This week, Meta’s AR assets were sold off to a secret buyer, we may have a potential HoloLens 2 reveal date, neurosurgeons are looking into giving tours of your brain in VR to help those going into brain surgery, DIY parasites hide what you’re saying from the big players (while giving you your own wake word) and Lyft are looking into VR and AR!

Your brain in VR, parasites protecting your smart speaker privacy and one of Lyft's AR patents

Your brain in VR, parasites protecting your smart speaker privacy and one of Lyft’s AR patents


Virtual Reality

Screen shake in VR, minus the throwing up

One developer, Zulubo, has come up with a subtle way to do screen shake in VR to give a sense of impact without making you feel unwell.

3dRudder discuss bringing foot control to PlayStation VR at CES 2019

The foot controller should be coming in April.

How Lyft envisions bringing VR and AR to your ride

It includes a VR app that responds to real-world bumps and stops during your ride (potentially even uses the history of past rides), and an AR app to give you ideal pickup locations and such.

The entire Hardlight VR project is now open source

The entire Hardlight VR suit project is now available under the MIT license.

Nintendo joins VRM consortium as ‘observer’

“The consortium brings together several major Japanese companies with the intention of coordinating various activities aimed specifically at the development of the virtual reality business within Japan.”

Neurosurgery patients take a VR tour of their own brains

Brain surgery can be a terrifying process and they say this VR tour of your brain could help ease that anxiety. I think it’d be pretty cool to explore your own brain in VR!

NextVR held significant layoffs today

Live streaming VR company NextVR had less positive news for its team last week…


Augmented Reality

Microsoft to hold HoloLens 2 press event next month

I’m pretty darn excited for HoloLens 2 to be revealed and hopefully February is the month it happens!

The rise & fall of Meta — founder of AR pioneer reveals inside story that led to its sale to new owners

Meron Gribetz, the previous CEO of Meta, answered questions from a bunch of outlets including Next Reality (linked above), TechCrunch and UploadVR. Basically — Meta’s assets have been sold to a mystery third party who hopefully will be revealed at some point in the future.

Facebook’s AR glasses may be getting closer to becoming a reality

Lots of AR headsets on the way, Facebook appear to want to go the route of having ones that look like regular glasses — likely similar to what Apple will want too.

Field of view: Magic Leap may be jumping into mobile AR

Wareable report that Magic Leap might be doing some smartphone-based AR (think ARCore and ARKit)?

FDA approves first Microsoft HoloLens augmented reality system for surgical use

“The technology projects 2D, 3D and 4D images of patients interactively by overlaying them onto the patient’s body”.



Google is buying Fossil’s smartwatch tech for $40 million

Many (including myself) are hoping this is a good sign we’ll have a Google branded Pixel smartwatch that’ll showcase the best the platform has to offer.

Samsung updates older Gear watches with handy fitness tools

Got an older Gear smartwatch? It can now do new things!

This skin patch acts like a battery-free Fitbit

Monitor your health without the need for a bulky smartwatch.

Fitbit Inspire and Inspire HR fitness tracker duo quietly unveiled

Fitbit have some new fitness trackers on the scene.

Alphabet’s health division gets FDA clearance to test EKG smartwatch feature

A bunch of smartwatches are bringing in electrocardiogram features, this one isn’t available for public use though.

Your Fitbit data can be used to advance precision science

If you have a Fitbit, you can sign up for the program and “help build one of the world’s largest health data sets”.

Best smartwatch guide: our January 2019 top picks revealed

Wearable have their picks of the month up!


Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles and Robotics

Abode is bringing HomeKit to its do-it-all smart home hub

It works with Nest, Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, Z-Wave Plus, Zigbee and shall reportedly soon work with Siri too.

Create wearables, robots, and more with this Arduino e-book bundle

VentureBeat have a promotion on this e-book bundle with Arduino projects.

Amazon warehouse workers are getting utility belts that ward off robots

“Like a high-vis jacket that only robots can see” — this story felt like one of those stories where we’re definitely in the future now.

Building a DIY robot lab? These are the tools to get

I’ll have to take some notes from Wired’s article here!

World’s first robot hotel fires half of its robots

Robots weren’t quite able to replace humans and were actually causing more issues in some areas.

Microsoft CTO: understanding AI is part of being an informed citizen in the 21st century

“I think to be a well-informed citizen in the 21st century, you need to know a little bit about this stuff [AI] because you want to be able to participate in the debates” — Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott

We spoke to a Waymo one customer about how robot taxis get confused by rainstorms

Rain confuses Sydneysiders here too.

This robot recreated the walk of a 290-million-year-old animal

A new robot could help us better understand how one prehistoric creature moved.

The future of voice assistants like Alexa and Siri isn’t just in homes — it’s in cars

Recode say that voice assistants are more habit-forming in cars than on smartphones.

Microsoft wants Cortana to integrate with Alexa and Google assistant instead of competing with them

Microsoft’s CEO thinks Cortana should become a skill for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

CES 2019 is over and the smart home still isn’t that smart

Kevin Tofel talks about his thoughts on the smart home post-CES this year.

Researchers develop flexible nanobots to deliver drugs inside your body

“Researchers have designed a flexible robot designed for drug delivery that’s small enough to flow through the bloodstream”.

Check out Ivan Miranda’s 3D-printed robotic permanent marker printer

I’m a fan of robots that can draw, this is pretty neat!

Facebook staffers love their portals and have been leaving reviews on Amazon

Facebook staff are in a bit of trouble after being found out leaving reviews on the Facebook Portal on Amazon — something that’s definitely against Amazon TOS.

Amazon updates Alexa with ‘newscaster’ voice

Alexa shall now tell you the news and read Wikipedia articles in a more professional voice.


Internet of Things and Makers

Meet Kevin Ashton, father of the Internet of Things

He coined the term “Internet of Things” and Newsweek had a piece about him this week.

Wrest control from a snooping smart speaker with this teachable ‘parasite’

Alias is an IoT project that’s a really smart idea! It is a smart speaker topper which you can train with your own wake word, it then filters any requests to ensure only those you want Alexa or Google to hear get passed on.

This guitar combines Raspberry Pi synthesis with good ol’ humbuckers

It has a touchscreen synthesizer built in to help musicians create new complex music with the one guitar.

Sly guy nabs Pi spy

This Pi was found in a network closet spying away on a company network!

Sensors for IoT, robotics, and mobile: AMS optical imaging sensors roundup

All About Circuits looks at new optical imaging sensors coming in 2019.

The new Adafruit LoRa radio bonnet

For those keen on LoRaWAN, there’s a new board awaiting you!

Adafruit, Cartoon Network, and Microsoft join forces to get kids into making

This collaboration just might encourage more kids to get into making — fantastic news!

Get started with in-circuit debugging

Make have a guide on how to use a debugger to spy on your microcontroller code while it is doing it’s thing.



Events and Conference Discount Codes!

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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