This week, Apple finally released the first direct-to-consumer ECG and irregular heart rhythm app on the Apple Watch, Mozilla released a dev preview of a browser for the Magic Leap, Bose’s AR glasses have a release date and price… and so much more!

Apple Watch's new superpower, Mozilla's Magic Leap dev preview browser and Bose's AR glasses

Apple Watch’s new superpower, Mozilla’s Magic Leap dev preview browser and Bose’s AR glasses

 

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

VR skydiving lands in Australia

An indoor skydiving venue in Western Australia, is strapping VR headsets to people to give them a true skydiving experience without needing to jump from a plane!

StarVR puts its developer headsets on hold amid financial woes

Sadly, StarVR is having financial difficulties and has paused its developer program.

How to design a more empathetic VR experience

Nate Robinson, the founder of Ntropic, discusses the key aspects of creating a VR experience designed to induce empathy.

Arkansas high schoolers are using VR to learn about concussions

CrashCourse teaches high school students about the risks and effects of concussions inside VR.

Jaunt to liquidate tons of VR stuff in online auction soon

Jaunt is moving away from VR towards AR, so they have a bunch of tech they don’t need. If you want some, there’s an online auction starting December 12th at 10:00 AM Pacific Time!

Force push turns you into a jedi in VR

“Ever wanted to wield the power of a Jedi inside VR? This new system from Virginia Tech researchers lets you do just that.”

AltspaceVR offers social reach for organizers in VR

Altspace can now broadcast events to multiple “overflow rooms”, allowing hundreds of AltspaceVR users to attend the same events simultaneously.

Get some VR excitement in your life with Forklift Simulator 2019

“Forklift Simulator 2019 has now integrated HTC Vive’s motion controls, with the entire layout now found in the controls menu”.

VR meditation could take the misery out of long-haul flying

“Using immersive tech for meditation is becoming more popular, but can it make flying in economy feel bearable?” — I’d say likely yes.

Follow in the footsteps of the suffragettes with the BBC’s VR experience make noise

“Make Noise” focuses on the suffragette movement which fought for women’s right to vote in the UK, to get the experience to change, you’ve got to talk and make noise. Great idea!

Witness the aftermath of California’s deadliest wildfire in VR

The 2018 Camp Fire was the deadliest wildfire in the history of California, and the deadliest in the US in a century. Some of the aftermath has been captured in this 360 video.

VR Industry sees positive growth as Q3 headset sales hit 1.9 million

Remember how I keep saying VR is not dead? Let’s focus on these positive stories! Yay for positive growth!

Vuze XR stabilization sample demo video looks impressive

The Vuze XR converts from a 360 camera to a VR180 camera, but when converting to a 360 camera, it has some genuinely good stabilisation!

Sexualization of female avatars contributes to harassment in social VR

The selection of avatars can impact people — both those with the avatar and those in the environment around the avatar. It’s a curious and thought provoking piece!

How to use casting to stream your Oculus Go content to phone or PC

Tony from The Ghost Howls has a simple guide on how to use casting to mirror your Oculus Go content to your smartphone, to your PC or to an external HDMI display.

 

Augmented Reality

Unity Unite conference session videos give devs inside tips on Magic Leap, ARKit, & ARCore development

Unity has uploaded a bunch of sessions from their recent conference which could be super handy for AR developers!

Bose wants you to listen up for augmented reality

If based in the US, you can pre-order Bose’s audio-based AR sunglasses but they’ll cost you US$199.95.

ARCore 1.6 gifts developers with improved lighting & support for screen capturing

Environmental lighting is getting improvements and it’ll be easier to screen capture your AR creations!

Microsoft HoloLens 2 might ditch Intel for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 850

That Snapdragon 850 will be paired with a Redmond-made AI coprocessor.

Startup Artie aims to give smart pills to augmented reality characters

The Artie system can recognize more than 80 household objects and 7 facial expressions (with more to come), so that AR characters can react.

AR experience highlights the struggles of the working poor

Santander has created an AR app that shows you the story of someone struggling with homelessness.

Little Red the Inventor is a charming AR story that helps kids learn

This voice-activated AR experience encourages children’s engagement through movement, reading aloud and interactive play.

A new browser for Magic Leap

Mozilla released an early developer preview of a browser they’ve started for the Magic Leap One that uses their Servo engine.

 

Wearables

ECG app and irregular heart rhythm notification available today on Apple Watch

Apple has released the first direct-to-consumer product that enables customers to take an electrocardiogram right from their wrist. That’s pretty massive!

How to reset a Fitbit: a guide to restarting your Charge, Alta, Versa or Ionic

If you need to restart, Wareable has a guide on how to do so.

Xplora 2 is a smartwatch for kids that plays nice with Amazon Echo

“Amazon Echo integration means parents can ask Alexa to provide the latest location of their child”.

Soulja bBoy has made a smartwatch that looks a lot like an Apple Watch

The “SouljaWatch” costs only $19.99, appears to be a knock-off Chinese/Russian made smartwatch.

 

Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles and Robotics

Scientists want to teach robots to know when to trust humans

Let us hope the engineers code that bit in right…

Watch: this toilet-cleaning robot does the dirty work for you

Why clean toilets when you can get this robot — available on Amazon right now for $500 — who’ll do it for you?

DARPA head on AI dangers: “it’s not one of those things that keeps me up at night”

Although the military is rushing to improve its AI capabilities, the DARPA director believes AI is still “a very fragile capability”.

Tesla tests autopilot navigation for traffic lights and roundabouts

Soon Tesla cars shall be able to handle traffic lights and roundabouts.

Montreal startup Stradigi’s AI game teaches people sign language

This AI-driven video game teaches people sign language, what a nice concept!

Robot punctures can of bear repellent at Amazon warehouse, sickening workers

Dozens of Amazon warehouse workers in New Jersey were rather unwell after a robot punctured a can of bear repellent on Wednesday, according to Wired it wasn’t even the first time this happened?

Alexa is implementing self-learning techniques to better understand users

If you don’t get the song name totally right, Alexa will soon be able to work out what you meant. Alexa can also work out name-free skill interaction — so you don’t need to specify which service you want every time.

When algorithms go wrong we need more power to fight back, say AI researchers

AI researchers say that systems are being deployed without proper oversight. That’s no good.

Facebook AI researchers detect flood and fire damage from satellite imagery

“Facebook AI researchers have developed a method to analyse satellite imagery and determine the level of damages an area has suffered following natural disasters like fires and floods.”

Canada and france will explore AI ethics with an international panel

Canada and France want to promote “human-centric” AI development with this panel.

IHMC teaches Atlas to walk like a human

This group are trying to teach Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot to walk more like we do, rather than the crouched walk robots currently do.

Microsoft wants to stop AI’s ‘race to the bottom’

“Microsoft President Brad Smith calls for regulation of facial-recognition technology, to curb potential bias and invasions of privacy”.

Robot vacuum showdown: Neato versus Roomba

The Neato sounds like it could be a good option for those not wanting to spend as much (but it’s still quite a lot of money if you’re ordering from Australia!).

Amazon is crowdsourcing Alexa’s answers to tough questions

“Amazon has been testing Alexa Answers internally, adding more than 100,000 responses in the past month alone. Now it’s opening the program up to a small cross section of the public, via email invites.”

Make robot friends with an Adafruit CRICKIT & a Particle Xenon

You can put together robots that work with the new Particle Mesh!

Google Assistant will now be nicer if you say “please” and “thank you”

It’s a nice touch — I’ll have to try it sometime!

Where Facebook AI research moves next

The company’s chief AI scientist reflects on Facebook AI’s five years so far and predicts what’s coming next.

China could lead world in AI research in coming years, Elsevier report finds

China could lead the world in their total number of research papers produced annually within four years.

Waymo One autonomous car service rolls out to public

Waymo’s self-driving service is officially open to the public in Phoenix! Time for me to fly over there to try it out. And watch a Suns game.

AI-generated cookie names show that neural networks have no concept of taste

Or maybe they do. The only way to know is to try them out… right? On second thought, that’s probably not a good idea.

 

Internet of Things and Makers

What’s so special about 5G and IoT?

The CEO of Particle on his thoughts around 5G and the Internet of Things.

Thinking of gifting an Amazon Echo or Google Home? read this first

Cnet look at good questions to ask before buying a smart home device for someone this Christmas.

Interfacing Phillips Hue lights with everything

diyHue is a project that lets you create your own smart lights! Very cool.

Alexa Eye – giving an Echo Dot some personality

An ADC-controlled eyeball is a rather curious idea, we’re always staring at our devices so now one of them can stare back!

Amazon adds location-specific reminders and routines to Alexa

Alexa can now perform location-specific routines and read you your emails!

The 10 hottest industrial IoT startups of 2018

CRN has a list of the “10 hottest, channel-friendly IIoT startups that stand to benefit from the sector’s growth”.

Getting started with Particle Argon and Xenon

If you haven’t had a try of these devices yet, they’re worth ordering! I’ve got some and can’t wait until I’ve got a chance to give em a go too!

Myrelays

Hackster featured this DIY project which can control relays using your Particle Mesh devices from your phone.

Solution for a stupid trophy in Red Dead Redemption 2

This gamer used their Arduino skills to get tapping on the controller automatically.

From Raspberry Pi to home brewing, here are 19 projects to make from our gift guide

There are some pretty cool items on Make’s gift guide idea list!

 

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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