This week, we had our first official live Dev Diner stream on Twitch! We also had smart contact lenses, an incredible spatial computing demo, lots of ways to print with Arduinos and lots more!

I’m live on Twitch every Tuesday @ 7:30pm Sydney Time!

That’s Tuesday 8:30am UTC time! We go through the upcoming newsletter’s stories, chat about them and tinker with tech live on air! Last week we had the Vector robot, ASMR with Alexa and Meri Amber sang us a hilarious song about robot cats. Come join in the fun!

Arduino printers and a smart contact lens prototype!

All sorts of printing with Arduinos and a smart contact lens prototype!

 

Virtual Reality

Building an infinite procedurally generated VR game inspired by Adventure Time

One of our favourite devs, Brennan Hatton, has put together an infinite dungeon train game for the Oculus Quest!

My predictions for virtual reality in 2020

SkarredGhost’s thoughts on where things are going in 2020.

Antilatency’s SDK v.1.0 adds full-body tracking for Oculus Quest

This tech lets you track your head and feet using their custom trackers.

Lenovo reveals new standalone VR headset designed specifically for classrooms

“The Lenovo VR Classroom 2 features tools designed to guide entire classrooms through educational VR experiences”.

Crisis VRigade: from Facebook reject to SideQuest success

This VR game was rejected by Facebook for Oculus Quest but passed 50,000 downloads on SideQuest.

Rec Room laser tag finally available on Oculus Quest

Wished you could play laser tag on Rec Room on the Quest? Now you can!

‘Iron Man VR’ is delayed until May 15th

You’ll have to wait a bit longer for this one!

Play Schell Games’ sword fighting adventure until you fall for free this weekend

You can play “Until You Fall” for free this weekend if you’re looking for something to try out!

Valve Index review: Virtual reality has a new high bar for quality

Wareable has some pretty positive words about the Valve Index — which is somewhat like a superpowered HTC Vive.

‘VR menu’ discovered in Final Fantasy VII remake demo

There’s no guarantee it means anything, but it’s curious.

The shared VR of Tokyo’s teamLab Borderless offers a glimpse of an XR future

This experience looks incredible.

Pixel Ripped 1989 denied Oculus Quest approval as 1995 sequel eyes spring 2020 release

Pixel Ripped 1995 is coming to the Quest… but the original game, Pixel Ripped 1989, has been denied on the Oculus Quest for unknown reasons.

Enter the TARDIS in ‘Doctor Who’ VR special ‘The Runaway’

You can now watch a non-interactive version on YouTube, but it sounds like it’s also up on Steam, Oculus Store, and VIVEPORT for use on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

 

Augmented Reality

A single contact lens could give your entire life a head-up display

While it’s not ready for prime time yet, this technology from Mojo Vision looks like the future of AR.

This Oculus Quest mixed reality apartment is straight out of minority report

This is a fantastic example of spatial computing. You’ve gotta watch the video!

Apple CEO Tim Cook expects AR: ‘will pervade our entire lives’

Sounds like Mr Cook is still keen on AR.

Researchers say low-res 3D tracking limits AR glasses’ use in surgery

Higher-resolution enterprise AR headsets would be more appropriate for those times when you kinda need the details… like surgery.

Microsoft confirms HoloLens 2 display issues as headsets remain scarce

“Some of the earliest HoloLens 2 adopters have complained about color problems with the AR headset’s displays, and Microsoft is now looking into the reports”.

Snapchat turns real world into AR scavenger hunt with nearly instant object recognition

“While most Snappables games use the front-facing camera to insert users and their friends into the game, Scavenger Hunt flips gameplay to the rear camera”.

 

Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles and Robotics

Sensetime’s AI generates realistic deepfake videos

This new technique appears to make better quality deepfakes — check out the video in this one to compare.

Apple’s latest deal shows how AI is moving right onto devices

They’ve purchased Xnor.ai, a company doing image recognition on the edge… taking it away from Wyze cameras.

Amazon Echo’s privacy issues go way beyond voice recordings

I don’t agree with everything said in this article, but it shows the privacy concerns are still very active and there’s still more voice tech needs to do to ease worries.

IBM’s biology-inspired AI generates hash codes faster than classical approaches

It is inspired by fruit fly biology and “outperforms classical algorithms at tasks like generating hash codes”.

Tesla: unintended acceleration claims are ‘completely false’

Tesla has a whole lot of onboard stats, so I assume they have the data to back this up.

AI can do great things — if it doesn’t burn the planet

I literally mentioned this same thing in my Twitch stream last week! Talk about timing! “The computing power required for AI landmarks, such as recognising images and defeating humans at Go, increased 300,000-fold from 2012 to 2018”.

Worried about privacy at home? there’s an AI for that

Edge computing and edge AI are going to help a whole lot with not needing to send everything off to the cloud to send smarts back.

More people would trust a robot than their manager, according to study

64% of those surveyed said “they’d trust a robot more than their manager”

Intel and partners are using computer vision to help save Antarctica’s penguins from extinction

“Gramener, using tools and hardware provided by Microsoft and Intel, developed AI that tracks penguin populations in Antarctica”. Yay for saving penguins!

Google’s Sundar Pichai doesn’t want you to be clear-eyed about AI’s dangers

He wants “AI to be regulated while simultaneously encouraging lawmakers towards a dilute enabling framework that does not put any hard limits on what can be done with AI technologies”.

Go read this NYT expose on a creepy new facial recognition database used by US police

Initially it didn’t sound too bad as this sort of tech is going to get out there, but the danger here seems to be the company running this database appears to be a bit shady.

Dating apps need women. Advertisers need diversity. AI companies offer a solution: fake people

Need more people using your app? AI can now generate fake online people — which is definitely going to make things more confusing for us online.

Are we on the cusp of an ‘AI winter’?

AI isn’t going to keep growing at the same rate forever, so it’s understandable it might be slowing a bit.

A crash intro into AI-powered object detection

“The Picterra platform helps you build your own AI detection model through a graphic user interface in just a few steps”.

Baidu details its adversarial toolbox for testing robustness of AI models

“In a research paper, Baidu details AdvBox, an adversarial toolbox for testing the robustness of AI and machine learning models”.

Björk and Microsoft use AI to create music that changes with the sky

“Björk’s AI-guided ‘Kórsafn’ soundtrack reacts to birds and clouds”, it’s a pretty curious creation!

Pigeon-inspired drone bends its wings to make it more agile

“The PigeonBot could lead to drones that can manage tight turns and fly through turbulence”.

Amazon details the AI behind Alexa’s whisper mode

“Amazon detailed the AI underpinning Alexa’s Whisper Mode, which responds to whispered speech by whispering back” — you’ll see this in action in each of the Dev Diner Twitch streams!

Facebook launches PyTorch 1.4 with mobile customisation and Java support

“Facebook’s PyTorch Mobile and PyTorch libraries for text, audio, and vision are getting upgrades in version 1.4”.

 

Internet of Things and Makers

Bitbank2/thermal_printer

This is a pretty cool Arduino library to draw text and graphics on BLE thermal printers!

ASCII art from a vintage printer connected directly to an Arduino

If thermal printers aren’t your thing, what about a vintage Kodak Diconix? This is equally cool — worth watching the video for this one too!

Fail of the week: padlock purports to provide protection, proves pathetic

Always worrying news to read…

An open source effort to encrypt the internet of things

Coming up with an open source standard for IoT encryption is a valiant endeavour but I worry it’ll just be another standard added to a list of other standards. It could help those who otherwise wouldn’t have solid encryption in their devices though.

Hacker leaks passwords for more than 500,000 servers, routers, and IoT devices

“The list was shared by the operator of a DDoS booter service” — make sure you change your devices’ default passwords!

Fitbit finally turns on SpO2 sensors – and the estimated oxygen variation graph is live

In a quiet rollout, it appears that some Ionic, Versa series and Charge 3 trackers are providing blood oxygen reports within the app. My app doesn’t seem to have it just yet.

Second coming of sleep tracking: why sleep wearables mean business in 2020

Clearly this is just the start of the advancements in 2020!

New Fitbit app can tell versa 2 users how much they (or their partners) snore

Fitbit has been busy!

 


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