This week, one man tattooed a controller to his arm to use as a real world controller for his Sonic AR game, NVIDIA did some pretty impressive AI scene generation from real world images, Tilt Brush was used to design an ingenious carry-on bag with an expandable set of shelves, and more!

Sonic AR with tattoo controller, NVIDIA's scene generation AI and an ingenious carry on bag

Sonic AR with tattoo controller, NVIDIA’s scene generation AI and an ingenious carry on bag

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

Bright spots in the VR market

A nice look at the state of VR right now by TechCrunch, one which isn’t totally doom and gloom — good to see!

Introducing VZFit

VirZOOM have been busy and now have a neat set up for existing bikes at gyms to gain their VR experiences!

How to update your Oculus Go and Vive Focus

If you haven’t used your headset in a while, it may force you to wait to update… but how do you update it exactly? The Oculus Go is the more challenging of the two.

From balls to vampire bats: the VR docs and experiences making an impact in 2018

There are actually a bunch of VR for Good projects out there in 2018, it’s great to see this part of the space growing.

E3 2019: will Oculus, HTC or Microsoft take advantage of Sony’s absence?

E3 2019 isn’t going to have Sony there — so VR Focus is really hoping the others step up the VR presence.

​VR and pain: can virtual reality make us feel better in our bodies?

A look at whether VR can indeed help reduce pain.

Firefox Reality update supports 360 videos and 7 additional languages

Firefox Reality 1.1 includes localisation to 7 new languages with voice search support, a new theatre viewing mode, bookmarks, 360 video and improvements to its performance and UX.

Occipital’s structure core sensor promises to give any device the spatial mapping powers of a HoloLens

“You could take an off-the-shelf AR display and give it similar vision features to what you’d find in a Hololens. Or build mapping and navigation into a robot without needing to raise millions in capital to pull it off.”

To replicate physical objects for virtual reality, just turn on your smartphone

It is apparently possible to replicate physical objects in VR using a simple flash camera with no extra hardware.

Tilt Brush behind one of Time magazine’s 50 best inventions of 2018

This guy used Tilt Brush to design an award-winning prototype carry-on bag that has an expandable set of shelves inside it. It’s amazing and I need one.

‘Virtual Desktop’ arrives on Oculus Go & Gear VR this week

Previously only on PC VR headsets, Virtual Desktop now lets you view and access your desktop computer from the comfort of Oculus Go and Gear VR too!

Why the future of health and safety is under a Virtual Reality visor

If it does indeed save lives — using VR for training just might be one of VR’s most positive impacts on the world.

Pixvana and Limbix aim to combat adolescent depression using VR

Another great example of VR for Good!


Augmented Reality

U.S. army to receive 100,000 Microsoft HoloLens headsets

Microsoft beat Magic Leap in gaining a massive $479M contract to give HoloLens to soldiers in active combat zones.

AR smartglasses in the works by LusoVU in Portugal

LusoVU’s smartglasses apparently have a new method for displaying AR content that can provide a better field of view and more.

Hands-on with Magic Leap’s Avatar Chat, remote virtual meetings in AR have arrived

Next Reality reviews Magic Leap’s Avatar Chat with accompanying videos if you’re curious what it’s like.

Google’s AR pocket gallery turns your phone into an art museum

With the new Pocket Gallery feature, you can see classic Vermeer paintings as if you were standing in a museum right in front of them.

Caltech researchers use HoloLens to give directions & object identification to the visually impaired

“When computers have vision but people don’t, why not have the former help the latter?”

Pokémon Go maker Niantic looks to smartglasses future with investment in AR display maker DigiLens

DigiLens had a good funding round and one of the companies who funded it was the company behind Pokémon Go.

Universal Studios augmented reality app lets you recreate a scene from ‘Welcome to Marwen’ film

Instead of the typical trailer, this is “a scaled-down recreation of a scene from the film, complete with animated 3D characters, and highly-detailed set pieces”.

Custom tattoo launches interactive Sonic the Hedgehog AR experience

A man in Mexico City’s first tattoo is a trigger for his prototype Sonic the Hedgehog game in AR. Just wow.

ModiFace applies its augmented reality tech to nail polish with fingertip-tracking feature

L’Oréal has “a photo-realistic augmented reality simulation of nail polish shades and textures to be accurately displayed on a user’s fingers in real time”.

Loro’s mounted wheelchair assistant puts high tech to work for people with disabilities

“Loro’s camera and app work together to let the user see farther, read or translate writing, identify people, gesture with a laser pointer and more.” A really nice use of AR!

WiARframe wants to make building AR experiences easy

A web-based interface for building AR apps with a community feature where others can view them using the WiARframe iOS and Android apps.



IDC: wearables grew 21.7% in Q3 2018, Xiaomi now leads Apple and Fitbit

Xiaomi is doing quite well thanks to a boom of wearables purchases in developing markets like China.

​Love for smartwatches powers wearables growth – but the future is hearable

Hearables are likely to grow in both popularity and capability in the coming years.

Fitbit won’t sync? How to transfer your data and fix syncing problems

If you end up with issues with your Fitbit — Wareable has this handy guide to get you out of trouble.

An Arduino wrapped in an OLED wrapped inside an Enigma pocket watch

A pocket watch converted to a digital Enigma machine!


Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles and Robotics

The countries where robot adoption is happening faster than expected

You know who isn’t on the list? Australia. South Korea, however, is pretty far out front!

NVIDIA’s new AI turns videos of the real world into virtual landscapes

Their AI looks at existing videos and uses the objects and scenery found within them to build interactive environments.

How Apple’s HomePod uses AI and 6 mics to hear users through ambient noise

HomePod uses machine learning tricks to interpret commands, even if it can’t ideally respond.

Brain Corp will supply Walmart with AI services

BrainOS “combines off-the-shelf hardware, sensors, and software to provide brains for industrial and commercial robots”.

Huawei app uses AI to help deaf children read

StorySign recognises words in children’s books and turns them into sign language.

IBM’s 8-bit AI training technique is up to 4 times faster while retaining accuracy

“At NeurIPS 2018 in Montreal, IBM detailed two novel training methods that promise to boost training speed while reducing power draw”.

AI weekly: 6 important machine learning developments from AWS re:invent

AWS had a lot of news around AI — here’s VentureBeat’s summary.

Reproducing paintings that make an impression

RePaint uses a 3D printer to stack up to ten different inks to reproduce paintings, rather than the conventional four inks of printers.

Uber (yes, Uber) has taught AI how to beat Montezuma’s Revenge

A new method known as “Go-Explore” teaches the neural network that it’s ok to go back to areas — so if it finds a locked door, and later goes off and finds a key, it learns that it is worth checking again. There seems to be an OpenAI post that is fantastic on the same project (or something similar) that’s also worth reading.

Google removes sexy pronouns from smart compose to keep its AI pure

“Google is removing gender-related pronouns from its prediction engine for Gmail amid fears they could introduce bias to its AI algorithms.”

Exclusive: UK police wants AI to stop violent crime before it happens

“The idea is that individuals flagged by the system will be offered interventions, such as counselling, to avert potential criminal behaviour”.

Amazon launches a cloud-based robotics testing platform

AWS RoboMaker uses the Robot Operating System (ROS) to give developers a place to develop and test robotics applications.

The Truth About Killer Robots: the year’s most terrifying documentary

“In a cautionary film, director Maxim Pozdorovkin lays out the many ways that automation could affect us in the long term from labor to sex to psychology”.

DeepMind claims early progress in AI-based predictive protein modelling

DeepMind believe AI can help predict 3D structures of proteins based solely on their genetic sequence.


Internet of Things and Makers

CircuitPython snakes its way to SparkFun Pro nRF52840 Mini

SparkFun is shipping their own CircuitPython board!

A Raspberry Pi has this pool covered

This maker created his own pool controller powered by a Raspberry Pi.

Sennheiser’s HeadSetup software is vulnerable to MITM attacks

Man in the middle (MITM) attacks between Sennheiser’s headphones are an unexpected security vulnerability.

Apple Music lands on Amazon Echo, as Apple branches out

As Wired says, “Two bitter tech rivals get along for a change, making your streaming life a lot less complicated”.


Events and Conference Discount Codes!

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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