This week, we’ve got Snoop Dogg in AR, the Blocks smartwatch startup is sadly shutting down, we’ve got a robot dog with a pretty neat looking 3D printed head, Meta lost their lawsuit and we’re still hearing about more contractors listening to audio recordings — this time focused on Facebook and Microsoft.

Virtual Reality

Westworld Awakening is a VR game that puts you in the shoes of a newly self-aware Android

If you’re a fan of Westworld, you just might be able to live it… only virtually. For now.

Doghead Simulations CEO turns VR social platform into his own personal gym

A really neat look at using social VR to get in shape, it’s not the usual “I played Beat Saber every day for a month” sort of story.

No Man’s Sky: Beyond guide — how it works in VR

No Man’s Sky: Beyond has VR support and had a lot of people in my VR circles super excited.

Oculus Quest keeps improving in important but screenshot-defying ways

I like this quote: “Trying to explain what makes VR special is like talking about TV through a radio, and recent improvements are defying screenshots and easy description”.

How to be a good VR startupper – part 1

Mr SkarredGhost himself gives some advice on how to have the right VR entrepreneur mentality.

Space Pirate Arena brings multiplayer hall-scale VR to the Oculus Quest

Space Pirate Trainer is receiving a multiplayer spin-off that will need about a tennis court size space to play.

Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell is leaving Facebook

He was the last of Oculus’ original founders to leave Facebook.

Curing insomnia with VR light shows, ambient music, and interactive beds

“Inducing restfulness via kaleidoscopic visuals and ambient music”.


Augmented Reality

Judge issues permanent injunction against Meta company & founder in patent lawsuit, prevents sales of Meta 2 AR headset

Genedics wins against Meta Company and its founder Meron Gribetz, they can no longer sell Meta 2 or anything with their patent claims within it. It’s not clear yet how the new owners of the company will approach things from here yet.

Mad Gaze joins China’s consumer smartglasses gold rush with Glow wearable

The Glow smartglasses will be on Kickstarter later this week and are similar in form factor to Nreal Light. I like their business name “Mad Gaze”.

Huawei might unveil its futuristic AR/VR glasses at IFA 2019

It looks like 2019/2020 is going to give you plenty of options for AR glasses.

Snoop Dogg becomes Snapchat AR character for his latest record

Point Snapchat’s camera at his latest album cover and he’ll appear!

ReplayAR anchors your photos in real-world locations so you can view them in AR later

It’s a really cool concept that’ll be pretty cool if people use it day to day!

YouTube unleashes first AR makeup try-on tool with Mac cosmetics

YouTube’s official virtual makeup experience announced earlier this year is now out in action on the channel of makeup artist, Roxette Arisa.

Facebook’s AR dev toolkit exits closed beta on Instagram

Spark AR’s Instagram compatibility is now open for all to try out — previously you could only build for Facebook camera unless you had been accepted into the closed beta.

Snapchat creators earn serious money from making AR filters

With Instagram’s dominance, the above story might be good incentive for some of you to become the Instagram versions of these Snapchat AR creators making thousands of dollars.

Snap finally enters AR smartglasses territory with Spectacles 3

Spectacles 3 has a pair of temple-mounted cameras that can capture 3D images and video — and it will have AR filters built specifically for this format.

These ShAIdes use AI to detect what you’re gesturing at

DIY smart glasses that can detect what you’re looking at.

Hollywood taps into tech paranoia around augmented reality in ‘Auggie’

This new film apparently wants to tap into a bit of fear over augmented reality.



The Blocks modular smartwatch dream is over as startup runs out of cash

They were hoping to find investors to keep things going but no luck. Many who are still waiting on their smartwatch will receive “proof of debt” forms. Really sad news as another ambitious startup needs to put in the towel.


Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles and Robotics

Working on Microsoft’s Cortana is laborious and poorly paid

The human contractor drama continues — here’s what happens on the Microsoft side of things.

Facebook paid contractors to transcribe users’ audio chats

Facebook are also being looked at now for human review of user recordings for their audio transcription service.

Do tech companies really need to snoop into private conversations to improve their AI?

Slate has an article on the very drama that is recording private conversations to train up AI.

6 techniques which help me study machine learning five days per week

This guy studied machine learning every day for 9 months and got a job, so he wants to show you how he did it.

Google open-sources gesture tracking AI for mobile devices

“Google’s novel hand tracking framework can run on virtually any device, including mobile phones”.

The big benchmarking roundup

A closer look at machine learning and edge computing performance for those curious about the hardware options.

To power AI, this startup built a really, really big chip

“Many computer chips are smaller than your fingernail. Cerebras’ new chip for AI systems is bigger than a standard iPad”.

Robots learn to create their own tools

Training robots to put together their own tools if the ones they need aren’t available.

Robot dog Astro can sit, lie down, and save lives

“Astro is the only quadruped robot with a head—3D-printed to resemble a Doberman pinscher”.

Traces AI is building a less invasive alternative to facial recognition tracking

“The startup’s technology actually blurs out all human faces in frame, only relying on the other physical attributes of a person.”

AI researchers launch SuperGLUE, a rigorous benchmark for language understanding

“A consortium of AI researchers from Facebook, NYU, and Google’s DeepMind have created SuperGLUE, a benchmark for more nuanced, complex conversational AI”.

Nvidia breaks records in training and inference for real-time conversational AI

Nvidia’s GPU-powered platform for developing and running conversational AI that understands and responds to natural language requests has achieved some key milestones and broken some records that have big implications for anyone building on their tech — which includes companies large an…

Carl Bugeja is back with a new PCB robot design

It’s a tiny PCB robot! Hard to explain, you kinda have to see the video.


Internet of Things and Makers

Alexa and Google Assistant have made our smart homes dumber

Very good points made that show there’s still a while to go in the smart home space. My favourite quote about voice-powered smart home tech right now — “Like a switch, but with your mouth”.

Introducing custom interfaces, enabling developers to build dynamic gadgets, games, and smart toys with Alexa

There’s a whole new series of possibilities now to link Alexa with smart gadgets and devices so it can work with them in real time. This will be very very useful!

10 steps to improve an Alexa skill for Echo Auto

Bringing voice into the car even more is an inevitable step into our voice assistant future — this Medium post has some tips for you.

The best smart home sensors for Alexa

Engadget partnered with Wirecutter to look into smart home sensors that work with Alexa.

Adafruit releases the monster m4sk for your digital eyeball needs

Digital eyeballs for your next project right here.

DEF CON 27 demonstrates real-world security issues for MCUS, medical devices, cars, and more

All About Circuits had a post summarising what went down at the security conference, DEF CON. Always worrying what’s revealed at DEF CON…

Warshipping: a free Raspberry Pi in the mail is not always a welcome gift

I can see this becoming a bigger issue over time — people sending adversarial networks to you or organisations in a box.

Smart garden system with Arduino Nano IoT

A Hackster project that uses an Arduino Nano 33 with sensors to monitor the weather and automatically water your plants.

Designing the world’s smallest Arduino!

This team put together the world’s smallest Arduino compatible board named Atto.

Patchr makes it easier than ever to design and order PCBs

You can now order PCBs directly through Patchr.

How a ground plane reduces PCB noise

All About Circuits explains how a ground plane reduces noise in a PCB.

DIY gimbal for the Raspberry Pi camera

Stabilise your Raspberry Pi camera with this approach!


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