This week, Pebble is reportedly close to being acquired by Fitbit (still to be confirmed later this week), one person found a way to get Alexa and Google Home to talk to each other in an infinite loop, Leap Motion is going into mobile VR with new hardware and neural networks were used to generated 3D models of faces from a single 2D photo!

Pebble watches, an Echo and Google Home and a 3D generated model of Mohammed Ali with 2D reference photo

Here’s hoping the Pebble thing is just rumours… but at least the Alexa and Google Home video lightens the mood! That neural network generated 3D model is pretty darn cool too right?

Virtual Reality

7 tips for bringing others into your imagination with VR

Tomáš Mariančík, one of my favourite VR developers, spoke with me about his experience in VR development so far. Here are 7 tips from that conversation to help you get into VR dev too.

Leap Motion goes mobile

Leap Motion is going into mobile VR with a new platform and hardware with a larger field of view. Mashable has a great review.

Explorations in VR design

The team at Leap Motion have begun a series exploring VR/AR design! Looking forward to it!

Identity transfer and the rise of virtual surrealism

VR’s potential to move us beyond the typical reality and its impact on self-perception is fascinating!

Oculus Touch review: the Oculus Rift is finally complete

A very positive review of the new Rift controllers by the Verge.

HTC Vive vs Oculus Rift with Touch — Which is better at roomscale VR?

Now that both platforms can potentially do roomscale, which is better overall?

VR controlled suspension rig

Wow. This is a pretty cool in progress project — a VR controlled suspension rig!

Reading list: 50 sci-fi books featuring AR and VR technology

Looking for some reading this holiday season?

 

Augmented and Mixed Reality

Zappar wants to offer HoloLens-style mixed reality experience for $30

Think Google Cardboard but for mixed reality!

New HoloLens app Muralize is a wonderful combination of art and technology, from an all-female developer team

Interesting concept — create murals in mixed reality.

The Mixed Reality Revolution is here, and it’ll change your world forever

I liked this quote — “Mixed Reality isn’t just a new type of technology — it’s an entirely new plane of existence.”

 

Wearables

Fitbit is buying troubled smartwatch maker Pebble for around $40 million

We are all a tad worried hearing that Fitbit might discontinue Pebble’s range. Waiting on a statement from Pebble on this which is expected later this week!

Gamification analysis: How Snapchat launched Spectacles

This piece looks at both the marketing side of Spectacles and the potential for where Snapchat is leading things.

Apple Watch shipments plunge 70% as consumers favor simpler wearables, IDC says

But Apple CEO, Tim Cook, says Apple Watch sales on track for best quarter ever.

Moto pushes off smartwatches indefinitely

Don’t expect a new Moto 360 smartwatch any time soon.

 

Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles and Robotics

Google DeepMind makes AI training platform publicly available

In a similar fashion to OpenAI, DeepMind have made their maze-like game training program available for all to use.

Don’t panic, but Google’s AI is now smarter than human doctors

Google’s deep learning algorithm can diagnose diabetic retinopathy better than doctors can.

After mothballing Comma One, George Hotz releases free autonomous car software

This will be great news for many Dev Diner readers (Comma One is a popular topic here!). George Hotz has just released the previously shut down free autonomous car software and may be reviving it by open-sourcing it.

Facebook developing artificial intelligence to flag offensive live videos

Dynamically checking content in live video streams is a massive undertaking!

Photorealistic facial texture inference using deep neural networks

This is seriously incredible. They can generate a partial 3D model and texture of someone’s face from a single 2D photo.

Uber bets on artificial intelligence with acquisition and new lab

They’ve acquired an AI company and are incorporating them into an AI division.

Alexa, tell me where you’re going next

The VP of Amazon Alexa spoke about machine learning, chatbots and whether the industry is “strip-mining AI talent from academia”.

This trick will get your Amazon Echo and Google Home stuck in a loop

Yes. There is a way to get Alexa and Google Home talking to each other. Forever. And ever.

Zo is Microsoft’s latest AI chatbot

This one avoids sensitive topics to prevent a repeat of their more controversial chatbot, Tay.

Apple tells feds ‘new entrants’ to auto industry should get same testing rights as incumbents

Apple submitted a letter to NHTSA that suggests it’s interested in testing self-driving cars.

 

Internet of Things

Want to learn analytics? Why not get into the Internet of Things?

Perryn Fowler shares his experience using his analytics background to enter into a career in the IoT.

Five easy ways to build security into the Internet of Things

Some nice tips here for people still unsure about it all.

Welcome to the emergent era

I love one quote from this one especially — “If we choose to embrace and encourage emergent systems in business, politics, and technology, we may end up unlocking more human potential and wealth than ever before in history.”

Reimagining cities from the internet up

An interesting thought experiment on connected cities from the team at Sidewalk Labs (cofounded by Larry Page from Google). Fascinating (but long!) read.

Microsoft’s HomeHub feature to compete with Google Home

A new competitor is entering the ring with Google Home and the Amazon Echo.

Inside IFTTT’s plan for a more harmonious Internet

They are working closer with the companies who will have applets with them and hoping they’ll fund the service.

How to publish an Alexa skill: from beginning to end

If you ever wondered how, here’s a tutorial on Hackster!

Windowmatic

This DIY project uses two Photons to control your car windows from your phone and rolls them up once its dark. Smart!

 


Got questions on emerging tech? Feel free to Snapchat me (devdiner), DM me on Twitter or just send me an email and ask! Please don’t hesitate — get in touch 🙂

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