Daily News Digest Featured News

UN explores collaboration with AR, Google fights trolls with AI, the first 22nm FD-SOI silicon of new ADAS SoC


News Summary

Augmented Reality

With virtual and augmented reality, UN ‘ideas forum’ to explore collaboration on Global Goals (UN News Centre)

Policy makers, activists and private sector representatives from over 80 countries will join gaming experts and simulators tomorrow in Bonn, Germany, at the start of the first “playable” sustainable development conference organized by the United Nations and partners.

Organized in Bonn, Germany, from 1-3 March, the Festival will see participants transform into “active players” to come up with new ideas on addressing global challenges.

Using the gaming app 2030 Hive Mind – a real-time policy simulation application – participants will explore collaboration to achieve the SDGs by 2030. They will also have to make tough choices and trade-offs along the way.

3D Models, Augmented Reality Take Boredom Out of Engineering Subjects (Engineering.com)

In a paper entitled “AR-DEHAES: An Educational Toolkit Based on Augmented Reality Technology for Learning Engineering Graphics,” authors Jorge Martin-Gutierrez, Jose Luis Saorín, Manuel Contero, and Mariano Alcañiz Raya outline the origin and creation of the software application.

AR-DEHAES contains 100 exercises with virtual 3D models that are visualized on a 2D screen. The exercises contained in the “augmented notebook” provide fiducial markers of virtual 3D models that students can manipulate to see different perspectives and complete each exercise.

See that? Regeneron simulates retinal disease with virtual and augmented reality app (Fierce Pharma)

Together with Intouch Solutions, the company has created a virtual and augmented reality app called “In My Eyes” that allows viewers to experience the blurriness, wavy lines or black patches caused by different types of retinal disease.

The app, available in the iTunes and Google app stores, can be used with or without VR goggles and works in two modes. In story mode, viewers look around a doctor’s office in full 360 degrees and see three patients waiting. Choosing any patient will open up that person’s story along with a video from their life, like a birthday party or picnic, shown through their specific retinal eye disease view. The three diseases featured are neovascular age-related macular degeneration, or wet AMD; diabetic macular edema, or DME; and macular edema following retinal vein occlusion, or MEfRVO. The second view is live mode, which engages the phone’s camera to allow viewers to see whatever is in their field of vision through the three different retinal conditions.

This Augmented Reality App Lets You See 3D Versions of Things Before You Buy Them Online (Outer Places)

Like many online shoppers, he wished he could visualize how the speakers would actually look and fit in his home, which led him to create an app that does just that: Augment can be used to view any virtual product in the real world by making your smartphone into a little AR window.

Augmented reality app for Google Glass aims to improve symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (iMedicalApps)

Brief video clips appear before the user along with an instructor that appears in the upper right hand corner of the user’s view depending on which module the user chooses to take part in. The virtual instructor assists the user through musically choreographed movements, and also models various walking and unfreezing positions such as marching in place, which are two actions that are progressively difficult for a person with Parkinson disease. These are layered over a viewfinder that shows the “real” world, this time using a Google Glasses setup.

Much of the app design is based on research that has shown that dance may have broad benefits for those with Parkinson disease, such as enhancement of endurance, flexibility, and balance.

Augmented reality may save you from road rage (engadget)

They’ve developed a mobile app, CarNote, that uses augmented reality (displayed in front of you through a periscope lens add-on) to let fellow drivers signal their intents and feelings. If you’re in a rush to the hospital, for instance, you can notify commuters behind you so they don’t honk their horns or chase you down.

The project even has a “like” system that lets drivers say what they think about the cars ahead. It’s potentially more effective than honking — if one driver is routinely cutting people off, all their victims can register their displeasure. The CarNote team even suggests that insurance companies could use an excessive number of dislikes to hike someone’s rates. It’s hard to say if drivers would agree to that (what if an honest mistake angers a bunch of drivers and ruins your rating?), but it might discourage reckless driving.

Crosby kindergarten teacher uses augmented reality to improve literacy (mySanAntonio)

Baldwin began incorporating augmented reality – the process of using technology to layer virtual content on top of real-world situations – into her classroom literacy stations to get her students excited about reading and applying concepts taught using informational text. As her students began a unit on arctic animals, she used a variety of real pictures of different arctic animals to create PicCollages.

Then, she smashed the Pic Collages with Aurasma Studios (an augmented reality program) to create augmented reality posters. During literacy rotations, the students can scan the posters to see that arctic animal come alive in a video. After the students watch the video, they apply what they learned by completing a graphic organizer about the arctic animal.

Free & Open-Source JavaScript Solution for Augmented Reality Comes to Life on Mobile (NextReality)

According to the GitHub repository for the project, the listed features of the API are:

  • Very Fast: It runs efficiently even on phones. 60 fps on my 2 year-old phone!
  • Very Webby: It is a pure web solution, so no installation required. Full javascript based on three.js + jsartoolkit5
  • Free and Open: It is completely open source and free of charge!
  • Pure Standards: It works on any phone with webgl and webrtc


But Tinder is eyeing even further futuristic dating disruption. Rad added that the dating app was taking stock of “augmented reality,” which overlays digital images onto the real world as you walk around (think Pokemon Go). Rad proposes that Tinder could use AR to let users know who is single or taken when walking into a room, which is really, really similar to an episode of Black Mirror.

Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning

eBay Deploys Artificial Intelligence to Benefit Sellers (Small Business Trends)

The company has been supporting its sellers, many of whom are small to medium sized businesses, with AI driven investments for the past five years. To date, it has been embedded and distributed across 30 domains to help sellers with everything from delivery time to fraud detection, wrote President and CEO of eBay, Devin Wenig in a post on he company’s official blog.

It can identify gaps in inventory of a particular product and alert sellers of that item to stock up. Based on demand, it will make price recommendations so they won’t price themselves out during a hot market.

3 Ways Sales Is Changing With Artificial Intelligence (Small Biz Trends)

Prescriptive Sales tools function like a regular customer relationship management (CRM) platform except that it is tracking and analyzing millions of events and identifying areas for improvement. Uzi Shmilovici, a thought leader in Prescriptive Sales technology and the CEO of Base CRM, says this technology gives sales professionals data-driven feedback for constant improvement.

Prescriptive Sales is designed to make it easier for salespeople to exceed their quotas. When a whole sales office uses the platform, the A.I. analyzes performance across individual experiences, meaning the program takes notes on how the top performing individuals work and shares it with the rest of the team. That cross-pollination of best practices makes up for numerous shortcomings in talent.

Transitioning to Prescriptive Sales technology opens up new worlds of business opportunities. Suddenly executives are not handcuffed to best, middle, and worst case projections for annual revenue; instead they can paint a path toward concrete results and understand what it will take to achieve them.

Google rolls out artificial intelligence tool for media companies to combat online trolls (CTV News)

Google said it will begin offering media groups an artificial intelligence tool designed to stamp out incendiary comments on their websites.

The programming tool, called Perspective, aims to assist editors trying to moderate discussions by filtering out abusive “troll” comments, which Google says can stymie smart online discussions.

Perspective is an application programming interface (API), or set of methods for facilitating communication between systems and devices, that uses machine learning to rate how comments might be regarded by other users.

The system, which will be provided free to media groups including social media sites, is being tested by The Economist, The Guardian, The New York Times and Wikipedia.

Your Android phone is getting artificial intelligence, here’s how (t3)

The mighty Google has announced that its artificially intelligent Google Assistant will be coming to more Android phones from this week.

So, what can Google Assistant do? The below video helps show off it’s best bits like remembering passwords for you, offering you information mid text chat with a friend and, of course, playing music and giving directions.

Artificial intelligence advances to make farming smarter (Stuff)

Farmers would rely less on intuition before taking actions on their farm as they gained more data and this was happening in the technological space and would increase in farming for “precision nutrition”, better yields and profits, he said.

The focus on precision nutrition would have nutrients customised for every animal based on the evaluation of data showing, for example, their body condition score, phenotyping and other genetic research. However, this data had to be affordable for farmers to increase its uptake.

Data-driven farming required more sensors and unmanned aerial vehicles such as drones to capture information such as the location of an animal, soil and ambient temperature, humidity and soil nutrients.

Domino’s new weapon in pizza wars: Artificial intelligence (Financial Review)

Over the next week Domino’s will add new features and devices to its DRU (Domino’s Robotic Unit) platform, starting with a beta version of DRU Assist, a virtual, voice-activated digital assistant which takes customers’ orders on mobile phones, desktops and laptops.

DRU Assist will be followed by DRU Manager, which helps Domino’s store owners automate rosters and order stock based on forecast demand.

Domino’s Facebook Messenger Bot will enable customers to seek out discounts and vouchers through online chat, while Anywhere will enable customers to order pizza from parks and beaches by dropping a location pin using GPS locators.

How Starbucks is Using Artificial Intelligence to Connect Customers and Boost Sales (Regency Centers)

Coming soon to a Starbucks drive-through near you — and to your smartwatch, and possibly to each store’s cash register — are serving suggestions generated by artificial intelligence.


Computer Vision/Machine Vision

AI Helps Autonomous Vehicles Locate Themselves on Maps (Photonics Media)

High-definition maps meant for machine-to-machine communication must be accurate to within 10 to 20 centimeters. Self-driving vehicles need to continuously update and register their location on these maps with an equally high degree of accuracy. Fang said the goal of the research is to enhance car-to-map precision to within 10 centimeters.

Wong said their work involves using computer vision techniques to refine the vehicle’s ability to located itself with respect to HERE’s cloud-based service. “That requires real-time images of the street and surrounding objects derived from cameras, lidar, and other on-board sensors,” he said.

Dream Chip Technologies Presents First 22nm FD-SOI Silicon of New Automotive Driver Assistance SoC (Design & Reuse)

Dream Chip Technologies announced today the presentation of the industry`s first 22nm FD-SOI silicon for a new ADAS System-on-Chip (SoC) for automotive computer vision applications at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The SoC offers high performance image acquisition and processing capabilities and supports convolutional neural network (CNN) vision workloads to meet the demand for complex automotive object detection and processing. This ADAS SoC is highly optimized for high-end computer vision performance at a very low-power consumption to enable autonomous driving in production and is capable to support ADAS functions like road-sign recognition, lane departure warning, driver distraction warning, blind spot detection, surround vision, park assist, pedestrian detection, cruise control and emergency braking.

A Computer Vision Approach To Identify Einstein Rings And Arcs (VoxCharta)

Here we present an Einstein ring recognition approach based on computer vision techniques. The workhorse is the circle Hough transform, which can recognize circular patterns or arcs at any position with any radius in the images. We devise a two-tier approach: first pre-select LRGs associated with multiple blue objects as possible lens galaxies, then feed these possible lenses to Hough transform.


Allen Taylor

About the author

Allen Taylor

An award-winning journalist and former newspaper editor, I currently work as a freelance writer/editor through Taylored Content. In addition to editing VisionAR, I edit the daily news digest at Lending-Times. I also serve the FinTech and AR/AI industries with authoritative content in the form of white papers, case studies, blog posts, and other content designed to position innovators as experts in their niches. Also, a published poet and fiction writer.

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