In the final week of 2016, a whole bunch of new people got to experience VR for the first time in their Christmas gifts (we have video footage!), the Meta 2 developer kit began shipping, Pokemon Go arrived on the Apple Watch, Mark Zuckerberg revealed his home AI system, Jarvis, and lots more!

Pokemon Go on Apple Watch, a woman experiencing VR for the first time over Christmas and Mark Zuckerberg holding a t-shirt his AI gave him

Pokemon Go is on the Apple Watch, VR has got a bunch of new entrants over Christmas and Mark gets his shirts via AI cannon now.

Nominate your emerging tech inspirations of 2016!

I’m running end of year nominations for people in emerging tech who have inspired us and done great things. If you’ve been inspired by someone working in VR, AR, the IoT, wearables, AI or robotics, please nominate them this week and share some kind words!


Virtual Reality

Can your computer run VR? Here are 4 ways to test it.

I’ve had a look at all four tools and looked at the pros and cons of each.

dat.GUI for VR

A super neat graphical VR interface for changing variables within WebVR!

Samsung’s Gear VR browser gets improved WebVR content support

One more browser with better WebVR support! Hooray!

This guy combined an iPhone and an HTC Vive to make a virtual camera

Filming virtual worlds in ways that would previously be super expensive!

I’m courtside with LeBron! (in virtual reality)

The Wall Street Journal had a look at what it’s like watching the NBA in VR.

Hands-on: TPCAST’s wireless Vive kit really works

So good! UploadVR tested the wireless kit with somersaults and everything.

The cost of making a VR game — Part 2

A good read for those wondering about how much to charge as a VR developer and for those who are wondering how much devs should charge.

Becoming a VR artist: Where do I start?

Here’s all you’d need to know to get started!

Hovercast VR Interface

A customisable menu interface for VR apps in Leap Motion.

Giving the gift of VR means watching people freak out, and it’s awesome

Here’s a wonderful collection of people responding to their new VR headsets this holiday season!

Post-VR sadness: Is virtual reality dissociating people from reality?

Have you left VR with a sense that maybe this world isn’t real either?


Augmented and Mixed Reality

Why I’m so excited that the Meta 2 Developer Kit is shipping!

Yep. It’s shipping out now! Here is why I believe this is going to be great for AR developers. Lots of excitement within me this week!

The future of mixed reality is much bigger than Magic Leap

UploadVR talk to companies in the AR space who aren’t Magic Leap.

Okularion — Untethered augmented reality at under $300

It’s a Kickstarter for a cheaper mixed reality headset idea.

Snap reportedly acquired augmented reality startup Cimagine Media for up to $40 million

A sign that they’re moving even more into an AR future!



6 incredible smartwatch hacks

Six of my favourite examples of awe-inspiring things people have managed to hack together on their smartwatches.

Pokémon Go finally arrives on the Apple Watch

It logs your gameplay as workouts, notifies you about nearby Pokemon and Pokestops and a bunch of other things.

Designing for smart fabrics: Deciding what to design

Some really good tips here if you want to make smart wearables or clothing.

Jawbone says Fitbit is no longer seeking to block sales of its products

A tiny bit of good news amongst a lot of struggles at Jawbone.

Maker of spectacles for Dior expands into smart glasses

Eyewear company Safilo are looking to make more subtle smart glasses that assess your mood.

Pebble.js – Pebble package edition!

Pebble.js has now been published as a Pebble Package so they can be converted to standard Pebble C projects.


Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles and Robotics

We need to talk about our voice controlled future

A voice controlled future is more complex than many imagine. Here’s why.

Morgan Freeman will be the voice of Jarvis, Mark Zuckerberg’s home AI assistant

It just might be the best AI voice so far. Take that Siri.

Building Jarvis

Here’s Mark’s post with more details on how he put together Jarvis.

Conversational design essentials: Tips for building a chatbot

A nice look at building a chatbot for platforms like Facebook Messenger.

Voice is the next big platform, and Alexa will own it

Jessi Hempel on why she thinks Alexa just might dominate voice in 2017.

We don’t understand how AI make most decisions, so now algorithms are explaining themselves

It’s basically AI documenting things along the way. Nice concept.

Apple publishes its first artificial intelligence paper

It apparently describes a technique for improving the recognition of images using computer-generated images rather than real-world images.

MIT’s modular robotic chain is whatever you want it to be

I’m not sure how to explain this, it’s like a modular snake robot thing?

In the race to build the best AI, there’s already one clear winner

That winner? Nvidia.


Internet of Things

How do I mount Raspberry Pi’s PIXEL on a PC/Mac?

The new revamped Linux build for Raspberry Pi, PIXEL, can be mounted onto a USB drive and run on an old x86 PC or Mac computer! Here’s how.

How to get Google Home and smart lights to play nice

Stacey Higginbotham looks at how you can bring in smart lights to your Google Home-powered house!

Garage door open with IFTTT and Alexa

One maker put together a way to open their garage door with IFTTT and Alexa. Super neat.

Google Home: How to control WeMo devices through IFTTT

Connect up your WeMo lights to Google Home using IFTTT.

Google Home’s secret weakness: the word ‘Google’

A speech-language pathologist explains why.

‘Twas Brillo but then Android Things, which watched as Google Weaved its Nest

The Register takes a good look at Google’s approach to the IoT.

Cisco Virtual Hackathon for Asia-Pacific

In the Asia-Pacific? You could win $5-10k in this online hackathon!


Got questions on emerging tech over the holidays? 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 🙂 Happy holidays everyone!

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