Three AI and machine learning predictions for 2019 — from forbes.com by Daniel Newman

Excerpt:

What could we potentially see next year? New and innovative uses for machine learning? Further evolution of human and machine interaction? The rise of AI assistants? Let’s dig deeper into AI and machine learning predictions for the coming months.

 

2019 will be a year of development for the AI assistant, showing us just how powerful and useful these tools are. It will be in more places than your home and your pocket too. Companies such as Kia and Hyundai are planning to include AI assistants in their vehicles starting in 2019. Sign me up for a new car! I’m sure that Google, Apple, and Amazon will continue to make advancements to their AI assistants making our lives even easier.

 

 

DeepMind AI matches health experts at spotting eye diseases — from endgadget.com by Nick Summers

Excerpt:

DeepMind has successfully developed a system that can analyze retinal scans and spot symptoms of sight-threatening eye diseases. Today, the AI division — owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet — published “early results” of a research project with the UK’s Moorfields Eye Hospital. They show that the company’s algorithms can quickly examine optical coherence tomography (OCT) scans and make diagnoses with the same accuracy as human clinicians. In addition, the system can show its workings, allowing eye care professionals to scrutinize the final assessment.

 

 

Microsoft and Amazon launch Alexa-Cortana public preview for Echo speakers and Windows 10 PCs — from venturebeat.com by Khari Johnson

Excerpt:

Microsoft and Amazon will bring Alexa and Cortana to all Echo speakers and Windows 10 users in the U.S. [on 8/15/18]. As part of a partnership between the Seattle-area tech giants, you can say “Hey Cortana, open Alexa” to Windows 10 PCs and “Alexa, open Cortana” to a range of Echo smart speakers.

The public preview bringing the most popular AI assistant on PCs together with the smart speaker with the largest U.S. market share will be available to most people today but will be rolled out to all users in the country over the course of the next week, a Microsoft spokesperson told VentureBeat in an email.

Each of the assistants brings unique features to the table. Cortana, for example, can schedule a meeting with Outlook, create location-based reminders, or draw on LinkedIn to tell you about people in your next meeting. And Alexa has more than 40,000 voice apps or skills made to tackle a broad range of use cases.

 

 

What Alexa can and cannot do on a PC — from venturebeat.com by Khari Johnson

Excerpt:

Whatever happened to the days of Alexa just being known as a black cylindrical speaker? Since the introduction of the first Echo in fall 2014, Amazon’s AI assistant has been embedded in a number of places, including car infotainment systems, Alexa smartphone apps, wireless headphones, Echo Show and Fire tablets, Fire TV Cube for TV control, the Echo Look with an AI-powered fashion assistant, and, in recent weeks, personal computers.

Select computers from HP, Acer, and others now make Alexa available to work seamlessly alongside Microsoft’s Cortana well ahead of the Alexa-Cortana partnership for Echo speakers and Windows 10 devices, a project that still has no launch date.

 

 

8 great iPad audio recording apps for teachers & students — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

For those of you asking about audio recording apps to use on iPad, here is a list of some of the best options out there. Whether you want to record a lecture, an audio note, a memo, or simply capture ideas and thoughts as they happen, the apps below provide you with the necessary technology to do so, and in the easiest and most effective way.

 

The title of this article being linked to is: Augmented and virtual reality mean business: Everything you need to know

 

Augmented and virtual reality mean business: Everything you need to know — from zdnet by Greg Nichols
An executive guide to the technology and market drivers behind the hype in AR, VR, and MR.

Excerpt:

Overhyped by some, drastically underestimated by others, few emerging technologies have generated the digital ink like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR).  Still lumbering through the novelty phase and roller coaster-like hype cycles, the technologies are only just beginning to show signs of real world usefulness with a new generation of hardware and software applications aimed at the enterprise and at end users like you. On the line is what could grow to be a $108 billion AR/VR industry as soon as 2021. Here’s what you need to know.

 

The reason is that VR environments by nature demand a user’s full attention, which make the technology poorly suited to real-life social interaction outside a digital world. AR, on the other hand, has the potential to act as an on-call co-pilot to everyday life, seamlessly integrating into daily real-world interactions. This will become increasingly true with the development of the AR Cloud.

The AR Cloud
Described by some as the world’s digital twin, the AR Cloud is essentially a digital copy of the real world that can be accessed by any user at any time.

For example, it won’t be long before whatever device I have on me at a given time (a smartphone or wearable, for example) will be equipped to tell me all I need to know about a building just by training a camera at it (GPS is operating as a poor-man’s AR Cloud at the moment).

What the internet is for textual information, the AR Cloud will be for the visible world. Whether it will be open source or controlled by a company like Google is a hotly contested issue.

 

Augmented reality will have a bigger impact on the market and our daily lives than virtual reality — and by a long shot. That’s the consensus of just about every informed commentator on the subject.

 

 

 

Mixed reality will transform learning (and Magic Leap joins act one) — from edsurge.com by Maya Georgieva

Excerpt:

Despite all the hype in recent years about the potential for virtual reality in education, an emerging technology known as mixed reality has far greater promise in and beyond the classroom.

Unlike experiences in virtual reality, mixed reality interacts with the real world that surrounds us. Digital objects become part of the real world. They’re not just digital overlays, but interact with us and the surrounding environment.

If all that sounds like science fiction, a much-hyped device promises some of those features later this year. The device is by a company called Magic Leap, and it uses a pair of goggles to project what the company calls a “lightfield” in front of the user’s face to make it look like digital elements are part of the real world. The expectation is that Magic Leap will bring digital objects in a much more vivid, dynamic and fluid way compared to other mixed-reality devices such as Microsoft’s Hololens.

 

The title of the article being linked to here is Mixed reality will transform learning (and Magic Leap joins act one)

 

Now think about all the other things you wished you had learned this way and imagine a dynamic digital display that transforms your environment and even your living room or classroom into an immersive learning lab. It is learning within a highly dynamic and visual context infused with spatial audio cues reacting to your gaze, gestures, gait, voice and even your heartbeat, all referenced with your geo-location in the world. Unlike what happens with VR, where our brain is tricked into believing the world and the objects in it are real, MR recognizes and builds a map of your actual environment.

 

 

 

Also see:

virtualiteach.com
Exploring The Potential for the Vive Focus in Education

 

virtualiteach.com

 

 

 

Digital Twins Doing Real World Work — from stambol.com

Excerpt:

On the big screen it’s become commonplace to see a 3D rendering or holographic projection of an industrial floor plan or a mechanical schematic. Casual viewers might take for granted that the technology is science fiction and many years away from reality. But today we’re going to outline where these sophisticated virtual replicas – Digital Twins – are found in the real world, here and now. Essentially, we’re talking about a responsive simulated duplicate of a physical object or system. When we first wrote about Digital Twin technology, we mainly covered industrial applications and urban infrastructure like transit and sewers. However, the full scope of their presence is much broader, so now we’re going to break it up into categories.

 

The title of the article being linked to here is Digital twins doing real world work

 

Digital twin — from Wikipedia

Digital twin refers to a digital replica of physical assets (physical twin), processes and systems that can be used for various purposes.[1] The digital representation provides both the elements and the dynamics of how an Internet of Things device operates and lives throughout its life cycle.[2]

Digital twins integrate artificial intelligence, machine learning and software analytics with data to create living digital simulation models that update and change as their physical counterparts change. A digital twin continuously learns and updates itself from multiple sources to represent its near real-time status, working condition or position. This learning system, learns from itself, using sensor data that conveys various aspects of its operating condition; from human experts, such as engineers with deep and relevant industry domain knowledge; from other similar machines; from other similar fleets of machines; and from the larger systems and environment in which it may be a part of. A digital twin also integrates historical data from past machine usage to factor into its digital model.

In various industrial sectors, twins are being used to optimize the operation and maintenance of physical assets, systems and manufacturing processes.[3] They are a formative technology for the Industrial Internet of Things, where physical objects can live and interact with other machines and people virtually.[4]

 

 

Disney to debut its first VR short next month — from techcrunch.com by Sarah Wells

Excerpt:

Walt Disney Animation Studio is set to debut its first VR short film, Cycles, this August in Vancouver, the Association for Computing Machinery announced today. The plan is for it to be a headliner at the ACM’s computer graphics conference (SIGGRAPH), joining other forms of VR, AR and MR entertainment in the conference’s designated Immersive Pavilion.

This film is a first for both Disney and its director, Jeff Gipson, who joined the animation team in 2013 to work as a lighting artist on films like Frozen, Zootopia and Moana. The objective of this film, Gipson said in the statement released by ACM, is to inspire a deep emotional connection with the story.

“We hope more and more people begin to see the emotional weight of VR films, and with Cycles in particular, we hope they will feel the emotions we aimed to convey with our story,” said Gipson.

 

 

 

 

 

Computers that never forget a face — from Future Today Institute

Excerpts:

In August, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection will roll out new technology that will scan the faces of drivers as they enter and leave the United States. For years, accomplishing that kind of surveillance through a car windshield has been difficult. But technology is quickly advancing. This system, activated by ambient light sensors, range finders and remote speedometers, uses smart cameras and AI-powered facial recognition technology to compare images in government files with people behind the wheel.

Biometric borders are just the beginning. Faceprints are quickly becoming our new fingerprints, and this technology is marching forward with haste. Faceprints are now so advanced that machine learning algorithms can recognize your unique musculatures and bone structures, capillary systems, and expressions using thousands of data points. All the features that make up a unique face are being scanned, captured and analyzed to accurately verify identities. New hairstyle? Plastic surgery? They don’t interfere with the technology’s accuracy.

Why you should care. Faceprints are already being used across China for secure payments. Soon, they will be used to customize and personalize your digital experiences. Our Future Today Institute modeling shows myriad near-future applications, including the ability to unlock your smart TV with your face. Retailers will use your face to personalize your in-store shopping experience. Auto manufacturers will start using faceprints to detect if drivers are under the influence of drugs or alcohol and prevent them from driving. It’s plausible that cars will soon detect if a driver is distracted and take the wheel using an auto-pilot feature. On a diet but live with others? Stash junk food in a drawer and program the lock to restrict your access. Faceprints will soon create opportunities for a wide range of sectors, including military, law enforcement, retail, manufacturing and security. But as with all technology, faceprints could lead to the loss of privacy and widespread surveillance.

It’s possible for both risk and opportunity to coexist. The point here is not alarmist hand-wringing, or pointless calls for cease-and-desist demands on the development and use of faceprint technology. Instead, it’s to acknowledge an important emerging trend––faceprints––and to think about the associated risks and opportunities for you and your organization well in advance. Approach biometric borders and faceprints with your (biometrically unique) eyes wide open.

Near-Futures Scenarios (2018 – 2028):

OptimisticFaceprints make us safer, and they bring us back to physical offices and stores.  

Pragmatic: As faceprint adoption grows, legal challenges mount. 
In April, a U.S. federal judge ruled that Facebook must confront a class-action lawsuit that alleges its faceprint technology violates Illinois state privacy laws. Last year, a U.S. federal judge allowed a class-action suit to go forth against Shutterfly, claiming the company violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, which ensures companies receive written releases before collecting biometric data, including faces. Companies and device manufacturers, who are early developers but late to analyzing legal outcomes, are challenged to balance consumer privacy with new security benefits.

CatastrophicFaceprints are used for widespread surveillance and authoritative control.

 

 

 

How AI is helping sports teams scout star play — from nbcnews.com by Edd Gent
Professional baseball, basketball and hockey are among the sports now using AI to supplement traditional coaching and scouting.

 

 

 

Preparing students for workplace of the future  — from educationdive.com by Shalina Chatlani

Excerpt:

The workplace of the future will be marked by unprecedentedly advanced technologies, as well as a focus on incorporating artificial intelligence to drive higher levels of production with fewer resources. Employers and education stakeholders, noting the reality of this trend, are turning a reflective eye toward current students and questioning whether they will be workforce ready in the years to come.

This has become a significant concern for higher education executives, who find their business models could be disrupted as they fail to meet workforce demands. A 2018 Gallup-Northeastern University survey shows that of 3,297 U.S. citizens interviewed, only 22% with a bachelor’s degree said their education left them “well” or “very well prepared” to use AI in their jobs.

In his book “Robot-Proof: Higher Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence,” Northeastern University President Joseph Aoun argued that for higher education to adapt advanced technologies, it has to focus on life-long learning, which he said says prepares students for the future by fostering purposeful integration of technical literacies, such as coding and data literacy, with human literacies, such as creativity, ethics, cultural agility and entrepreneurship.

“When students combine these literacies with experiential components, they integrate their knowledge with real life settings, leading to deep learning,” Aoun told Forbes.

 

 

Amazon’s A.I. camera could help people with memory loss recognize old friends and family — from cnbc.com by Christina Farr

  • Amazon’s DeepLens is a smart camera that can recognize objects in front of it.
  • One software engineer, Sachin Solkhan, is trying to figure out how to use it to help people with memory loss.
  • Users would carry the camera to help them recognize people they know.

 

 

Microsoft acquired an AI startup that helps it take on Google Duplex — from qz.com by Dave Gershgorn

Excerpt:

We’re going to talk to our technology, and everyone else’s too. Google proved that earlier this month with a demonstration of artificial intelligence that can hop on the phone to book a restaurant reservation or appointment at the hair salon.

Now it’s just a matter of who can build that technology fastest. To reach that goal, Microsoft has acquired conversational AI startup Semantic Machines for an undisclosed amount. Founded in 2014, the startup’s goal was to build AI that can converse with humans through speech or text, with the ability to be trained to converse on any language or subject.

 

 

Researchers developed an AI to detect DeepFakes — from thenextweb.com by Tristan Greene

Excerpt:

A team of researchers from the State University of New York (SUNY) recently developed a method for detecting whether the people in a video are AI-generated. It looks like DeepFakes could meet its match.

What it means: Fear over whether computers will soon be able to generate videos that are indistinguishable from real footage may be much ado about nothing, at least with the currently available methods.

The SUNY team observed that the training method for creating AI that makes fake videos involves feeding it images – not video. This means that certain human physiological quirks – like breathing and blinking – don’t show up in computer-generated videos. So they decided to build an AI that uses computer vision to detect blinking in fake videos.

 

 

Bringing It Down To Earth: Four Ways Pragmatic AI Is Being Used Today — from forbes.com by Carlos Melendez

Excerpt:

Without even knowing it, we are interacting with pragmatic AI day in and day out. It is used in the automated chatbots that answer our calls and questions and the customer service rep that texts with us on a retail site, providing a better and faster customer experience.

Below are four key categories of pragmatic AI and ways they are being applied today.

1. Speech Recognition And Natural Language Processing (NLP)
2. Predictive Analytics
3. Image Recognition And Computer Vision
4. Self-Driving Cars And Robots

 

 

Billable Hour ‘Makes No Sense’ in an AI World — from biglawbusiness.com by Helen Gunnarsson

Excerpt:

Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the practice of law, and “data is the new oil” of the legal industry, panelist Dennis Garcia said at a recent American Bar Association conference.Garcia is an assistant general counsel for Microsoft in Chicago. Robert Ambrogi, a Massachusetts lawyer and blogger who focuses on media, technology, and employment law, moderated the program.“The next generation of lawyers is going to have to understand how AI works” as part of the duty of competence, panelist Anthony E. Davis told the audience. Davis is a partner with Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in New York.

Davis said AI will result in dramatic changes in law firms’ hiring and billing, among other things. The hourly billing model, he said, “makes no sense in a universe where what clients want is judgment.” Law firms should begin to concern themselves not with the degrees or law schools attended by candidates for employment but with whether they are “capable of developing judgment, have good emotional intelligence, and have a technology background so they can be useful” for long enough to make hiring them worthwhile, he said.

 

 

Deep Learning Tool Tops Dermatologists in Melanoma Detection — from healthitanalytics.com
A deep learning tool achieved greater accuracy than dermatologists when detecting melanoma in dermoscopic images.

 

 

Apple’s plans to bring AI to your phone — from wired.com by Tom Simonite

Excerpt:

HomeCourt is built on tools announced by Federighi last summer, when he launched Apple’s bid to become a preferred playground for AI-curious developers. Known as Core ML, those tools help developers who’ve trained machine learning algorithms deploy them on Apple’s mobile devices and PCs.

At Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference on Monday, Federighi revealed the next phase of his plan to enliven the app store with AI. It’s a tool called Create ML that’s something like a set of training wheels for building machine learning models in the first place. In a demo, training an image-recognition algorithm to distinguish different flavors of ice cream was as easy as dragging and dropping a folder containing a few dozen images and waiting a few seconds. In a session for developers, Apple engineers suggested Create ML could teach software to detect whether online comments are happy or angry, or predict the quality of wine from characteristics such as acidity and sugar content. Developers can use Create ML now but can’t ship apps using the technology until Apple’s latest operating systems arrive later this year.

 

 

 

Seek launches world’s first mobile Augmented Reality (AR) creation studio — from globenewswire.com
All Mobile Phone Users Can Now Create, Publish and Discover AR Experiences

Excerpt:

Lehi, UT, May 29, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, fast-growing augmented reality startup, Seek, is launching Seek Studio, the world’s first mobile augmented reality studio, allowing anybody with a phone and no coding expertise required, to create their own AR experiences and publish them for the world to see. With mobile AR now made more readily available, average consumers are beginning to discover the magic that AR can bring to the palm of their hand, and Seek Studio turns everyone into a creator.

To make the process incredibly easy, Seek provides templates for users to create their first AR experiences. As an example, a user can select a photo on their phone, outline the portion of the image they want turned into a 3D object and then publish it to Seek. They will then be able to share it with their friends through popular social networks or text. A brand could additionally upload a 3D model of their product and publish it to Seek, providing an experience for their customers to easily view that content in their own home. Seek Studio will launch with 6 templates and will release new ones every few days over the coming months to constantly improve the complexity and types of experiences possible to create within the platform.

 

Apple unveils new AR file format and ARKit 2.0 — from enturebeat.com by Stephanie Chan

Excerpt:

Apple unveiled its new augmented reality file format, as well as ARKit 2.0, at its annual WWDC developer conference today. Both will be available to users later this year with iOS 12.

The tech company partnered with Pixar to develop the AR file format Universal Scene Description (USDZ) to streamline the process of sharing and accessing augmented reality files. USDZ will be compatible with tools like Adobe, Autodesk, Sketchfab, PTC, and Quixel. Adobe CTO Abhay Parasnis spoke briefly on stage about how the file format will have native Adobe Creative Cloud support, and described it as the first time “you’ll be able to have what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) editing” for AR objects.

 

HTC’s New Vive Focus Headset Locker Aims to Put VR at the Forefront of Education in China — from oadtovr.com by Scott Hayden

With a starting focus on University-level education and vocational schools in sectors such as mechanical engineering, VivEdu branched out to K-12 education in 2018, boasting a comprehensive VR approach to learning science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and art for kids.

 

Apple takes augmented-reality gaming to the ‘next level’ with Lego and slingshot apps — from businessinsider.com by Isobel Asher Hamilton

Excerpt:

  • Apple hopes to take augmented-reality gaming to the “next level” with multiplayer apps.
  • The company used its developer’s conference to showcase Lego and slingshot games, built using its new and improved AR building software ARKit 2.
  • The Lego game allows you to create virtual worlds around your real-life Lego builds.

 

Apple Swift Shot hands-on — augmented reality goes multiplayer with ARKit 2.0 — from venturebeat.com by Dean Takahasjo

 

 

Apple’s new AR features are proof that wearables are coming — from wired.com by Peter Rubin

Excerpt:

That roadmap, of course, is just beginning. Which is where the developers—and those arm’s-length iPads—come in. “They’re pushing AR onto phones to make sure they’re a winner when the headsets come around,” Miesnieks says of Apple. “You can’t wait for headsets and then quickly do 10 years’ worth of R&D on the software.”

 

Adobe’s Project Aero will let designers easily create AR content using existing Creative Cloud tools — from 9to5mac.comby Michael Steeber

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

To fully realize the potential will require a broad ecosystem. Adobe is partnering with technology leaders to standardize interaction models and file formats in the rapidly growing AR ecosystem. We’re also working with leading platform vendors, open standards efforts like usdz and glTF as well as media companies and the creative community to deliver a comprehensive AR offering. usdz is now supported by Apple, Adobe, Pixar and many others while glTF is supported by Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Adobe and other industry leaders.

 

Create Floor Plans With IStaging VR Maker — from vrfocus.com by Rebecca Hills-Duty
Virtual tour app utilises ARKit technology to easily create floor plans.

Excerpt:

There are a number of professionals who would find the ability to quickly and easily create floor plans to be extremely useful. Estate agents, interior designers and event organisers would all no doubt find such a capability to be extremely valuable. For those users, the new feature added to iStaging’s VR Maker app might be of considerable interest.

The new VR Maker feature utilises Apple’s ARKit toolset to recognise spaces, such as walls and floors and can provide accurate measurements. By scanning each wall of a space, a floor plan can be produced quickly and easily.

 

 

Where is VR headed? Investors share insights on the industry’s trajectory — fromventurebeat.com by Michael Park

Excerpt:

I’ve interviewed nine investors who have provided their insights on where the VR industry has come, as well as the risks and opportunities that exist in 2018 and beyond. We’ve asked them what opportunities are available in the space — and what tips they have for startups.

 

Can this explosion-proof AR headset change how industries do business? — from digitaltrends.com by Christian de Looper

Excerpt:

Augmented reality (AR) hasn’t truly permeated the mainstream consciousness yet, but the technology is swiftly being adopted by global industries. It’ll soon be unsurprising to find a pair of AR glasses strapped to a helmet sitting on the heads of service workers, and RealWear, a company at the forefront on developing these headsets, thinks it’s on the edge of something big.

VOICE ACTIVATION
What’s most impressive about the RealWear HMT-1Z1 is how you control it. There’s no touch-sensitive gestures you need to learn — it’s all managed with voice, and better yet, there’s no need for a hotword like “Hey Google.” The headset listens for certain commands. For example, from the home screen just say “show my files” to see files downloaded to the device, and you can go back to the home screen by saying “navigate home.” When you’re looking at documents — like schematics — you can say “zoom in” or “zoom out” to change focus. It worked almost flawlessly, even in a noisy environment like the AWE show floor.

 

How Augmented and Virtual Reality (AVR) Can Benefit the Aviation Industry — from eonreality.com

Excerpt:

David Scowsill‘s experience in the aviation industry spans over 30 years. He has worked for British Airways, American Airlines, Easy Jet, Manchester Airport, and most recently the World Travel and Tourism Council, giving him a unique perspective on how Augmented and Virtual Reality (AVR) can impact the aviation industry.

These technologies have the power to transform the entire aviation industry, providing benefits to companies and consumers. From check-in, baggage drop, ramp operations and maintenance, to pilots and flight attendants, AVR can accelerate training, improve safety, and increase efficiency.

 

This VR project shows us how animals see the world — from thenextweb.com by Ailsa Sherrington

Excerpt:

London-based design studio Marshmallow Laser Feast is using VR to let us reconnect with nature. With headsets, you can see a forest through the eyes of different animals and experience the sensations they feel. Creative Director Ersinhan Ersin took the stage at TNW Conference last week to show us how and why they created the project, titled In the Eyes of the Animal.

 

The Future of AR/VR Headset Design is Hybrid — from medium.com by Christine Hart

Excerpt:

Have you already taken a side when it comes to XR wearables? Whether you prefer AR glasses or VR headsets likely depends on the application you need. But wouldn’t it be great to have a device that could perform as both? As XR tech advances, we think crossovers will start popping up around the world.

A Beijing startup called AntVR recently rocketed past its Kickstarter goal for an AR/VR visor. Their product, the Mix, uses tinted lenses to toggle between real world overlay and full immersion. It’s an exciting prospect. But rather than digging into the tech (or the controversy surrounding their name, their marketing, and a certain Marvel character) we’re looking at what this means for how XR devices are developed and sold.

 

Google Expeditions app now offers augmented reality tours — from techcrunch.com by Lucas Matney

Excerpt:

Google is bringing AR tech to its Expeditions app with a new update going live today. Last year, the company introduced its GoogleExpeditions AR Pioneer Program, which brought the app into classrooms across the country; with this launch the functionality is available to all.

Expeditions will have more than 100 AR tours in addition to the 800 VR tours already available. Examples include experiences that let users explore Leonardo Da Vinci’s inventions and ones that let you interact with the human skeletal system.

 

VR Wave Breaking Outside The Home — from forbes.com by Charlie Fink

Excerpt:

At four recent VR conferences and events there was a palpable sense that despite new home VR devices getting the majority of marketing and media attention this year, the immediate promise and momentum is in the location-based VR (LBVR) attractions industry. The VR Arcade Conference (April 29th and 30th), VRLA (May 4th and 5th), the Digital Entertainment Group’s May meeting (May 1), and FoIL (Future of Immersive Leisure, May 16th and 17th) all highlighted a topic that suddenly no one can stop talking about: location-based VR (LBVR). With hungry landlords giving great deals for empty retail locations, VRcades, which are inexpensive to open (like Internet Cafes), are popping up all over the country. As a result, VRcade royalties for developers are on the rise, so they are shifting their attention accordingly to shorter experiences optimized for LBVR, which is much less expensive than building a VR app for the home.

 

 

 

 

 

Below are some excerpted slides from her presentation…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also see:

  • 20 important takeaways for learning world from Mary Meeker’s brilliant tech trends – from donaldclarkplanb.blogspot.com by Donald Clark
    Excerpt:
    Mary Meeker’s slide deck has a reputation of being the Delphic Oracle of tech. But, at 294 slides it’s a lot to take in. Don’t worry, I’ve been through them all. It has tons on economic stuff that is of marginal interest to education and training but there’s plenty to to get our teeth into. We’re not immune to tech trends, indeed we tend to follow in lock-step, just a bit later than everyone else. Among the data are lots of fascinating insights that point the way forward in terms of what we’re likely to be doing over the next decade. So here’s a really quick, top-end summary for folk in the learning game.

 

“Educational content usage online is ramping fast” with over 1 billion daily educational videos watched. There is evidence that use of the Internet for informal and formal learning is taking off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Big Takeaways From Mary Meeker’s Widely-Read Internet Report — from fortune.com by  Leena Rao

 

 

 

 

An AI Bot for the Teacher — with thanks to Karthik Reddy for this resource

Artificial intelligence is the stuff of science fiction – if you are old enough, you will remember those Terminator movies a good few years ago, where mankind was systematically being wiped out by computers.

The truth is that AI, though not quite at Terminator level yet, is already a fact and something that most of us have encountered already. If you have ever used the virtual assistant on your phone or the Ask Google feature, you have used AI.

Some companies are using it as part of their sales and marketing strategies. An interesting example is Lowe’s Home Improvement that, instead of chatbots, uses actual robots into their physical stores. These robots are capable of helping customers locate products that they’re interested in, taking a lot of the guesswork out of the entire shopping experience.

Of course, there are a lot of different potential applications for AI that are very interesting. Imagine an AI teaching assistant, for example. They could help grade papers, fact check and assist with lesson planning, etc., all to make our harassed teachers’ lives a little easier.

Chatbots could be programmed as tutors to help kids better understand core topics if they are struggling with them, ensuring that they don’t hold the rest of the class up. And, for kids who have a real affinity with the subject, help them learn more about what they are interested in.

It could also help enhance long distance training.  Imagine if your students could get instant answers to basic questions through a simple chatbot. Sure, if they were still not getting it, they would come through to you – the chatbot cannot replace a real, live, teacher after all. But it could save you a lot of time and frustration.

Here, of course, we have only skimmed the surface of what artificial intelligence is capable of. Why not look through this infographic to see how different brands have been using this tech, and see what possible applications of it we might expect.

 

Brands that use AI to enhance marketing (infographic) 2018
From 16best.net with thanks to Karthik Reddy for this resource

 

 

 

The 50 Best Augmented Reality Apps for iPhone, iPad & Android Devices — from next.reality.news by Tommy Palladino

Excerpt:

Complete Anatomy 2018 +Courses (iOS): Give your preschoolers a head start on their education! Okay, clearly this app is meant for more advanced learners. Compared to the average app, you’ll end up paying through the nose with in-app purchases, but it’s really a drop in the bucket compared to the student loans students will accumulate in college. Price: Free with in-app purchases ranging from $0.99 to $44.99.

SkyView (iOS & Android): If I can wax nostalgic for a bit, I recall one of the first mobile apps that wowed me being Google’s original SkyView app. Now you can bring back that feeling with some augmented reality. With SkyView, you can point your phone to the sky and the app will tell you what constellations or other celestial bodies you are looking at. Price: $1.99, but there’s a free version for iOS and Android.

JigSpace (iOS): JigSpace is an app dedicated to showing users how things work (the human body, mechanical objects, etc.). And the app recently added how-to info for those who WonderHowTo do other things as well. JigSpace can now display its content in augmented reality as well, which is a brilliant application of immersive content to education. Price: Free.

NY Times (iOS & Android): The New York Times only recently adopted augmented reality as a means for covering the news, but already we’ve had the chance to see Olympic athletes and David Bowie’s freaky costumes up close. That’s a pretty good start! Price: Free with in-app purchases ranging from $9.99 to $129.99 for subscriptions.

BBC Civilisations (iOS & Android): Developed as a companion to the show of the same name, this app ends up holding its own as an AR app experience. Users can explore digital scans of ancient artifacts, learn more about their significance, and even interact with them. Sure, Indiana Jones would say this stuff belongs in a museum, but augmented reality lets you view them in your home as well. Price: Free.

SketchAR (iOS, Android, & Windows): A rare app that works on the dominant mobile platforms and HoloLens, Sketch AR helps users learn how to draw. Sketch AR scans your environment for your drawing surface and anchors the content there as you draw around it. As you can imagine, the app works best on HoloLens since it keeps users’ hands free to draw. Price: Free.

 

 

Sun Seeker (iOS & Android): This app displays the solar path, hour intervals, and more in augmented reality. While this becomes a unique way to teach students about the Earth’s orbit around the sun (and help refute silly flat-earthers), it can also be a useful tool for professionals. For instance, it can help photographers plan a photoshoot and see where sunlight will shine at certain times of the day. Price: $9.99.

Froggipedia (iOS): Dissecting a frog is basically a rite of passage for anyone who has graduated from primary school in the US within the past 50 years or so. Thanks to augmented reality, we can now save precious frog lives while still learning about their anatomy. The app enables users to dissect virtual frogs as if they are on the table in front of them, and without the stench of formaldehyde. Price: $3.99.

GeoGebra Augmented Reality (iOS): Who needs a graphing calculator when you can visualize equations in augmented reality. That’s what GeoGebra does. The app is invaluable for visualizing graphs. Price: Free.

 

 

Addendum:

 

 

 

 

A Sneak Peek into Augmented Reality’s Influence on SEO — from semrush.com by Pradeep Chopra

Excerpt:

AR is here to influence how businesses are going to promote their products/services and also how they optimize for search rankings. It is important to note, AR will impact Search Engine Optimization.

Local SEO Becomes More Critical
Augmented reality makes it possible for users to scan their mobile devices and get information on the businesses in their area. The data includes everything from images to ratings to reviews. AR apps have the capability to provide users with location-specific offers and deals – all in a theatrical AR format.

Apps like Yelp and Wikitude are already providing geo-location based AR experiences.

So, if you were to scan a location with your camera, you would be able to see the details of that business along with its latest reviews, ratings, and offers. This will simplify the experience for those searching from a specific geo-location. You must, therefore, ensure and maintain the quality and freshness of your local listings.

Here are some key aspects that you must take care of…

 

 

 

A new JPEG format for virtual reality, drones and self-driving cars — from actu.epfl.ch
The Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG), an international committee headed by an EPFL professor, has just unveiled JPEG XS. With this new format, the image-compression process uses less energy, and higher-quality images can be sent with low latency over broadband networks like 5G. JPEG XS will have applications in areas such as virtual reality, augmented reality, space imagery, self-driving cars and professional movie editing.

Excerpt:

Why do virtual reality headsets make users nauseous? One reason is latency, or the almost imperceptible amount of time it takes for a display image to change in response to a user’s head movement. However, the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) has just introduced a new image compression standard that could resolve this problem. This working group is headed by Touradj Ebrahimi, a professor in EPFL’s School of Engineering (STI).

With JPEG XS, images and videos maintain an extremely high level of quality thanks to a compression process that is simpler and faster – and thus more energy efficient. The compressed files end up being larger, but that’s not a problem thanks to broadband networks such as Wi-Fi and 5G: the aim is to stream the files instead of storing them in smartphones or other devices with limited memory.

This means that you could use your smartphone, tablet or computer to project a high-definition movie or a video game onto a large-screen display almost instantaneously. No cables would be required, and the image quality would be extremely high.

 

 

JPEG XS is a new VR video streaming format optimized for 5G and Wi-Fi — from venturebeat.com by Jeremy Horwitz

Excerpt:

Best known for its eponymous and ubiquitous photo standard, the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) has announced JPEG XS, a new video compression standard designed to stream lossless videos, VR content, and games over wireless networks. Intriguingly, JPEG XS is said to work on current computers with only software updates, while smaller devices will require “next generation” hardware.

Unlike rival video standards, JPEG XS doesn’t attempt maximum compression by using extra processing power or time. It instead presumes that the device will be used on a high-bandwidth 5G cellular or Wi-Fi network and focuses on delivering ultra low latency and superior energy efficiency.

 

 

 

Apple’s In-Depth Work on a Next-Gen Mixed Reality Headset is Simply Mind Boggling in Scope — from patentlyapple.com

Excerpt:

In April 2017 Patently Apple posted a report titled “NASA’s Mission Operations Innovation Lead is now a Senior Manager on Apple’s AR Glasses Team.” A year ago we also posted a report titled “Apple’s Augmented Reality Team is bringing in more Specialists to work on their Future Platform.” Apple has certainly gathered a world class team of experts to develop a whole range of next-gen AR/VR and Mixed Reality headsets, smartglasses and more. Earlier today we posted a report titled “Apple Advances their Head Mounted Display Project by adding a new GUI, an External Camera, Gaming & more.” While Apple has been updating some of the features of this headset, we’re still stuck with a 2008 patent image a headset concept that is somewhat outdated.

 

 

Augmented Reality Kit: Quick Start Guide — from cgcookie.com by Jonathan Gonzalez

Excerpt:

Augmented Reality is an exciting new way to develop games and apps that support the use of 3d objects in real world space. If you’ve ever played Pokemon Go then you’re familiar with what Augmented Reality (AR) is. Other popular apps have been sprouting up to take use of AR capabilities for more practical purposes such as Ikea’s catalog, pick your furniture and see how it looks in your place. Regardless of how you use AR for development there are three main resources we can use to develop for various AR capable hardware.

 

 

 

Travel to Mars and learn about the Curiosity Rover in VR  — from unimersiv.com

 

 

 

 

 

From DSC:
This application looks to be very well done and thought out! Wow!

Check out the video entitled “Interactive Ink – Enables digital handwriting — and you may also wonder whether this could be a great medium/method of having to “write things down” for better information processing in our minds, while also producing digital work for easier distribution and sharing!

Wow!  Talk about solid user experience design and interface design! Nicely done.

 

 

Below is an excerpt of the information from Bella Pietsch from anthonyBarnum Public Relations

Imagine a world where users interact with their digital devices seamlessly, and don’t suffer from lag and delayed response time. I work with MyScript, a company whose Interactive Ink tech creates that world of seamless handwritten interactivity by combining the flexibility of pen and paper with the power and productivity of digital processing.

According to a recent forecast, the global handwriting recognition market is valued at a trillion-plus dollars and is expected to grow at an almost 16 percent compound annual growth rate by 2025. To add additional context, the new affordable iPad with stylus support was just released, allowing users to work with the $99 Apple Pencil, which was previously only supported by the iPad Pro.

Check out the demo of Interactive Ink using an Apple Pencil, Microsoft Surface Pen, Samsung S Pen or Google Pixelbook Pen here.

Interactive Ink’s proficiencies are the future of writing and equating. Developed by MyScript Labs, Interactive Ink is a form of digital ink technology which allows ink editing via simple gestures and providing device reflow flexibility. Interactive Ink relies on real-time predictive handwriting recognition, driven by artificial intelligence and neural network architectures.

 

 

 

 

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