This week, AWE 2017 brought a whole lot of exciting AR news, including Meta’s new AR Workspace operating environment! Apple announced their own news at WWDC, now supporting VR on the Mac, AR on iOS and bringing out their own Amazon Echo-style speaker. So much happening!

The HomePod speaker, Meta's Workspace and Apple's new ARKit

The HomePod speaker, Meta’s Workspace and Apple’s new ARKit

Hunting for emerging tech at CeBIT Australia 2017

Here are the emerging tech highlights we managed to find at CeBIT Australia 2017! Everything from robots to VR/AR… even floating heads! We had a lot of fun putting this video together!

 

Virtual Reality

Mozilla announces WebVR for Firefox 55

It will be released for all Firefox users by default on August 8th!

Apple adds external GPU support, now selling $599 VR development kit

Apple announced a new external GPU to power VR on Macs. It’s kinda… large, bulky and ridiculous looking to me.

SteamVR for MacOS: Beta available now

Steam, Unity and Unreal Engine will soon support bringing VR to the Mac. SteamVR has a Mac Beta available right now! This is good news at least for those who didn’t want to switch to Windows to do VR dev, despite the huge GPU mentioned above.

SteamVR now supports more (and less expensive) base stations

Valve made headlines today when Apple revealed the companies were working together to bring virtual reality and SteamVR to Mac computers, but the PC gaming company also quietly revealed some big changes to the way its VR system and devices like the HTC Vive work.

You’ll want to tighten the screws in your Vive when you install a deluxe audio head strap (updated)

Reports of damaged Vive HMDs are popping up online — at least two reviewers reported broken strap mounts.

Can spatial 3D audio reinvent live music?

Evolving tech and VR are finally making 3D audio a reality.

Samsung Gear VR (2017) review

The team at Wareable did a review of the latest Gear VR.

HTC Vive boss talks about the new emerging middle ground of VR

Wondering where HTC Vive see VR going? This was an interesting chat.

VR headsets could soon be half the size of the Oculus Rift

It does come with compromises in field of view at the moment though.

Oculus founder Palmer Luckey is developing border surveillance technology

If you’re wondering what he’s up to now, this is it!

 

 

Augmented and Mixed Reality

Meta cuts ribbon on new AR Workspace

Meta unveiled a new operating environment for augmented reality at AWE 2017 called Meta Workspace, its approach to an AR operating environment for day to day use. It won the Auggie Award Best-in-Show – AR category.

ZapWorks wins best authoring or publishing tool at AWE 2017!

Congrats Zappar team! This post talks about their ZapBox AR Google Cardboard-style headset launch too which happened at AWE 2017 too!

Apple unveils augmented reality developer platform ARKit

It will be part of iOS 11 and can do some cool things like dynamic lighting!

Hands-on with Apple’s augmented reality demo of Star Wars Holochess

Here’s an example of Apple’s AR tech. Lord of the Rings director, Peter Jackson, also showed an AR demo built using Unreal.

Pokemon Go looks even better with ARKit

Pokemon Go will be getting an update that uses ARKit on iOS.

Foxconn insiders leak Apple smart glasses and Siri speaker details

“The spectacles have been delayed until 2018 or 2019, and a 65% chance exists that ‘Project Mirrorshades’ is cancelled altogether”

Inexpensive kit offers augmented reality alternative to high-end headsets

The $30 Aryzon AR kit could be a cheaper alternative to AR and is available to pre-order on Kickstarter right now! It is an alternative approach to Zappar’s ZapBox solution to the same idea.

Epson reveal two new products in smart glasses line at Augmented World Expo

A new AR headset range that has less of a field of view but could be handy!

An update from Gary Garcia of Meta Augmented Reality

Wondering about your pre-order? Here’s an update on the current Meta 2 shipping status and a look at the challenges they’ve faced and resolved.

The best — and weirdest — things we saw at Augmented World Expo 2017

Wareable have a good summary of interesting things they saw at AWE2017.

 

Wearables

IDC report shows Fitbit sinking as wearable tech continues to soar

Wearables are growing in popularity but it’s not helping Fitbit just yet.

Told you that you were getting good sleep, says Fitbit

It’s not all bad news though — Fitbit sponsored a study that it says proves its fitness wearables can accurately track different stages of sleep.

Apple announces watchOS 4 with a Siri watchface, better coaching & more

The Apple Watch also is getting Toy Story watchfaces too by the way.

Smart buckle will turn your regular watch into a smartwatch

Don’t want to have a smartwatch but want the smarts?

 

Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles and Robotics

Human-level AI is right around the corner — or hundreds of years away

Various experts on the future of AI. Thoughts are mixed!

AI will be able to beat us at everything by 2060, say experts

The mixed predictions continue! It’s going to be a very different world soon.

Watch Google’s Igor Markov explain how to avoid the AI apocalypse

Handy advice that I can see being valuable soon. You know. In that aforementioned world above.

Researchers have created an AI that could read and react to emotions

A world in which this AI can analyse facial expressions to determine emotions.

Apple just leveled up the iPhone’s machine learning chops

One of the most underrated announcements at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference Monday was the company’s unveiling of Core ML, a programming framework designed to make it easier to run machine learning models on the company’s mobile devices.

AI can predict if you’ll die soon by examining your organs

This AI predicted patient mortality 69% of the time looking at CT scans.

Artificial intelligence in cardiac illness

So many great possibilities here around cardiac illness and AI.

Apple’s Siri to get a more expressive voice and on-the-spot translation

Apple used deep learning to create a more natural & expressive voice for Siri, it’ll also be a bit more context aware in relation to your calendar and can translate things for you.

SiriKit — finally an API for developers to access Siri

It’s available to use right here.

Anki’s cute Cozmo robot is coming to Canada in July

Pre-orders for the new Collector’s Edition Cozmo robot have begun.

The fight over voice: why tech’s top companies are battling it out to listen in

Buzzfeed looks at the voice assistant space.

Voiceitt lets people with speech impairments use voice-controlled technology

Amazon Echo-like devices aren’t easy for people with speech impairments.

Essential cheat sheets for machine learning and deep learning engineers

Could be handy for devs building AI!

 

Internet of Things

This team wanted a 3D scanner, so they built their own

EORA 3D have built an inexpensive smartphone-based portable 3D scanner!

Essential Home is an Amazon Echo competitor that puts privacy first

Essential Home can be activated with a question, a tap, or even a “glance”.

Surprise! The HomePod actually sounds incredible

We expected Apple’s attempt in this space to do well in terms of audio quality and this Engadget review says it makes the Echo sound like AM radio. VentureBeat have more details on the extra smarts that Siri is gaining.

Flick!

Swipe, tap or flick your wrist to control your Raspberry Pi with a range of 3D tracking and gesture boards!

Nest announces “zoom and enhance” indoor security camera

Nest now has a security camera in its line up.

Espruino: The challenges of running an open source hardware and software company

A lot of very good lessons in this piece!

Build an Arduino guitar pedal stompbox

Got a guitar and need a stompbox? Why not make your own?

Rise of the machines: who is the Internet of Things good for?

The Guardian assesses our IoT future.

 


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