This week, we’ve got progress in AR tech with more compact smartglasses called “Norm Glasses”, Adobe’s AR stationary displays and Samsung’s new smart contact lens patent. Facebook is working on mind-reading tech and all three of the top smart speakers are addressing privacy concerns for stored recordings. Massive week!

Norm Glasses, AR stationary displays and Samsung's smart contact lens patent

More compact smartglasses, AR stationary displays and Samsung’s smart contact lens patent

Virtual Reality

HTC’s standalone VR kit will stream PC content via WiFi

The Vive Focus Plus will be able to access your PC’s VR content as long as you are a Viveport Infinity subscriber.

Amazon Sumerian gains support for physically-based rendering & product templates

Amazon Sumerian now supports “a method of shading 3D content that takes into account the physical properties of the content, such as whether an object is metal or non-metal, to properly render how light reflects off the object”.

Photogrammetry capture brings Michelangelo’s Sistine Ceiling to life in VR

You can now see the incredible ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in VR.

Xiaomi reportedly disbands Mi VR team, but Facebook is still backing Oculus Go

A report claims that Facebook’s development partner for the Oculus Go, Xiaomi, has laid off the dozen-person team responsible for Go’s twin, the Mi VR headset.

Faster algorithm could lead to more realistic sounds in VR

Generate new VR sound models in seconds rather than hours.


Augmented Reality

Facebook closer to augmented reality glasses with brain implant that decodes dialogue from neural activity

Neuralink has a competitor trying to read minds — Facebook is the “first to decode question-and-answer speech from brain signals in real time”.

Adobe previews stationary augmented reality display called Project Glasswing

It renders augmented content over real world objects sitting in a display space — I can definitely see this style of AR spreading like wildfire soon enough.

Snap’s secret weapon speaks

“Bobby Murphy, Snap’s notoriously secretive CTO, shares his vision of the future of augmented reality in this exclusive Fast Company interview”.

Microsoft discontinuing major OS updates for HoloLens 1

No more major updates on their way as Microsoft focus on the HoloLens 2 that’s coming rather soon.

Microsoft FCC filing hints that the wait for HoloLens 2 is almost over

Very soon in fact.

Samsung appears to be exploring the possibility of smart contact lenses

Many would prefer smart contact lenses to AR glasses, while they’re likely a while off, it looks like Samsung are one of the companies looking into them.

Artificial intelligence for augmented creativity.

This app lets you use an intuitive and simple visual interface to try out visual AI.

Startup human capable’s ‘Norm Glasses’ AR smartglasses are like Google Glass in a regular pair of shades

It is these sorts of very subtle styles of smart glasses that will help AR go mainstream.



The shiny Rebble future: one year after the Pebble server shutdown

A great look at what’s happened in the first year of post-Pebble server shutdown. Things are looking pretty promising.

Wave is a hybrid smartwatch that comes with its own concierge service

Now there’s an interesting smartwatch feature.


Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles and Robotics

Apple suspends Siri response grading in response to privacy concerns

In response to the Guardian story last week about recordings of Siri queries being reviewed by humans for quality control, Apple has temporarily halted human reviews for now — soon you’ll be able to choose if you want to participate.

Google ordered to halt human review of voice AI recordings over privacy risks

Similar to Siri above, Google says they’ve already stopped manual reviews of recordings from its voice AI throughout Europe.

Amazon gives option to disable human review of Alexa recordings

Amazon has also taken action on this, in the Alexa smartphone app you can decide if your recordings are used in human review by going to “Settings” > “Alexa Privacy” > “Manage How Your Data Improves Alexa”.

Charlie Brooker gets taste of dystopia after being called ‘Alexa’ by son

The Black Mirror creator’s wife says Alexa was then switched off.

Surprisingly speedy soft robot survives being stepped on

Don’t worry everyone, we’re developing fast robots that are more robust than cockroaches.

MIT CSAIL tackles knitting with twin AI tools

Knitting design solutions from machine learning!

Wonder painter technology turns any drawing into animation

“Users need simply snap a photo of any drawing, clay sculpture, or person, and watch as the subject is instantly cropped out of its environment and converted into a moving 3D image”

Should we worry about the robots and mind-reading apps remaking our world?

“Technology is spying on us and machines are becoming more human. But it’s not all dystopian”, says Guardian technology editor Alex Hern

This robotic submarine can transform into a humanoid robot for undersea work

An underwater transformer robot!

Technique uses magnets, light to control and reconfigure soft robots

“Researchers have developed a technique that allows them to remotely control the movement of soft robots, lock them into position for as long as needed and later reconfigure the robots into new shapes”.

AI weekly: acquiring AI expertise is both a technical and emotional journey

OpenAI CTO Greg Brockman on overcoming mental and emotional barriers to acquire knowldge necessary to become a machine learning practitioner.

Can AI be recognized as an inventor?

An interesting question — can an AI own a patent on its own inventions?

AI may turn touchscreen keyboards invisible

“Researchers propose an ‘invisible’ keyboard – the I-Keyboard – that taps AI to adapt to any position and angle”.

AWS’ new text-to-speech engine sounds like a newscaster

Amazon Polly Newscaster is the result of years of research on text-to-speech.

A guide to virtual beings and how they impact our world

The concept of “virtual beings” is growing as an industry.

Camera can watch moving objects around corners

“By analyzing single particles of light, this camera system can reconstruct room-size scenes and moving objects that are hidden around a corner”.


Internet of Things and Makers

12″x6″ LED animation display with a Raspberry Pi-powered P5 panel

Everyone likes a good LED show and this display looks pretty darn cool.

IoT home security camera allows hackers to listen in over HTTP

There’s a security flaw in the Amcrest IP2M-841B IP camera which lets people remote spying without any form of authentication.

Sabotaging common IoT devices in smart buildings by exploiting unencrypted protocols

Unencrypted protocols in IoT devices are way too plentiful out there.


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