This week, we’ve got rumours of Magic Leap looking to sell their business, a data set released for AI researchers to join the fight against Coronavirus, impressive full body tracking tested with Zumba, VR meetups galore, an onsight cube thermal scanner for Coronavirus on an AR headset and more!

Impressive full body tracking, VR meetups and an onsight cube thermal scanner for Coronavirus

Impressive full body Zumba tracking, VR meetups galore and an onsight cube thermal scanner for Coronavirus on AR headset


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Virtual Reality

Oculus Quest will test multiple windows and redesigned universal menu

It will enable several browser windows at once, a new home UI and in-app hovering menu panes.

Over 20 titles on Oculus Quest have achieved $1m in revenue

Christmas was good for Oculus, as we’ve heard before.

VR takes the stage as conferences cancel

Some are seeing this point in history as an opportunity for VR to shine with VR conferences.

VR collaboration platform Glue’s next-generation adds Oculus Quest support

Glue is an enterprise-focused shared virtual workspace — like an enterprise-focused AltspaceVR.

Couch live WebVR hangout lets you watch tv with others no matter what their device

Stave off those quarantine blues with this easily accessible VR hangout experience.

CEO shows life in China under Coronavirus quarantine with 360 VR video

The CEO of FXG provides a virtual 360 video tour of his community under government-issued quarantine.

Unity is making its High Definition Render Pipeline VR compatible allowing photorealistic visuals

“Unity’s HDRP targets high-end PCs and consoles, allowing creators to build high-definition and photorealistic visuals.”

HTC discontinuing Vive Pro and Vive Focus in favor of newer iterations

They are being replaced by the Vive Pro Eye (with eye tracking) and Vive Focus Plus (has 6DOF controllers).

AWE AR & VR conference still on (for now), with special safety measures in place, here’s what you need to know

The event is two and a half months away, they hope for Coronavirus to be contained/treated by then but say they’ll have a virtual conference option ready in case.

Antilatency showcases wireless full-body tracking with 10-person VR Zumba class

It uses a combination of optical inertial tracking modules and fully-scalable infrared floormats equipped with infrared sensors.

Shadow promises high-end VR gaming without an expensive computer

Shadow is a cloud gaming service giving people remote access to powerful gaming PCs — on 1st April, their “VR Exploration Program” will give some beta users remote access to VR PCs.

An AI breakthrough could significantly improve Oculus Quest rendering power

The Oculus Quest could soon see up to a 67% performance increase with a regular software update powered by AI that takes a lower resolution image and turns it into a high res one.

Tilt Brush adds direct Sketchfab export

You can now export your Tilt Brush sketches directly to Sketchfab from inside the headset.

Facebook will show VR games in Online Developers Showcase March 16 to March 19

Facebook will be hosting an online showcase for upcoming VR titles next week.

Looxid adapts its VR brain monitor for Oculus Rift S

Its EEG monitor can then work with VR applications in both gaming and therapy.

Orders of Magnitude VR reveals humanity’s tiny scale in the universe

“View the universe at cosmic scale, then drill down to the sub-atomic level to look at the building blocks of human life”. Available on Oculus Rift or Rift S, with StreamVR coming later this month.


Augmented Reality

Augmented-reality startup Magic Leap to explore a sale

This was the massive Bloomberg story of the week, Magic Leap denies it. Reports are that Facebook weren’t interested in buying Magic Leap assets.

10 remote collaboration apps for HoloLens, Magic Leap, & mobile that can substitute for in-person meetings

Most of these options are focused on Magic Leap and HoloLens, but if you’ve got some of those devices – why not put them to good use!

Envision accepting pre-orders for Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 with AI software to assist the visually impaired

Envision’s iOS and Android apps use optical character recognition and object detection to provide an audio description of someone’s surroundings. It is bringing the same tech to Google Glass!

Modern virtual and augmented reality device can help simulate sight loss

Very cool! “A new study demonstrates how commercially available head mounted displays (HMD) can be used to simulate the day-to-day challenges faced by people with sight loss from glaucoma”.

Exclusive: Nreal changes company name, amid Magic Leap legal battle unknown Chinese parent company revealed

It’s not the “Nreal” name that’s changed but their overall company name, and a parent company emerged that apparently hadn’t been mentioned before.

BBC Earth releases ‘Micro Kingdoms: Senses’ insect experience on Magic Leap 1

Become immersed in the world of insects and arachnids using the Magic Leap!

Vuzix M400 AR glasses add onsight cube thermal scanner for coronavirus

“A new wearable hardware-camera-software bundle will enable frontline screeners to check body temperatures without using their hands or thermometers”.

Apple plans to add a rear-facing 3D sensor to a new iPhone

Like TrueDepth, it would enable new kinds of applications and more precise AR on the rear-facing camera like we can have on the front-facing camera.

Viral artist KAWS unleashes army of AR sculptures across NYC, Tokyo, Tanzania

It’s a series of floating AR artwork!

Google Maps is making ‘Live View’ AR navigation more prominent

In the new beta, the Live View button appears as soon as you search for a location.


Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles and Robotics

Microsoft, White House, and Allen Institute release Coronavirus data set for medical and NLP researchers

A data set of more than 24,000 articles named CORD-19 is being released today for AI researchers to join fight against coronavirus!

YouTube will rely more on AI moderation while human reviewers can’t come to the office

YouTube warns that it might mess up during this time. It’s definitely a side effect of COVID-19 that I didn’t see coming.

Robots on the march to walking like humans

“A psychological theory could kickstart improvements in the way robots are able to walk, thanks to a new study”.

Drones can now scan terrain and excavations without human intervention

New research has allowed AI to take over the human-controlled drones currently being used and it predicts and counteracts the wind forces acting on the drone.

Neural hardware for image recognition in nanoseconds

Within nanoseconds, this hardware chip can analyse images and provide the correct output.

Robots that admit mistakes foster better conversation in humans

“A new study showed that the humans on teams that included a robot expressing vulnerability communicated more with each other and later reported having a more positive group experience than people teamed with silent robots or with robots that made neutral statements, like reciting the game’s score”.

Matternet’s new drone landing station looks like a sci-fi movie prop

It is quite a landing pad design indeed!

Artificial intelligence won’t rule the world so long as humans rule AI

“Voluntary codes of ethics are not enough to protect us from the developers of AI. We need laws that put people in charge”.

AI weekly: coronavirus spurs adoption of AI-powered candidate recruitment and screening tools

“The threat of COVID-19 has spurred the adoption of AI-powered job candidate recruitment and screening tools, despite the risks involved”.

Google’s neural tangents library gives ‘unprecedented’ insights into AI models’ behavior

Google’s new Neural Tangents library “lets data scientists construct and train ensembles of infinite-width networks at once using only five lines of code”.

AI is coming for your most mind-numbing office tasks

We’ll soon be getting AI to do all that cutting and pasting for us.

AI is an ideology, not a technology

This Wired article says that at its core, “artificial intelligence” is a perilous belief that fails to recognize the agency of humans.

Quantum computing, AI, China, and synthetics highlighted in 2020 tech trends report

It says AI is “sparking a third wave of computing” and “comes with positives, like the role AlphaFold can play in discovering cures for diseases, as well as negatives, like AI’s current impact on the criminal justice system”.


Internet of Things and Makers

Spectra 2020 to now be a fully live-streamed event

Particle’s Spectra 2020 conference is now going to be all online on April 28th and 29th. You can get free tickets and watch from wherever you are!

Quick look: the Adafruit Clue

This microcontroller has come up many weeks in a row now — makers are pretty excited about it! Here’s Make’s look at it.


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