Virtual Reality

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite AR game touted as next Pokémon Go but release date remains a mystery

The Independent

Details about the highly anticipated augmented reality (AR) game Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, have been revealed by the makers, who also created Pokémon Go. Developer Niantic partnered with Warner Brothers Interactive to make the Harry Potter game, using its AR expertise to bring wizards and mythical beasts into the real world. Images of the gameplay and several teaser videos were shared through the game's website, although its release date was not revealed. We'll tell you what's true. You can form your own view.

Former Facebook VR boss wins contract for Pentagon's controversial 'Project Maven' AI program

Daily Mail

Facebook's former virtual reality head is leading a new Silicon Valley startup that has won a contract to support the Pentagon's controversial'Project Maven' program, according to The Intercept. The startup, called Anduril Industries, is led by Palmer Luckey, the 26-year-old founder of Facebook's virtual reality unit Oculus. Project Maven, which seeks to incorporate AI technology on the battlefield, first attracted the attention of Google, but the firm later backed out of its contract after worldwide upheaval from its employees. Palmer Luckey (pictured), Facebook's former virtual reality head, is leading a new Silicon Valley startup that has won a contract to support the Pentagon's Project Maven program Palmer Luckey hit headlines last March after being jettisoned from Oculus, the VR company he helped found and sold to Facebook. In September 2016, it emerged that he secretly funded a pro-Donald Trump group that mocked Hillary Clinton online, during the US presidential race.

Accenture to Deliver 2017 RBS 6 Nations Insights to Fans via Machine Learning


Accenture to Deliver 2017 RBS 6 Nations Insights to Fans via Machine Learning Official Technology Partner continues to innovate around fan experience, including new VR-based mixed reality experience demonstration LONDON; Jan. 23, 2017 – Accenture (NYSE: ACN), the Official Technology Partner of the RBS 6 Nations Rugby Championship for the sixth year, is bringing machine learning to international rugby. Its latest analytics dashboard will deliver improved player, match and Championship insight, which 20,000 people accessed via Twitter last year. Accenture has also developed an innovative mixed reality application for the Championship, using Virtual Reality (VR), with a twist. The one-person immersive VR experience is sharable, and broadcast as live action for others to watch. Insights from the dashboard will be fed to the Accenture Analysis Team, made up of former players and coaches.

Google reveals AI tricks behind new augmented reality animations


The animated masks, glasses, and hats that apps like YouTube Stories overlay on faces are pretty nifty, but how on earth do they look so realistic? Well, thanks to a deep dive published this morning by Google's AI research division, it's less of a mystery than before. In the blog post, engineers at the Mountain View company describe the AI tech at the core of Stories and ARCore's Augmented Faces API, which they say can simulate light reflections, model face occlusions, model specular reflection, and more -- all in real time with a single camera. "One of the key challenges in making these AR features possible is proper anchoring of the virtual content to the real world," Google AI's Artsiom Ablavatski and Ivan Grishchenko explain, adding "a process that requires a unique set of perceptive technologies able to track the highly dynamic surface geometry across every smile, frown, or smirk." Google's augmented reality (AR) pipeline, which taps TensorFlow Lite -- a lightweight, mobile, and embedded implementation of Google's TensorFlow machine learning framework -- for hardware-accelerated processing where available, comprises two neural networks (i.e., layers of math functions modeled after biological neurons).

Nintendo Labo Gets a Cheap VR Kit


This week's videogame news includes a, um, battle royale between Fortnite and Apex Legends, another weird gaffe by Steam, and Nintendo sneaking a big surprise into an unassuming package. The cardboard thing, where you could build little models and robots and stuff and animate them with the Switch? It was part Lego robotics kit, part mini-game generator, and it was a fascinating experiment on the part of Nintendo. It was pretty kid-friendly, to boot! Well now, it's gonna do VR. The main VR kit will cost $80 and will feature VR goggles as well as several cardboard kits to build, while a $40 set will feature the goggles with only one kit, a blaster.

Nintendo Switch VR: New Labo kit allows console to get virtual reality with cardboard headset

The Independent

Nintendo has launched a virtual reality kit for the Switch – and it is made out of cardboard. The new Labo releases is part of a series of cardboard kits, which include other products such as a cardboard kit that turns its wearer into a robot. Nintendo was one of the pioneers of VR in gaming: its Virtual Boy, launched in 1995, was pioneering but roundly derided by critics and shut down four years later amid commercial failure. It has not entered the market again in the 20 years since, but rumours have spread since before the Switch was even released that it could be perfect for virtual reality, if its display was slotted into a headset. We'll tell you what's true.

Harman patented flying robotic speakers


Imagine you're using a VR headset and as a car races past, you hear it whip from left to right. Only the sound literally moves from left to right because it's coming from a robotic speaker that zips across the room. From the looks of a new patent, audio company Harman is dreaming up speakers that would do just that. This week, the US Patent Office awarded Harman a patent for a "mobile speaker system for virtual reality environments." According to the patent, the company would map VR soundscapes to robotic speakers, which would either drive or fly (thanks to quadcopters) to better represent the distance, direction and movement of sounds.

Smart Farming: Mixed Reality and AI


Even in our modern world, farming remains a core industry. Human beings engaged in agribusiness are working day and night to increase crop yield and livestock growth. Mixed reality (MR) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies represent some of the latest and most exciting avenues these agribusiness innovators are pursuing to transform classical farming into smart farming. The new term "mixed reality" (or "hybrid reality") is becoming more popular these days. It refers to the layering on of digital or simulated information onto the real world: a mixing of "real" reality and "virtual" reality, leading to one "mixed" or "hybrid" reality.

Talespin's virtual human platform uses VR and AI to teach employees soft skills


Training employees how to perform specific tasks isn't difficult, but building their soft skills -- their interactions with management, fellow employees, and customers -- can be more challenging, particularly if there aren't people around to practice with. Virtual reality training company Talespin announced today that it is leveraging AI to tackle that challenge, using a new "virtual human platform" to create realistic simulations for employee training purposes. Unlike traditional employee training, which might consist of passively watching a video or lightly interacting with collections of canned multiple choice questions, Talespin's system has a trainee interact with a virtual human powered by AI, speech recognition, and natural language processing. Because the interactions use VR headsets and controllers, the hardware can track a trainee's gaze, body movement, and facial expressions during the session. Talespin's virtual character is able to converse realistically, guiding trainees through branching narratives using natural mannerisms and believable speech.

Software Engineer - Machine Learning - IoT BigData Jobs


Job Description Job Description: The Perceptual Computing Group (PerC) of Intel Corporation is looking to fill the position of Machine Learning Software Engineer to work on new vision-based sensing products. As a leader in mobile depth camera technology, PerC is exploring new machine-learning based solutions for problems that have been traditionally dominated by classical computer vision techniques. In this role, the candidate will apply modern deep learning techniques to solve problems in hand and human pose estimation along with object detection and tracking. The position involves working in a highly cross-disciplinary prototyping lab alongside engineers in the domain of computer vision, robotics, and virtual reality. ResponsibilitiesApply state-of-the-art machine learning techniques and architectures to solve pose estimation and recognition problems in a variety of domains including virtual/augmented reality, robotics, and embedded computing.Build data collection and analysis tools using a variety of camera sensor data (RGB, IR, and depth).