This week was a good one for Gear VR which reportedly had one million users last month! We also enjoyed a very retro look at virtual reality in the 90s in one of my new favourite YouTube videos. SyntaxNet, a language parser from Google, was open sourced and one group managed to build AI that learnt and recreated a Nobel-winning physics experiment.

A 90s virtual reality headset

A small taste of the fantastic YouTube video mentioned…

CeBIT Australia

Our final few video interviews with keynote speakers from CeBIT Australia and, most excitingly, our first ever roundup video featuring a bunch of emerging tech companies went up this week:

Our roundup video of my roaming around CeBIT Australia 2016 is up for all to see and features robots, VR and discussion with a whole bunch of exhibitors at CeBIT. If you couldn’t make it to the event but wanted to see what emerging tech they had, this is the next best thing!

I spoke with Shara Evans, an internationally acknowledged technology futurist, on the future of emerging tech.

Dr Joanna Batstone, Vice President and Lab Director, IBM Research Australia and Chief Technology Officer, IBM A/NZ, spoke to me about machine learning and the cognitive era.


Virtual Reality

We had an interview with Jake Adelman from Rukkus, an online ticketing service, about their new mobile “Seat360” VR seating selection feature! This is a feature I genuinely wish every ticketing system had.

Good design practices for virtual reality. Very nice article on this topic with good detail!

I’ve yet to try this but apparently, VRidge runs PC-Based VR games on your Google Cardboard headset!

Here is CadaVR. A living cadaver laboratory in virtual reality that uses Leap Motion for hand input.

Acer is getting into the VR game with Starbreeze’ StarVR, a theme park-oriented StarVR headset.

This Oculus program is training high schoolers to make virtual reality.

Facebook are also now turning panoramas into 360 photos for the Facebook feed and Gear VR.

Gear VR is doing really well — it reportedly had one million users last month!

Keep an eye out for Android VR news in the coming days, as it’s almost guaranteed to be announced at Google I/O this week.

VR devs are exploring how to harness VR’s darker side without causing psychological harm.

I’ll leave the VR section with this video which every single person interested in VR right now needs to watch. No excuses! My new favourite video on VR. So good…


Augmented Reality

Chinese startup, Miraffe, is building augmented reality for children.

Mobile augmented reality growth is estimated to surge by 2022. Seems quite a while away…

Washington Post’s first augmented reality experiment went up last week.

Rochester Optical on building the next generation of smart glasses.

In sad news, an Irishman has died while embarking on a late night Ingress AR mission.

The New Yorker’s latest cover has an augmented reality experience if you look at it through a smartphone app.



Samsung wants to make smartwatches more useful by projecting them onto your hand.

The wearables market is maturing leading to a 67 percent jump in worldwide shipments last quarter, according to IDC.

A new algorithm developed for mobile phones and smartwatches can predict epileptic seizures.


Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles, Robotics and Drones

SyntaxNet, a foundation for natural language understanding in TensorFlow, is now open source! It is apparently “the world’s most accurate parser”. If you want to parse text and language in your machine learning applications, here’s a pretty good option for you!

This group built a robot that requires human help each step of the way. By design.

Robots won’t just take jobs, they’ll create them. I love the illustration on this article!

Turn your two-bit doodles into fine artworks with deep neural networks.

We’re getting way more advanced than just fine artworks… This AI learnt and recreated a Nobel-winning physics experiment. Whoa.

Google’s answer to Amazon’s Echo is code-named ‘Chirp’ and is coming soon. It’d be brilliant if Google buys Twitter and then owns both Twitter and Chirp!

A handy list of the companies making connected cars by Wareable.

The era of AI assistants that can help us day to day is closer than we think.


Internet of Things

Google has grand schemes for its Tango technology – it plans to map the interior world in 3D and then use those mappings in its online products. Fascinating ideas here.

Raspberry Pi Zero gains camera support via a camera connector, yet is still only $5!

Amazon releases an IoT Dash button that is open for developers to play with!

An incredibly entertaining visual history of the IoT. Oh how far we’ve come.

Here’s an air quality monitor built with a Particle Photon!

You can really make an instant camera using a Raspberry Pi and a thermal printer.

Thoughts on how blockchain will defend the Internet of Things.

Need a way to know when your power goes out? What about using this connected outlet?

I hosted an online webinar on JavaScript and the Internet of Things over at SitePoint.The replay is available here!


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