This week was a big one! One company claims they can make a VR headset with “human eye resolution”, Microsoft’s AI reached the maximum possible score on Ms. Pac-Man, we finally have brightly coloured chicken and bear themed smart speakers on the way from Line and — most excitingly of all — Mario Kart VR is coming exclusively to an arcade in Japan. Book those flights!

VR resolution comparison, Line smart speakers, Ms. Pac-Man and a Mario Kart VR seat

Super high res VR, the brightest smart speakers around, AI defeats the game of Ms. Pac-Man and MARIO KART VR!

Virtual Reality

Mario Kart is officially coming to VR

Sadly, you’ll need to go to a VR arcade in Tokyo but… it looks so good.

Varjo promises a VR headset with ‘human eye-resolution’

They claim a 70 megapixel resolution! If true… this is HUGE.

I tried Intel’s true wireless VR, and now I refuse to go back to cables

A very promising review of Intel’s wireless Vive accessory.

Apelab and Technicolour team up for development of VR and AR content

Their SpatialStories platform will help new VR and AR development.

Hot and cold: Heatmaps in VR

Google are providing heatmaps for creator analytics in their 360 video content on YouTube. Could be useful to see where people are looking in your vids.

VirZoom’s mobile sensor uses Gear VR to turn normal bikes into VR workout machines

The team at VirZoom have brought their desktop-based VR exercise bike system to mobile VR! We spoke with them a while back, great team!

Engadget at E3: How video games and film are merging inside VR

“Door No. 1” on Hulu will let players direct the action.

See the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR in these new screenshots

The PlayStation VR version of the game got high praise here!

Sony held back on PlayStation VR marketing because of supply issues

Apparently, a big marketing push for PlayStation VR is coming soon.


Augmented and Mixed Reality

Apple just created, and killed, a generation of AR businesses

Regular readers of the newsletter are likely to have been anticipating this very thing for a while. It looks like Apple might indeed be on this path!

Magic Leap founder says launch ‘not far away’

Manufacturing of production units is underway but still has to pass hardware, software and operational quality checks.

Jesse Schell (CEO, Schell Games): Updates from the Future

This talk from Inspire Track at AWE USA 2017 looks at the future of AR.

Area learning with multi-markers in AR.js

How to use multiple markers for a larger and more stable augmented reality.

How to make consumers understand VR/AR

Sophia believes that the medium overall should be called “Immersive”.

IKEA plans to improve AR shopping tools with help from Apple

Apple’s AR expansion is moving quickly huh?

Virtual reality telescope by the Seine shows off medieval Paris

Location-based AR/VR transports people back to the year 1628.

Emirates airline sets sights on augmented reality glasses

It’ll display a passenger’s name and travel habits. Different to Air New Zealand’s reading passenger emotions with the HoloLens.



The best Android Wear smartwatch: LG, Tag Heuer, Huawei, ASUS, Polar and more

Confused by all the smartwatches? Wareable have updated their top picks.

ZTE Quartz review: missing a few features, but impressive value

A look at another of the options out there in Android Wear land.

Armani is the latest designer to take a chance on Android Wear

So many choices in Android Wear’s ecosystem by this point!


Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles and Robotics

Teaching the joys of STEM with robots and multiplayer programming

StarLAB is a fantastic Raspberry Pi-powered kit designed to help students get a start in robotics!

AI killed 800,000 jobs in the UK, but created 3.5 million new ones

Hopefully good signs for our AI-powered future, if this is actually true.

Divide and conquer: How Microsoft researchers used AI to master Ms. Pac-Man

They used reinforcement learning to play the Atari 2600 version of Ms. Pac-Man perfectly and achieve the maximum score possible of 999,990.

Google releases new TensorFlow object detection API

Google has a new TensorFlow object detection API!

Google advances AI with ‘one model to learn them all’

Google quietly released an academic paper on how to create “a single machine learning model that can address multiple tasks well”.

Google will invest in machine learning to help it better tackle terrorist content

They’ll also employ more staff to keep an eye on things.

Facebook teaches machines to negotiate with humans

Their open-source research AI unexpectedly created its own unique language.

Facebook’s AI crosses language barrier to assist in Spanish

Facebook’s AI teams have had a productive week!

Computers are starting to reason like humans

New AI beats humans at understanding relationships between objects.

AI on your lock screen

The lock screen is fast becoming how people get info, good AI will take advantage of this — consider it when building any mobile AI apps!

Airbnb VP talks about AI’s profound impact on profits

AI is “pretty much the only tech breakthrough in the past decade, maybe even longer, that demonstrates touchable, tasteable, real-life, concrete, measurable ROI”.

What connected car makers can learn from the IoT sector

This is part two, if you haven’t read part one, it is here.

Facebook hires Siri natural language understanding chief from Apple

Yikes. Apple’s Siri team lost its head of natural language understanding.

Apple didn’t discover AI in 2017. it just started talking about it more

So hopefully, there’s plenty more smart people working on AI over there!

Japan’s answer to the Amazon Echo comes in ‘bear’ or ‘chicken’

Japanese messenger, Line, is making their own Echo competitor.

Tim Cook spills the beans on Apple’s autonomous car plans

They haven’t completely shut it down like others reported a while back.

How figure 1, the “Instagram for Doctors” app, plans to introduce AI

It uses machine learning to analyse medical data.

Assemble a robot opponent for air hockey

Use this kit and your Android phone to build a robot air hockey opponent.

This robot-powered restaurant is one step closer to putting fast-food workers out of a job

Advancements in robotics will be reaching our fast food soon.


Internet of Things

Amazon’s new dirt-cheap gadget is a trojan horse built to beat Google and invade your home

Amazon has launched The Dash Wand, a new US$20 handheld barcode scanner that adds things to your Amazon cart. It also comes with Alexa.

New houses will have Alexa and Wi-Fi built into the walls

What a world we shall live in!

Inside Adafruit, the open-source manufacturing maker champions

A great look at how Adafruit came about.

Tech heads create free Internet network to ‘future proof’ Perth

Partnering with The Things Network, they’ll be putting LoRa platforms all around their town!

Headless Raspbian for Raspberry Pi

Want to set up Raspbian on your Pi without needing a monitor and mouse? Subhajit has a tool in development to do just that! Very cool.

One button restart of a stalled Raspberry Pi Zero W

Handy! “Avoid SD card corruption on a non-responsive Pi using an Arduino to log into the serial console and restart your Pi from the root account.”

Amazon Echo’s huge success actually bodes well for Apple’s HomePod debut

Will Apple’s “smart speaker” enter into homes worldwide on mass?

IoT spending to surpass $800 billion in 2017, led by hardware

By 2021, global IoT spending is expected to total nearly $1.4 trillion, according to one research firm.


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