This week, Microsoft revealed pretty reasonable PC requirements for their VR headsets, the VLC video player will soon support VR headsets, Google’s DeepMind can now read lips better than the pros, there’s a body heat powered smartwatch and we are starting to see some cool uses of Project Tango for mobile AR games!

VLC logo wearing VR goggles, a Project Tango AR game and a smartwatch powered by body heat

Yay for VLC VR, exciting augmented reality Tango games and smartwatches powered by body heat!


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Virtual Reality

Microsoft reveals minimum specs for their upcoming $300 VR headsets

The specs are surprisingly reasonable for a virtual reality headset.

World’s first smartphone with a 360-degree camera goes on sale in China

Is it a gimmick phone or the start of a new trend?

Short-lived VR games are leading us to an uncertain future

The rise in VR apps and games this year didn’t quite live up to the hype, this is a good reason for devs out there to get into this space — there’s a demand that isn’t being met!

How the Red Dead Redemption lead designer is changing storytelling in VR

“How do we abandon the film making notion of a ‘frame’ and move to a notion of an open world that’s beyond the frame?”

Messaging in the age of VR

A really good look at how VR could provide more effective messaging services than those out there in an age of smartphones.

Building Blocks: a deep dive into Leap Motion interactive design

Leap Motion shares some of their research and experience when it comes to designing VR interactions with the Leap Motion’s Orion capabilities.

VLC app gets 360-degree video support, VR headset versions coming

VLC, the media player that seems to support almost every sort of video imaginable at times, will soon reclaim that title with its 360 degree video support!

Japan Display unveils dense 651ppi display for VR headsets

That’s a pretty high resolution headset right there.

Owlchemy seeks beta testers for a new mixed reality video solution

It looks super exciting for those looking to film their VR adventures. If you’re keen — sign up!


Augmented and Mixed Reality

Where do I find markers for JSARToolkit or awe.js augmented reality apps?

A question I’m asked a lot by developers learning to put together web based AR apps. Here’s the answer!

Holoportation update from Microsoft

Microsoft have managed to make their Holoportation functionality work on the go — in a moving car!

Phantogeist turns the real world into a co-op shooter using AR

It uses Google’s Tango technology, so it’s not widely available yet, but it looks kinda neat!

Fresh evidence suggests Tesla is working on augmented reality for future cars

It’s only a theory at the moment but they might be.



Smartwatch powered by you – MATRIX PowerWatch

The MATRIX PowerWatch is powered by body heat and features a power meter which displays how much electrical power you are generating!

Overclocked wearables can pick up bio-acoustic signals

It turns out overclocking wearables can give them the ability to recognise the wearer’s movements.


Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles and Robotics

Google’s DeepMind AI can lip-read TV shows better than a pro

Oxford was onto this a few weeks back but it looks like Google’s AI have a pretty solid grasp on lip reading too! Yes. Just like HAL 9000.

Zero-shot translation with Google’s multilingual neural machine translation system

Google Translate was mentioned last week for its advancements in translation — this piece explains it in more detail. In particular, the tech is exciting as it enables “Zero-Shot Translation” — translation between language pairs never seen explicitly by the system.

What neural networks, artificial intelligence, and machine learning actually do

Wondering what each of those terms even means by this point? Lifehacker is here to help!

The 10 best AI, data science and machine learning podcasts

Podcasts are a great way to skill up while multitasking — here are ten that might be handy for those looking to keep up with AI and machine learning.

A new program judges if you’re a criminal from your facial features

This new machine learning research could have huge impacts on law enforcement and society as a whole.


Internet of Things

Emulating x86: Microsoft builds granny flat into Windows 10

Microsoft plans to emulate x86 instructions on ARM chips, so that older programs might continue to work on future Windows tablets and phones. Some believe this might be signs of a bigger move over to cheaper ARM chips overall some day.

Five easy ways to build security into the Internet of Things

A few simple security tips that it’d be great for everyone to follow.

The Internet of Things is a security nightmare, but Google and others have a plan to fix it

The IoT security mess will hopefully get better if the plan proposed works out.

Roundup of Internet of Things forecasts and market estimates, 2016

Forbes has a look at the various IoT forecasts from different groups.

The Internet of Really Big Things requires a new mindset from entrepreneurs

A nice piece on how the industry needs to approach the IoT to be successful.

The Internet of Things in the real world

Computerworld looks at the potential value in the IoT if we extend it beyond entertainment and leisure usage.

Someone used Google Home and a Raspberry Pi to control their fireplace

Great to start seeing Google Home powered creations pop up online!

How to program a quadruped robot with Arduino

A really great piece which goes into good detail on how to make a quadruped Arduino-powered robot.


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