This week, we had a working Gameboy WebVR experience, North Focals sales are on pause till version two in 2020, Magic Leap is focusing on enterprise and the Oculus Quest has hand tracking!

Gameboy in WebVR, North Focals and Oculus Quest hand tracking


Virtual Reality

Surprise! Oculus Quest becomes first VR set with native hand tracking—this week

Oculus Quest’s hand tracking is out this week, but there aren’t too many VR apps that can use it yet (but it’s super exciting!). Developer SDK is coming next week.

5G and face tracking: The weird future of VR headsets like Oculus Quest and HoloLens

Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon XR2 chip should provide graphics twice as good as the Oculus Quest and has support for seven cameras — VR and AR will benefit from this greatly!

Someone built a fully-functional 5 foot Gameboy Color in WebVR

Powered by A-Frame, it’s impressive what browser-based VR is able to do already!

Adobe is buying the Oculus Medium VR sculpting app

The Oculus Medium sculpting app originally launched by Facebook has now been acquired by Adobe. I didn’t see that coming.

Half-Life: Alyx results in high demand for Valve Index VR headset

The Valve Index is now back-ordered until after Christmas in America — people are pretty keen to play the upcoming Half-Life game!

St. Jude immortalizes child cancer patients as 60-foot interactive statues using VR

This is such a lovely idea, definitely worth sharing!

Virtual reality could help flu vaccination rates: study finds VR might provide a path to increased acceptance

VR simulation to show how flu spreads and impacts others might help encourage more people to get vaccinated.


Augmented Reality

North to cease production of Focals and focus on ‘sleeker’ second generation

Darn it! I wanted a pair of these so bad. I’ll have to be more patient…

After 7 years, Google abandons individual Glass owners who spent $1,500 to join its early wearables experiment

Non-enterprise Glass users will no longer have access to Google’s core apps after February 2020.

Magic Leap’s next-generation headset is reportedly ‘years away from launch’

There’ll be updates but the Magic Leap Two we were all hoping to see soon won’t come quite as soon as hoped.

Magic Leap pivots to enterprise, announces new business-focused services, slightly modified name

The new name for the Magic Leap One Creator Edition is… wait for it… “Magic Leap 1”.

ARCore depth API takes Android AR experiences to a whole new level

“Android’s new depth tool allows developers to create a full depth map with a simple RGB camera”.

NYT uses AR to compare the world’s most polluted air with your city’s

A neat AR visualisation that shows the invisible air pollution levels from each city’s worst day overlaid on your phone’s camera feed.

Nreal collaborates with Qualcomm & Deutsche Telekom to build prototype enterprise AR app

“The app enables Nreal Light users to annotate objects within their field of view and stream what they see to remote experts, who can also add virtual notes or diagrams to the scene and share data with the user in real-time.”

HoloLens 2: “scan lines” making text hard to read and quality issues with waveguides

It turns out there might be a bit of a resolution issue on the HoloLens 2.



Worldwide wearables shipments surge 94.6% in 3Q 2019 led by expanding hearables market, says IDC

Wearables are doing great at the moment, a lot of people are buying hearables right now in particular.


Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles and Robotics

How Hollywood became obsessed with de-aging its stars

It’s really really curious to see how we use AI to return actors to their youth.

AWS launches SageMaker Studio, a web-based IDE for machine learning

Amazon’s web-based IDE for building and training machine learning workflows is out there to try out!

AWS Sagemaker’s new machine learning IDE isn’t ready to win over data scientists

VentureBeat say that there are “some useful improvements to Amazon’s SageMaker machine-learning environment, but it has some fundamental competitive weaknesses”.

Machine learning could transform medicine. Should we let it?

How do we handle having tech that provides solutions we can’t fully understand?

Inside Intel’s billion-dollar transformation in the age of AI

“Moore’s Law is slowing just when the demands of AI are asking for more and more computing power”.

There’s now a chatbot to give refugees instant legal aid

Refugees can get important info fast over Facebook Messenger and Telegram.

Facebook’s Hanabi-playing AI achieves state-of-the-art results

“Facebook AI Research says it’s created AI that achieves near-perfect results in the game Hanabi”.

Perceptilabs’ drag-and-drop interface makes ML modeling easier and faster

It looks like more and more drag-and-drop interfaces for machine learning are popping up.

Zenia is using computer vision to build an AI-driven fitness trainer

“Zenia is a mobile fitness app that uses machine learning, computer vision, and motion tracking to help improve your yoga moves”.

MIT CSAIL’s AI can reconstruct hidden movement from video footage alone

This is really curious — this system can apparently reconstruct hidden videos from the shadows and reflections on an observed pile of clutter.

More emotional CIMON-2 robot assistant returns to ISS

The world’s first AI-powered astronaut assistant returned to the International Space Station after a 14 month mission.

AI today and the world tomorrow

“A 12-part video series features some of the world’s leading AI researchers from the likes of Google, Uber, and Giphy sharing mind-blowing advances in AI”.

DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman is moving to Google

He’ll be doing AI work at Google instead.

Facebook’s head of AI says the field will soon ‘hit the wall’

Jerome Pesenti on the limits of our current approach to deep learning.

Why AWS is selling a MIDI keyboard to teach machine learning

“AWS launched DeepComposer, a set of web-based tools for learning about AI to make music and a $99 MIDI keyboard for inputting melodies”.

The arms race

A new index ranking 54 countries in the AI arms race.

Facebook’s ‘Liam Bot’ helps employees navigate awkward holiday conversations

A handy tool over the holidays for some!

This 16-game arcade for AIs tests their playing prowess

“OpenAI has designed a set of games that can help researchers tell whether their machine learning agent is actually learning basic skills”.


Internet of Things and Makers

Why I’m pulling the plug on Wink

Kevin Tofel on why he’s moving on from the Wink IoT platform.

Microsoft appears to be planning a version of windows 10X for IoT devices

Microsoft is recruiting for an engineer to build an IoT version of Windows 10X, 10X is a new sub-branch of Windows 10, designed specifically for multi-screen devices, such as foldables.

Google Assistant gets a customized alarm, based on weather and time

Google Assistant has some new features for its alarm!

How Ring transmits fear to American suburbs

“When Ring cameras enter a town, it’s easy for cities to equate surveillance with being a good neighbour.”

Journey through the inner workings of a PCB

A look at how circuit boards work.


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