This week, Google released an alpha version of Google Maps’ AR mode, Childish Gambino appeared on Pixel phones to dance away and we have a new Pictionary-style game that’ll help train up AI to understand context between images better.

Google Map's AR mode, Childish Gambino dancing away in AR and AI Pictionary

Google Map’s AR mode, Childish Gambino dancing away in AR and AI Pictionary

Virtual Reality

Humans playing VR game Beat Saber move faster than what Steam thought was ‘humanly possible’

Seriously — people were moving so fast that Steam VR couldn’t track their movements.

Typing with Oculus Touch and Quest controllers [part 1]

Anastasiia Ku explores various text input possibilities for gaming and VR devices.

Fitness startup YUR introduces VR calorie tracker

The YURfit Plug-in will track calories while you play VR.

Standards group W3C publishes WebXR draft

The W3C moved the WebXR Device API into draft specification! One step closer to both VR and AR working well on the web.

Banishing your nightmares with the help of VR

Over the course of one month, 19 patients who reported having frequent nightmares were able to modify the visuals they found threatening to make them less scary.

The importance of interaction for presence in VR

A discussion around interactivity in VR that’s worth reading.

Oculus ‘Rift S’ listed in code with onboard cameras, software IPD adjustment

With a bit of sneaking around in the code, UploadVR has spotted info on the the Oculus Rift headset.

The next VLC media player update will include VR support

VLC player now supports VR!

VR opens up new possibilities for disabled musicians

“Infinite Instrument’s customisable interface is proving to be an effective tool for physically disabled musicians”.

XTAL hands on: an interesting glimpse to virtual reality 2.0

Skarredghost has a look at the enterprise high-end virtual reality headset produced by VRgineers with an embedded Leap Motion v2.

Ford motor company sketches out new car designs in VR

“To help accelerate the process, Ford Motor Company is exploring the possibility of using VR to design cars through Gravity Sketch, a VR tool that lets designers sketch directly in a 3D VR environment”


Augmented Reality

Hands-on with an alpha build of Google Maps’ augmented reality mode

Google Maps are looking to add an AR mode which can help guide you the final steps of the way to your destination.

Budget airline easyJet packs augmented reality luggage checking feature into its mobile app

easyJet joins a list of airlines using AR to check your baggage size!

New video from Microsoft’s Alex Kipman delivers teaser for HoloLens 2 at Mobile World Congress

Microsoft published a teaser video for their media event at Mobile World Congress Barcelona on Feb 24.

Childish Gambino makes his AR debut

Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, can now dance around in your Pixel camera’s view.

Magic Leap Lumin OS beta update delivers map merge feature for multi-user experiences

Map merge will allow multiple people to share the same mapped area – perfect for multi-user experiences.

ODG’s remaining inventory & physical assets become available to purchase via auction

ODG’s physical assets are being auctioned off.

8th Wall adds another brick to its web AR platform with AR camera for easy prototyping

8th Wall now have a web interface for creating new AR apps.



Huawei could be working on a smartwatch that powers a pair of AR smartglasses

Their concept would involve an AR headset with a smartwatch providing a camera, display and microphone on the headset’s right arm.

ROHM, Omron, Maxim: a look at the biometric-monitoring wearables made by component manufacturers

All About Circuits has a look at the manufacturers in the wearable market and what they are producing.

​Exclusive: this is Fitbit’s new youth-focused fitness tracker

Unlike Fitbit’s Ace, the new wearable will reportedly have a larger screen and a more friendly design.

​This new fabric will automatically cool you down when you get hot and sweaty

This new material “responds to the body’s heat and wetness to help keep us at a comfortable temperature at all times”.


Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles and Robotics

Play Iconary, a simple drawing game that hides a deceptively deep AI

This AI plays something like Pictionary with you and others around the world to slowly grow in its understanding of intent behind drawings.

Baidu made a smart cat shelter that uses AI to tell cats and dogs apart

If you’re a stray cat, it’ll let you in. Dogs are left to remain outside in the cold! It can recognise 174 different kinds of cats and can also spot if cats have diseases.

Watch: this parade of 55 autonomous cars set a world record

55 self-driving cars built by Changan Automobile at a test track in China, set a record for the largest parade of autonomous cars.

Human mind control of rat cyborg’s continuous locomotion with wireless brain-to-brain interface

Rat cyborgs were able to be successfully navigated by the human mind to navigate a complex maze.

RAIL debuts license agreements for the responsible use of AI

RAIL now offers end user license agreements and source code license agreements that software providers, researchers, and developers can include with their software to prevent harmful use of their technology.

Introducing Ludwig, a Code-Free Deep Learning Toolbox

Uber’s Ludwig is open source and allows anyone to train AI models without code!

Google and Microsoft warn that AI may do dumb things

Google and Microsoft have added warnings to their “risk factors” for investors about potential legal and ethical problems from their AI projects.

Could talking to a bot help you feel better?

AI chatbots may offer a new form of care, but also raise new questions.

Two former Qualcomm engineers are using AI to fix China’s healthcare problem

Deep learning is being seen as a solution to get accurately through lots of medical scans in a short period of time.

Google wants its AI to know you better than you know yourself

Google Assistant “could eventually recognize if you’re frustrated or pick up conversations where you left off.”

Affectiva’s AI hears your anger in 1.2 seconds

Researchers at Affectiva are onto this idea too — they’ve got an AI system that can detect anger or frustration in speech in 1.2 seconds.

Deeplocal designs poster maker robot using Google Assistant SDK and Raspberry Pi

This robot can draw posters via voice commands — it’s totally open source so you can make your own.

Anti-drawing machine: an imperfect robot for collaborative or disruptive drawing

Rather than helping, this machine messes with you as you try to draw.

Why Alexa won’t wake up when she hears her name in Amazon’s Super Bowl ad

They teach Alexa “what individual recorded instances of her name sound like, so she will know to ignore them”. The Alexa commercial for the Super Bowl is also in this post and features Harrison Ford!

Sure, it can backflip – but can a robot hold down a desk job?

Your desk job is safe for now, there’s a lot that humans do which robots aren’t able to just yet!

Fabula AI is using social spread to spot ‘fake news’

There is evidence showing that fake news and real news spread differently, Fabula AI are looking to identify it.

These AI wheelchairs can detect movement and watch for obstacles

They’ve got built in obstacle avoidance and leverage AI to learn users’ movement preferences, style of driving, and their current physiology.


Internet of Things and Makers

Amazon’s home security company is turning everyone into cops

Motherboard look at the results of having a platform where the community oversee images from Ring of crime or suspicious activity.

Get organized with this Raspberry Pi e-ink calendar

A very cool use of a Raspberry Pi paired with an energy efficient e-ink display!

Learn how to make your own PCBs on a Sienci CNC router

If you’re looking to go beyond using prototyping breadboards, here’s a way to make your own PCBs.

PiWatcher allows full control over Raspberry Pi power

This can be programmed to fully cut power off after a software shutdown command has been issued and can cycle power if your Pi freezes up.

Edge computing at CES 2019: Developing for speed & security

IoT For All sat down with MultiTech and Avnet, two leading IoT hardware companies, to discuss their plans with edge computing.

How smart homes take over the world

A neat infographic on the growth of smart homes across the world.

Resources for prototyping: the basics of new languages for programming microcontrollers

A look at languages available to program microcontrollers.


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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