmented TV, VR bowling and more

It could just be a matter of waiting just one more year according to a quote from this Forbes article — “SuperData’s latest research and analysis points to the fact that 2019 will be the year of VR”. “Fact” is a very strong claim there though.

Sony patents hand-tracking technology for VR

“The specifics of the patent describes a system which can identify fingers on a hand by using devices mounted on each wrist, similar to a wristwatch or fitness tracker, which transmits infrared light.”

Hand & finger tracking coming soon to the HTC Vive Pro

Vive are onto it too and it’s likely to come earlier than PSVR’s option. The front-facing cameras on the Vive Pro will soon be used for hand and finger tracking.

HTC introduces DoF controller developer kit for Vive Focus

“Studios can apply for the Vive Wave Full 6DOF Controller Dev Kit, which includes two 6DoF controllers and a tracking attachment that works with any existing Vive Focus devices and a suite of related software tools”.

Motion sickness vs. cybersickness: two different problems or the same condition? findings of a new study contradict previous research

Contrary to previous research, severe motion sickness and cybersickness may be the same clinical condition.

Fraunhofer demonstrates VR microdisplay prototype

One prototype uses four OLED microdisplays, each with a resolution of 1920 x 1200!

VR for pain distraction — 3 hour tattoo session test

Daisy signed up for a three hour tattoo session and “thought it would be the perfect moment to experiment with VR and pain management”.

Oculus co-founder is leaving Facebook after cancellation of ‘Rift 2’ headset

Brendan Iribe, the co-founder and former CEO of Oculus, announced this week that he is leaving Facebook.

Oculus says future Rift hardware is coming despite Iribe’s exit

“A report to the contrary notwithstanding, a company spokesperson confirmed to VentureBeat that a next-generation Oculus Rift headset is still in the works”.

Samsung’s Odyssey+ VR headset claims 1233 PPI user-perceived resolution

Samsung says it has solved the screen door effect by applying a light diffuser to the black grid typically between pixels. The diffuser uses ambient light from adjacent pixels to make the black lines “near impossible to see”.

2018 VR awards: Star Wars, Vive Pro earn top honors

VentureBeat’s 2018 VR Awards “highlight some of the best games, social experiences, films, enterprise, and even medical uses for virtual reality”.

HTC Vive gets Oculus Rift ASW-like motion smoothing

When it can’t hit 90FPS in VR, Motion Smoothing kicks in, it runs at 45FPS and generates a synthetic frame in between each frame.

Virtual reality makes food taste better

“In another example of VR bleeding into real life, Cornell University food scientists found that cheese eaten in pleasant VR surroundings tasted better than the same cheese eaten in a drab sensory booth”.

Virtual reality can help make people more compassionate compared to other media

“Researchers found that people who underwent a virtual reality experience, called ‘Becoming Homeless’, were more empathetic toward the homeless and more likely to sign a petition in support of affordable housing than other study participants”.


Augmented Reality

Custom-made smart glasses pick up where Google Glass left off

Thalmic — now called “North” — have a pair of AR glasses on the way. While I’ve covered them in a previous week, Engadget had a closer look at them this week (and they officially changed their name this week!).

Lyft buys an AR company to bolster its self-driving car efforts

It acquired Blue Vision Labs and is also revealing an autonomous Ford test car.

TeamViewer announces new augmented reality capabilities

TeamViewer introduced TeamViewer Pilot, an AR solution for remote support!

Magic Leap, HoloLens, and Lumus resolution “shootout”

Karl Guttag compares the resolution of three major players in AR.

AR cloud startup video gives a peek at next-level mobile AR from devs using company’s SDK show the hyper-realistic AR experiences devs can build with its SDK — it looks pretty darn cool. opens up its beta

It’s worth a try!

The Weather Channel takes broadcast AR to next level with wildfires report

Last time they showed the dangers of Hurricane Florence — this time they’re showing the dangers of wildfires and how they spread. Such a great use of the tech!

Ludenso unveils MagiMask AR headset & tracking system for $99 USD

MagiMask is an inexpensive AR headset you can pre-order on Kickstarter today.

Twilio & Magic Leap deliver first live demo of Avatar Chat communications app

It allows multiple Magic Leap One users to communicate with each other using AR avatars.

HoloLens update brings display mirroring & quick actions menu for routine tasks

HoloLens users get a quick action menu for starting and stopping video capture and a new notifications interface that lets them view and interact with notifications like on a PC.



Haptic technologies roundup: piezoelectric ICS, AR/VR gloves, and haptic clothing

All About Circuits had a nice overview of where haptic technology is at these days.

Misfit chases relevance with smaller, GPS-ready Vapor 2 smartwatch

“The Vapor 2 is a $250 Wear OS smartwatch powered by Qualcomm’s prior-generation Snapdragon Wear 2100, arriving to challenge the last-generation Apple Watch”.


Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles and Robotics

Establishing an AI code of ethics will be harder than people think

MIT Technology Review has a great piece on AI and ethics that is worth a read.

Baidu launches simultaneous language translation AI

“Baidu researchers have developed an AI system that’s capable of simultanesouly translating between two languages with a high degree of accuracy”.

ZipRecruiter’s job seeker profiles uses AI to improve candidate matches

ZipRecruiter’s new feature uses AI to match job seekers with candidates and to encourage them to supply info that might improve matching accuracy.

How three french students used borrowed code to put the first AI portrait in Christie’s

The Verge has a look at the first auction of an artwork generated by AI, happening later this week on October 25th.

Welcome your cute new overlords at the first-ever robot petting zoo

At Wired’s 25th-birthday celebration, they put together what they think *could* be the world’s first robot petting zoo — here are photos!

The case for giving robots an identity

Wired ask, “What AI might be missing is a history. Do robots need to know who they are and where they come from?”

Jump into AI with a neural network of your own

Hackaday features this example of building a neural network — it learns if you should put a light or dark font on a particular colored background.

Google’s Fluid Annotation uses AI to annotate image datasets quickly

“Google’s Fluid Annotation tool leverages a combination of AI and human workers to speed up image annotation by a factor of three”.

Amazon staff protest firm’s sale of ‘unethical’ facial recognition tech

An anonymous employee from Amazon claims Rekognition tech will only “amplify oppression”.

Someone used a deep learning AI to perfectly insert Harrison Ford into Solo: a Star Wars Story

While it’s not perfect — it does works out relatively well and may help ease those who wish Ford was in the latest movie.

These new tricks can outsmart deepfake videos—for now

Wired shows how new algorithms are staying one or two steps ahead to identify deepfake videos (at least for the time being).


Internet of Things and Makers

Facebook surprises no one with admission that Portal will slurp data for ad targeting

So originally they said it wouldn’t be used for that but… apparently it will be after all.

Video doorbell firm Ring says its devices slash crime—but the evidence looks flimsy

Questions are being raised about Ring’s ability to help reduce crime (I’d still much rather have one of these on my door than not to be honest).

Onion Halloween Contest

The Top 3 get a free Omega2 Collector’s Kit with a value of US$249! You’ve just gotta power your Halloween project with an Omega2.

Putting a motor inside a speed controller

A curious extension of the idea of making motors out of PCBs.

How to stream digital tv with the Raspberry Pi TV HAT

The Pi Hut has a step-by-step guide on how to assemble, install and configure the Raspberry Pi TV HAT to stream, record and serve digital TV and radio using a Raspberry Pi!

Adafruit’s Hallowing, an MCU optimized for Halloween projects

“A feature-rich microcontroller especially designed for Halloween and other multimedia projects”.

Twilio launches a new SIM card and narrowband dev kit for IoT developers

At Twilio’s Signal developer conference this week, they launched two new products today to make it easier for IoT devs to connect their devices.

More Alexa-enabled headphones might be on the way with Qualcomm bluetooth chips

Not enough Alexa things out there, right?


Events and Conference Discount Codes!

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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