This week, we have a look at AR related patents from Facebook, Microsoft and Apple, Intel releases a new RealSense camera that sounds pretty cool, Amazon joins the ZigBee Alliance board of directors and more!

Facebook's AR headset patent, Apple's AR finger magic and Microsoft's AR headset patent

Facebook’s AR headset patent, Apple’s AR finger magic and Microsoft’s AR headset patent


Virtual Reality

New Intel RealSense camera adds inside-out tracking to AR/VR headsets, robots, & drones

The Intel RealSense Tracking Camera T265 provides six degrees of freedom inside-out tracking using a mix of visual inertial odometry (VIO) and simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), which Intel calls “V-SLAM”. It could be super cool to try out!

‘Hamlet’ in virtual reality casts the viewer in the play

Google and a Boston theater company are aiming to bring a new era of theatre!

Eating real food in VR with Marshmallow Laser Feast’s ‘Sweet Dreams’

At some stages of this VR experience, you consume real food and drinks prepared by Mark Garston and Chef Michele Stanco, former team members of Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck Group.

GDC 2019 survey: 33% of VR devs are working on Vive, 21% on Quest

Vive is in the lead, but Quest has a very impressive showing as it is only dev kits at the moment.

Scientists use yawning to study social presence in VR

“stimuli that trigger contagious yawns in real life did the same in virtual reality, but stimuli that suppress yawns in real life did not.”

Helping fight deforestation and climate change HTC Vive releases ‘Tree’ on Viveport

“New Reality Company’s Tree puts you into the Amazon from the point of view of a kapok tree”.

Sansar bringing new comedy shows to its VR platform in 2019

Linden Labs are looking to expand their live ticketed event offerings this year.

Live Planet 360 with realtime stitching: from box to VR live stream in 15 minutes (hands-on report)

360 Rumors looks at Live Planet’s 3D 360 camera with live streaming and realtime stitching.


Augmented Reality

AR glasses you’d be happy to be caught dead in

VRScout asks — are we getting closer to affordable, good-looking AR wearables? The answer, I think, is yes.

Smartglasses startup North begins delivering first Focals shipments, announces series of new pop-up stores

North’s Focals headset looks pretty darn cool and it’s started shipping! There’ll be a few more pop-up stores available too.

Bluetooth 5.1 adds precision location, offers beacons for indoor navigation & more augmented reality experiences

It’ll be able to determine the directional location of connected devices with accuracy to the centimeter (GPS can only manage to within 4.9 meters).

Internet infrastructure isn’t ready for the AR cloud, but that’s changing

A nice discussion on how our infrastructure will need to develop to be ready for our AR glasses filled world.

Facebook and Microsoft patent filings offer dueling visions of small AR headsets

More signs we’ll have smaller, lighter and more powerful headsets soon.

Leap Motion update improves design of Project North Star augmented reality headset

The DIY headset from Leap Motion has an upgraded design!

CES 2019 – AR and other interesting display technology

Karl Guttag has a pretty thorough look at the AR headsets from CES.

Apple’s finger-controller patent is a glimpse at mixed reality’s future

Fast Company has a nice look at Apple’s finger controller patent and how it fits into their growing AR ambitions.

Adobe boosts its 3D content creation capabilities with Allegorithmic acquisition

Allegorithmic makes Substance — one of the big tools for 3D painting and texturing. It’ll become part of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite.

Multicolor holography technology could enable extremely compact 3D displays: lens-free holography method could bring color 3D displays to augmented reality glasses and smartphones

“Researchers have developed a new approach to multicolor holography that could be used to make 3D color displays for augmented reality glasses, smartphones or heads-up displays without any bulky optical components”.

Blippar reborn as one of Britain’s ‘Brothers Bling’ buys up augmented reality assets for relaunch

Blippar is on its way back from administration after previous investor Candy Ventures completed a successful bid to acquire them.

ISS astronauts use Magic Leap One to prepare for next mission

“European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano took to Twitter to show himself and fellow crew member Andrew Morgan (representing NASA) using the Magic Leap One to train an upcoming mission”.



MIT creates antennas for wearables that harvest energy from Wi-Fi signals

Powering wearables is tough, which makes this option pretty darn genius.

Wareable hotlist: the tech set to shake up wearables in 2019

Here are some predictions from Wareable.

Samsung’s next smartwatch is coming as new device rocks up at the FCC

The Samsung Galaxy Sport looks to be nearing release.

Honor launching new smartwatch with week-long battery life in Europe

Week long battery life is a wonderful thing.


Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles and Robotics

Oscar the AI trash sorter can be a real grouch

It recognises the food in your hand and tells you how to properly throw it away — great idea!

Facebook and Google built a framework to study how AI agents talk to each other

They say it demonstrates how language emerges among groups of users.

Meet the scientists who are training AI to diagnose mental illness

A brilliant question, the Verge ask, “What if a brain scan could tell you what medicine treats your depression?”

MIT’s new AI can spot its own bias and fix it

It works by not only learning how to do the task but how the data supporting its task is structured.

Unity and Google Cloud platform launch challenge to push limits of game AI

They’ve launched a challenge to push the limits of game AI to the next level!

See a chair co-designed by AI

Here’s what AI thinks you should sit on.

This video of a bricklayer using HoloLens is the future of construction

This AR app shows “how machines can aid human workers, rather than replace them”.

Badland Brawler lets Arduino tackle terrain

An off-the-shelf 4 wheel drive chassis added to an Arduino brings some pretty darn cool results.

Microsoft and MIT can detect AI ‘blind spots’ in self-driving cars

This could indeed save lives if it works.

Hello speech, we love you too.

wit.AI has announced improvements to their speech recognition technology!

Alexa hosted skills (beta) is now available to all developers

If you’ve been wondering how to host your skills somewhere, you can now host it all through Amazon easily and simply.

AI tunes prosthetic legs to help human wearers walk better, faster

It tunes robotic prosthetics automatically reducing the time technicians have to spend adjusting them manually.

AWS launches Neo-AI, an open-source tool for tuning ML models

If you’re into machine learning, this could be worth a look.

The first tendril-like soft robot able to climb

Researchers have made the first soft robot mimicking plant tendrils. I, for one, look forward to my Alexa powered squid bot overlord in the near future.

Autonomous subs spend a year cruising under antarctic ice

A pair of robot submarines have been exploring the depths for a year now doing what humans don’t want to.

Artificial intelligence can dramatically cut time needed to process abnormal chest X-rays

Abnormal chest X-rays with critical findings will receive an expert radiologist opinion sooner as AI spots the crucial ones.


Internet of Things and Makers

Amazon to join ZigBee Alliance board of directors

This could be a big deal as it means Amazon will have a much bigger influence on how ZigBee develops from here.

This robot finger dims bright office lights

I love this and need some for my house. It’s both functional and has character!

Automate your comfort food prep with an IoT grilled cheese robot

Also known in some circles as a cheese toastie – a curious DIY project!

Quartet of SMD resistors used to sense z-axis height

“Here’s a neat trick for your next 3D-printer build or retrofit: a Z-axis sensor using a DIY strain gauge made from SMD resistors”.

First thoughts on the new Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+

Raspberry Pi have a new Compute Module and Hackster have their thoughts on it here.

Japanese government plans to hack into citizens’ IoT devices

The Japanese government wants to secure IoT devices before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and want to be able to run tests on IoT devices to find vulnerabilities.

Do frog croaks hold the key to creating the perfect IoT network?

“Studying how tree frogs regulate their communications, so each amphibian in the colony can hear everything, could provide ideal data traffic routings, scientists say”.

Canonical goes all fortress on us with Ubuntu Core 18 for IoT devices

The version of Ubuntu for IoT has a bunch of security updates.

Play classic Mac games on your Raspberry Pi with advanced Mac substitute

This looks like a whole lot of fun. Good way to end the newsletter I think.


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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