This week, we had a bunch of exciting new VR headsets revealed, VR also got a bit easier to afford as Oculus dropped its prices and Vive introduced a new payment plan. We also had news of a very poorly secured children’s toy and one tinkerer explains how you too can run Windows 98 on your Raspberry Pi!

The new Acer Microsoft VR headset, an insecure kids' toy and running Windows 98 on a Raspberry Pi

The new Acer Microsoft VR headset, a worryingly insecure kids’ toy and running Windows 98 on a Raspberry Pi!

AI With The Best

Sometimes conferences can be tough to get to. Luckily, this one is much easier to attend than most! You can attend without leaving your house! The online developer conference, AI With The Best, is on April 29th and we’ve got discounted tickets at the link above (or use the code WTBVIP).

 

Virtual Reality

Hands-on with Microsoft’s first Windows Holographic VR headset

The headset has inside out tracking (no need to place trackers in your room) and has the ability to flip up when you’re not using it. They seem to be shipping, but the only place I could find to register interest is here. Microsoft’s VR platform is also supposed to appear on Xbox next year.

LG’s VR headset might be PC Gamer’s new favorite

LG’s new VR headset partners with Valve to provide Vive-like VR headset with a higher resolution screen.

HTC’s new Vive payment plans diffuse the high cost of PC virtual reality

New US plans mean that for $66 a month & no-interest financing for 12 months, Americans can get a Vive with less of an upfront cash commitment.

Facebook’s Oculus cuts virtual reality headset price to spur sales

From $599 to $499 for the headset, from $199 to $99 for Touch controllers.

Charting the course for mobile VR

Leap Motion tech is new reference designs for Qualcomm mobile VR!

NVIDIA announces GTX 1080 Ti, purportedly 35% faster than GTX 1080 at $699

Graphics cards just keep getting more powerful!

Oculus’ Jason Rubin on wireless VR “the wrong direction for right now”

He believes that “hardware features such as wireless, while desirable, simply add to the cost of a product that is already considered too expensive”.

Learning web-based virtual reality: Build and deploy web-based virtual reality technology

Srushtika Neelakantam and Tanay Pant, both friends of Dev Diner, have put together a book on learning WebVR and it’s available for pre-order!

We’re finally getting some official HMD sale numbers!

PSVR: 915,000 shipped, Gear VR: 5,000,000 shipped. Huge numbers!

Game engine CEOs talk past each other when it comes to statistics

59% of VR devs use Unity, but devs have made more money with Unreal.

 

Augmented and Mixed Reality

What is Magic Leap really?

This is a fantastic look at what Magic Leap’s first headset is likely to be and why. Nice piece on AR overall.

See Microsoft’s HoloLens make a virtual art show in New York

HoloLens is appearing in all sorts of places now!

Alex Kipman insists HoloLens leads the way, others do not have what it takes to compete in mixed reality

He thinks it’s going to be tough for others to catch up.

 

Wearables

Fitbit proves heart rate monitors can be slim with new Alta HR

Fitbit say the Alta HR is the slimmest wristband with a pulse tracker.

Fitbit shipped more devices in 2016 than any other vendor

This is paired with an “all-time high” for global wearable shipments. Promising to see news like this, compared to the usual doom and gloom!

The wearables market is dead! However, someone forgot to tell the wearables market

This is the aforementioned news that the Fitbit news above is paired with! News around the impending death of wearables may be a little premature if this report is correct.

 

Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles and Robotics

How to telepathically tell a robot it screwed up

Now here’s a cool way to train robots!

Virginia is the first state to pass a law allowing robots to deliver straight to your door

They won’t be able to exceed 10 miles per hour or weigh over 50 pounds, but they can be autonomous. This is a huge step.

AI learns to write its own code by stealing from other programs

Sounds both promising and worrying at the same time!

Facebook Messenger adds option for chatbots to avoid chatting

Chatbots can now be set up with solely a menu for interaction, for times when typing isn’t too convenient.

Netflix’s new AI tweaks each scene individually to make video look good even on slow internet

This is a fascinating and great real world use of AI to make life better!

Report: Amazon plans to bring Alexa and cloud-based deep learning tools to call centers

I’m actually not sure if I’m keen on this idea. Didn’t we all just manage to start convincing businesses to have people on the other end of the line?

Five AI startup predictions for 2017

Some interesting predictions here!

Can an app that lets strangers — and bots — become amateur therapists create a safer internet?

A look at using emerging tech to identify people in need of support.

Facebook artificial intelligence spots suicidal users

Facebook are approaching the same concept as the app above. Good to see attempts to improve the situation, I just hope there’s a way to filter out false positives and do this with extreme care.

 

Internet of Things

Countering the dismal state of security in the Internet of Things

A true network security pro took some time to share his thoughts with me on how we can get much needed security into our IoT applications.

Data from connected CloudPets teddy bears leaked and ransomed, exposing kids’ voice messages

Troy Hunt looks at this in great detail. This is a perfect case of how NOT to do the IoT.

Google Home app update lets you see current alarms and timers, set their volume

You can avoid voice control and instead see it visually in the app.

Mastercard is embracing the Internet of Things while limiting where it runs programmatic ads

Mastercard is experimenting with ways to advertise on the IoT.

Classic Windows on a $35 computer: How to fire up Windows 3.1, 95, 98 and XP on your Raspberry Pi

It apparently doesn’t run too fast but it’s impressive that it runs at all!

Smart home proof of concept uses a Raspberry Pi to control air conditioner with HoloLens

Bringing the IoT and augmented reality together!

Moocall adds pregnant cows to the Internet of Things

This isn’t an area I saw coming in the evolving IoT ecosystem.

 


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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