How drones will change our retail experience, our cities and our skies


The acquisition of Whole Foods by Amazon has been the focus of much attention over the last week. And it’s not only retailers that are taking notice. With our increased desire for delivered goods, drone companies are looking toward Amazon as a way to shepherd in the use of drones in mainstream retail. Amazon is, in many respects, primed for success in such a market, especially with the creation of its Prime Air drone delivery platform. In March, Amazon completed its first public demonstration of drone deliveries, ferrying sunscreen to attendees at an Amazon-hosted conference in…Read More

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Facebook finally adds virtual reality app to the social network


Facebook has made its first move to integrate virtual reality onto the main social network, confirming that users of its VR app Spaces will now be able to broadcast themselves on a live video. Spaces is an Oculus-only app that lets users sit in a virtual room, chat to friends, watch videos, and draw. Facebook built it as a social environment for VR users, who primarily play video games. See Also: Oculus Rift price slashed for second time When the space is broadcast, non-VR viewers look in on the virtual room and send interactive comments. VR users can pick the comments up in the room and…Read More

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Bluetooth sharpens teeth for mesh networking flexibility


Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has added support for mesh networks, aimed at creating large-scale device networks for automation, sensor networks, and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. It is another update focused on making Bluetooth a more viable option for IoT and many-to-many device communications. Previous updates have included extended range, increased speed, and better power management. See Also: Could LPWA trump 5G and Mesh for smart cities? “By adding support for mesh networking, the member community is continuing a long history of focused innovation to help new,…Read More

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Is speech recognition software having a renaissance?

Voice recognition.

The past months have witnessed breakthrough announcements from Microsoft, IBM, and Google, all hitting new marks in speech recognition accuracy; they claim that the error rate has reached 5.1 percent — the word error rate of humans. Still, that doesn’t seem particularly accurate — the last time I spoke to a machine, I didn’t get the feeling that the recognition was nearly that good. Let’s review the next generation of speech technologies, how they are enabling new analytics, and the growing role of these insights for businesses to see whether the companies’ claims are…Read More

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Disney and Lenovo to sell Star Wars augmented reality headset


Disney and Lenovo are launching an augmented reality (AR) headset for Star Wars fans. The device, announced at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, will offer massive ground battles, alongside Holochess, the holographic game Chewbacca and C-3PO play aboard the Millennium Falcon. Hardware details are slim at the moment, all we know is the headset will require a smartphone, similar to Samsung’s Gear VR or Google’s Daydream View. See Also: iPhone 8 may include 3D laser to support AR apps Disney did announce a game for the headset, called Star Wars Jedi Challenges. Players will use a motion…Read More

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Elon Musk calls on governments to start regulating AI


Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has called on governments to proactively regulate artificial intelligence, before we arrive at the general purpose AI stage. Musk, who also founded non-profit AI research company OpenAI, has stated before his view that AI is an existential threat to humanity and he repeated the same warnings at the National Governors Association Summer Meeting on Saturday. See Also: Tesla to build world’s largest lithium-ion battery in South Australia “I have exposure to the most cutting edge AI, and I think people should be really concerned about it,” said Musk. “I keep…Read More

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Facebook to launch $200 virtual reality headset later this year

Oculus Rift.jpg

Facebook may be looking to sell a standalone virtual reality headset next year for $ 200, capable of working without a linked PC or mobile device. The unnamed device will be tailored to customers that cannot afford a high-spec PC or mobile, according to Bloomberg. The report did not say if the device will be a loss leader, bankrolled by Facebook in the hope of getting VR into more homes. See Also: VR/AR headset sales to reach 100 million by 2021, says IDC Even with the reduction in cost, Facebook is hoping that the VR headset will be able to power immersive games, alongside video and social…Read More

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5 effective and smart ways to do VR marketing today


If you’ve been following the exciting developments in virtual reality and the 360-degree video industry, you’ve probably noticed VR’s fragmented distribution experience. Today, more than 6 million major VR headset brands, including PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, and Google DayDream, have been sold. More than 88 million Google Cardboard units have been handed out to consumers. And over a billion smartphone users now can view 360-degree video experiences without headsets. See also: 3 rules on how to use VR data analytics for your product As a major VR…Read More

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3 rules on how to use VR data analytics for your product


You’ve heard about it in the office, read about it in the New York Times, and maybe even demoed it in the NYC Samsung store — virtual reality is here and is capturing the curiosity of consumers and transforming the way businesses operate. Marketers, gamers, teachers, entrepreneurs, producers, you name it — everyone wants a piece of the shiny new industry. Why now? See also: What brands need to know about AR and VR VR has been around for decades and yet, according to Google, search volume about the topic has increased by 400 percent in the past year alone. Vast technological…Read More

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iPhone 8 may include 3D laser to support AR apps


Apple is reportedly working hard to build a 3D laser into the rear of the iPhone 8, which would enable better depth detection for augmented reality applications. A source, speaking to Fast Company, said that the 3D lasers were intended for the 10th anniversary iPhone, coming this fall, but may be pushed back to the next iPhone in 2018. See also: Apple acquires German AR and eye-tracking company The 3D lasers would make sense, considering Apple’s ARkit announcement at WWDC 2017 in June. CEO Tim Cook has also said the company is focused on AR over VR, and have made some big predictions of…Read More

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