This week, we’ve had a woman implant her Tesla key into her arm successfully, one circus trading in real animals for holograms, bungee VR, Apple is doing super well with wearables and lots more!

The Tesla key implant, a hologram elephant and bungee VR!

One woman’s Tesla key implant, a hologram circus and bungee VR!

 

Virtual Reality

Unreal Engine now supports Vulkan for Oculus Quest and Go

Vulkan support means lower level access to the GPU, better performance, less drain on the CPU and allows for access to multicore CPUs.

Virtual production: putting the latest UE4 tools through their paces

Unreal Engine has a new tool that can add special effects in real-time, rather than using a greenscreen or post-processing.

Custom elements for the immersive web

The MozVR team have two custom elements — <img-360> and <video-360> for the immersive web.

Defying gravity with the weightless VR bungee system

“Weightless VR is an in-home bungee system that grants you total freedom of motion while in VR, allowing you to run, swim, leap, and dance with nearly zero restrictions”.

Virtual reality to solve personal problems

“Researchers have used immersive virtual reality to observe the effects of talking to themselves as if they were another person”.

Hospitals now using VR to reduce pain during childbirth

Using VR to treat pain and anxiety isn’t a new idea, but this group are trying it out during labor.

 

Augmented Reality

Startup Tilt Five preps Kickstarter launch for AR gaming glasses, plans to ship product by December

We’ve looked at this team before at Dev Diner — it’s an exciting AR headset focused on tabletop games where the whole display concept is done quite differently. Worth checking out!

Snapchat is raising $1 billion in support of AR, new acquisitions

They’re looking to invest in new AR content, media partnerships, and potential acquisitions. They’re definitely leaning into AR even more here.

Why is making good AR displays so hard?

An article by Daniel Wagner, the CTO of DAQRI, explains why he thinks we won’t see much FOV improvement too soon.

Automation will create problems in the enterprise — AR can solve them

A curious concept — AR solving our automation worries?

Google launches ‘Live View’ AR walking directions for Google Maps

The AR Live View directions on Google Maps are rolling out to iOS and Android devices that support ARKit and ARCore — so you might see more people holding their phone up to the street… that aren’t playing Pokemon Go, they’re just lost.

Samsung elevates Galaxy Note 10+ with depth camera for 3D scanning & augmented reality apps

The Galaxy Note 10+ will have a depth-sensing camera that will give it more AR potential.

LEGO’s latest playset has kids battling ghosts in AR

The curious future of bringing AR into the mix for children’s toys is already here and this is the latest example.

German circus ends its use of live animals in favor of 3D holograms

Circus Roncalli adopts holographic tech amid concerns over animal cruelty — a hologram circus sounds pretty darn cool.

 

Wearables

Apple deserves more credit for wearables

Wearables are working out well for Apple — “one out of five gadgets that Apple sells is now a wearables device”.

Apple Watch dominates smartwatch space ahead of Samsung and Fitbit

As we said, Apple are doing pretty darn well.

OpenHAK is a completely open source fitness tracker launching on Kickstarter

For those keen on having more control over their fitness tracker data.

Arduino watch is an impressive feat of miniaturization

An Arduino watch that works and isn’t super bulky!

Huawei’s new HarmonyOS operating system is coming to smartwatches first

It’s an alternative to Android and will soon be on smart speakers and smart screens from the company too.

 

Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles and Robotics

Biohacker implants a transponder in her arm to start her Tesla

She can now start her Tesla with the power of her arm.

Artificial intelligence helps banana growers protect the world’s most favorite fruit

It has an average 90% success rate in detecting a pest or a disease to prevent a whole lot of damage before its too late.

Watch a drone take over a nearby smart TV

I can see this growing as a wonderfully annoying prank in the coming years.

Researchers craft AI framework that explains your social media feeds

This research aims to bring transparency to social media feeds.

Amazon’s lead EU data regulator is asking questions about Alexa privacy

As some expected, Europe are asking questions about their human review process too — but Amazon have added in the option to opt out now.

Google-owned AI firm DeepMind suffers ballooning losses as debt mounts

Deepmind, the AI company owned by Google, is spending a whole lot of money and has no plans to stop any time soon. It’s the cost of research and development in an emerging area!

Deepfakes pose a major threat to businesses

Audio and video generated by AI can impersonate CEOs — many aren’t thinking about audio deepfakes as much as they should. Would you question a deepfaked phone call from your boss?

Facebook is building tech to read your mind. the ethical implications are staggering.

Vox looks deeper at Facebook’s plans and what they might mean.

Robot, heal thyself: scientists develop self-repairing machines

These robotic hands can sense and fix damage without human intervention.

Apple hit with lawsuit over ‘unlawful’ grading of Siri recordings

They’re accused of “unlawful and intentional recording of individuals’ confidential communications without their consent”.

Revealed: Microsoft contractors are listening to some Skype calls

Similar to the controversy that has hit Apple, Google and Amazon — Microsoft also have humans listening to some Skype calls that use the translation function and Cortana. While I think it’s necessary for us to have humans help train these systems, it’s worrying that it’s so easy for a Microsoft employee to hand over recordings to the press.

How can robots land like birds?

Can robots find stable footing if a branch is covered in Teflon?

Seeing how computers ‘think’ helps humans stump machines and reveals AI weaknesses

“Researchers have figured out how to reliably create questions that challenge computers and reflect the complexity of human language”.

 

Internet of Things and Makers

Now you can choose how fast Alexa talks on your Amazon Echo

There are seven speeds — so you can finally get Alexa to slow down a bit if she talks too fast for your liking.

Use an Arduino to build this real chiptune synthesizer

Vintage sound chips produce some very cool chiptunes — and now you can make it happen on an Arduino!

Build a DIY AI home security camera using the Raspberry Pi and BarryNet

BarryNet is an open-source deep learning platform that runs locally on the device.

 


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