Happy New Year! This week, our emerging tech inspirations for 2016 were revealed (yay!), Asus will soon have a phone with both Google Tango and Daydream, we had a fascinating look at how deep learning might affect the future of design, we had two very cool smart earpieces and police looked at using an Amazon Echo to help with a murder investigation.

The Olive hearing aid, a design built by machine learning and the Pilot translation earpiece

Olive hearing aid, what machine learning powered design looks like and the Pilot, a real-time translation earpiece!

Sydney Robotics Course for High School Students!

I’m giving the team at Nexgen Codecamp a hand and helping run their robotics course on the 17th January in Ultimo. Got kids who want to learn Arduino? Sign em up!


Virtual Reality

Thank you to our VR/AR inspirations of 2016

Dev Diner readers nominated their inspirations for 2016 — here are their unsung heroes in VR/AR for the year gone by! There’s A LOT of them, we had plenty of VR/AR nominations!

The art of storytelling and narrative in VR

A really well thought out guide to storytelling in virtual reality!

Arduino Vive controller emulation

DIY VR hand controls that go beyond the typical HTC Vive controllers using Arduino and Leap Motion!

This is Lenovo’s Windows Holographic VR headset

Ooo… 2017 brings us some of the Microsoft VR headsets!


An experimental library for creating VR content using HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Oculus acquires eye-tracking startup The Eye Tribe

It looks like Oculus is getting into eye tracking like Fove and other headsets.

Savant Stephen Wiltshire draws Nissan Micra in Tilt Brush from memory

I wish it showed more detail of his artwork in the video but it’s pretty neat!

Wireless Rift and Vive add-on KwikVR set to debut At CES

TPCAST has a new rival! We’ll have more next week after CES!

Pimax to unveil 4K per eye, 200-degree field of view VR headset at CES 2017

There’s another exciting VR announcement we might have from CES 2017!

Experimental VR Alzheimer’s therapy app made just hours after plea by child of afflicted father

One of those VR news articles I love to see. Great use of VR here.


Augmented and Mixed Reality

VR, AR, MR Defined, Finally

Oh wonderful! We have official…ish definitions for those terms now! Luckily, the definitions are the same as the ones I gave last year (phew!).

Asus ZenFone AR leaked ahead of CES with Google Tango, Daydream support

Super neat! It has BOTH Google Tango and Daydream support!

Akonia uses holography to create a transparent augmented reality display!

What was intended to be used for holographic storage has found a new purpose!

Watch the assassination attempt of Ronald Reagan in augmented reality

It’s an interesting idea and its available for iOS.

‘Air Hogs Connect: AR Mission Drone’ Review – Merging The Digital And Physical With Toys

A review of “Air Hogs Connect: AR Mission Drone”, an AR game complete with drone!



Fitbit gets another holiday bump and much-needed breathing room

Fitbit has still been a gift item of choice.

Vixole: World’s first smart customizable e-sneaker

Shoes with flexible LED screens! I need a pair!

Olive: Next-Gen Hearing Aid with a Social Mission

A hearing aid that uses a smart sound algorithm and Bluetooth.

Meet the Pilot: Smart Earpiece Language Translator

Wearers can speak different languages but still clearly understand each other.

Bad UX: Apple Watch

The key flaw one man sees in the Apple Watch design.


Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles and Robotics

Thank you to our IoT and AI inspirations of 2016

Just like the VR/AR nominations above — here are the unsung heroes in IoT and AI for 2016 as nominated by Dev Diner readers!

Apple leaps into AI research with improved simulated + unsupervised learning

Apple is doing some cool stuff!

The alien style of deep learning generative design

Is this a sign of what future architecture and design will look like?

Future of APIs

It has far less humans involved than it does today.

One small step for man, one giant step for robot suit with man inside

Now this is pretty cool. The future is here everyone.

Algorithms: AI’s creepy control must be open to inspection

AI systems will need to have some sort of accountability in 2017. It’ll be interesting to see how we reach that.


Internet of Things

Is the Amazon Echo always listening?

Is the Amazon Echo always listening? How does it work? Does it store its recordings? If so, can you delete them? Does it really only send audio to Amazon after hearing the wake word? Here’s a detailed look.

Police seek Amazon Echo data in murder case

Mentioned in the article above — Police apparently were able to get account details and retrieve some data. No wiretapping or anything mentioned yet though.

There’s a new way to set your Amazon Echo’s time zone — is Alexa going global?

Outside the US or UK? You can now update your Echo’s time zone with two simple dropdowns! Here’s how. I hope it’s the first step of them releasing it beyond the US and UK in 2017!

Vlog #44: Experimenters Kit for Arduino ripped off by Duinotech / Jaycar

This video is from 2016 but I just came across it. So upsetting to see… Jaycar ripped off the Freetronics Experimenters Kit for Arduino that they used to sell and were selling their own version. Luckily, they pulled back on it after a petition and took it off shelves. Such a surprising story.

I made myself a smart mirror

An overview of how this guy put together his very own smart mirror — you could do the same with these details!

The five most exciting new features coming soon to Target Open House

Target Open House in San Fran is getting an update!

Scanadu to shut down support for its Scout device per FDA regulation and customers are mad

Kickstarter backers are really unhappy after paying money for an “18-month study”.

TrackR announces new trackers for finding your misplaced stuff

These look very handy. They’re thinner and more convenient!


Got questions on emerging tech as we start the new year? 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 New Year everyone!

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