Daily News Digest Featured News

Make your desk an AR smart surface, machine learning uncovers mass graves in Mexico, Facebook unleashes AR dev platform with CV

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News Summary

Augmented Reality

Your Desk Can Be an AR Smart Surface with Lampix (Next Reality)

Lampix won the 2017 SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event for the category of augmented and virtual reality. Since then, the company has been getting a ton of investment interest and is currently in talks with Bloomberg, Pepsi, L’Oréal, BMW, Chanel, and Phizer — just to name a few.

The platform uses a Raspberry Pi 3 and has two cameras (one of them for video), one high-resolution projector, and its own LED system for indirect lighting. They are also working on another version powered by an Intel Joule that runs Android.

Lampix’s software is built with the Python programming language and runs on Linux, and it makes developing applications for it very easy with HTML5 tags. HTML5 tags make it responsive to objects, gestures, fingers, or anything else you may need Lampix to recognize.

Lampix uses cameras to detect objects, and unlike infrared or laser-based sensors, these cameras can detect flat objects as well as 3D ones.


Augmented Reality Show (JCK)

Click on Sephora’s web-based AR tool and your face will pop up on the screen—only with long, cartoonish lashes where your normal ones used to be. From there, you can test-drive different shades of lipstick.

FlexTrade to Demonstrate Augmented Reality Trading at TradeTech Europe (Yahoo! Finance)

FlexTrade Systems (@FlexTrade), a global leader in multi-asset execution and order management systems, is pleased to announce “FlexAR” – an augmented reality trading application offering an extraordinary, new way of visualising and presenting trading via the company’s award-winning FlexTRADER® EMS.
FlexAR builds on existing technology and APIs within FlexTRADER’s open architecture offering an interactive order blotter, trade ticket and charting, all presented in a virtual space. Components can be placed throughout the real world, allowing traders to see and interact with the markets in a completely unique manner.

Augmented reality app shows pond life circa 5th century (The Asahi Shiimbun)

History buffs and would-be time travelers can go back 1,600 years thanks to a free app that uses augmented reality technologies to relive a long-gone view of the storied Ogura Pond.

The app shows computer graphics renditions of a view of Ogura Pond from sunrise through to a starry night. The view can be turned around 360 degrees by moving a smartphone or any other device loaded with the data.

Snapchat World Lenses Are the Next Step in Augmented Reality (Mental Floss)

Unlike most of the app’s high-tech filters, Snapchat World Lenses aren’t designed for faces. They’re meant to be plopped down anywhere in the space being recorded on your phone’s rear-facing camera. That’s where the augmented reality element comes in: The 3D objects behave as if they’re physically in front of you. Move your camera closer and the animation grows bigger; pull it away and the objects shrink, appearing more distant.

Facebook launches augmented reality platform into beta (Fast Company)

He said that the tech giant is launching its first augmented reality platform, which will add a wide variety of effects through a camera tool in the Facebook app.

There are three important use cases, Zuckerberg said: the ability to display information such as directions or notifications; the ability to add digital objects to an existing space; and the ability to enhance existing objects. But it will also be possible to create custom effects, and there will soon be thousands available from creators all over the world. Some of the effects will be fun, Zuck said, while others will be practical, like adding an information card to a wine bottle.

Estée Lauder’s Augmented Reality Efforts Focus on Europe (L2)

Estée Lauder announced this week that it is partnering with UK-based augmented reality technology company YouCam Makeup to enable UK Beauty enthusiasts to try on 30 shades of lipstick.

Augmented Reality Trends Illustrate Potential as a Business Tool (Samsung Insights)

DAQRI’s primary products are smart helmets designed for construction sites that enable builders to view blueprints in 3D, superimposed on the building sites, and allow tradespeople to see and understand their tasks more clearly. AR will also allow designers to collaborate on projects remotely, letting everyone experience the changes one person makes to a 3D model of the building they’re working on without needing to be in the same room.

That is now all changing with the use of image analysis and augmented reality apps such as Pictofit, which allow customers to see how a clothing item looks before deciding to purchase.

Textbooks can be dull and boring for many students, but by using platforms like Augment, students and teachers can visualize 3D models in the environment, in real time, and bring any subject to life.

YinzCam, Cleveland Cavaliers Partner to Launch Augmented Reality App (TriState Update)

YinzCam, which built and hosts 23 of the league’s team apps, including the Cavs’ official app, partnered with the defending NBA Champions to create and launch a first-of-its-kind, augmented reality (AR) app, which will allow Cleveland fans to play against each other in virtual shootouts during games at Quicken Loans Arena.

Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning

Machine Learning Can Improve Cardiovascular Diagnosis (Android Headlines)

To put it as shortly as possible, a machine learning AI that’s fed routine clinical data about cardiac disease, in testing, was able to not only help doctors predict patients at extreme cardiovascular risk, but also screen patients that didn’t actually need treatment, thus facilitating the process of diagnosing patients.

The models were based on a random forest method, logistic regression, gradient boosting machines, and neural networks. The four models all had an identical goal – predicting a patient’s first cardiovascular event, which normally manifests as a heart attack. The freshly trained AI managed to beat an established AI based on guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and the new AI correctly predicted 355 patients out of a pool of 24,970 cardiovascular incidents.

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Machine Learning Storms Into Climate Research (The Next Platform)

Another project is using machine-learning techniques in a project that is looking at what’s happening in the English Channel to forecast the two-dimensional parameters of the ocean as the Earth warms. It leverages data from satellite images, and comprises a convolutional neural network to useful information from the data, a recurrent neural network for feature predicting and another convolutional neural network to reconstruct images from the predicted feature of the previous block. According to Julien Brajard, a researcher at LOCEAN/IPSL in France, early results have shown the model to be better at predicting the mean situation and extreme events, such as storms, than more traditional approaches.

Zorroa Enterprise Visual Intelligence Monetizes Visual Assets Using Machine Learning (Martech Series)

EVI by Zorroa is a unique, machine learning technology that provides visual search and business analytics for images, video, PDFs, and other media. This will allow marketers to search through millions of image assets across repositories and build custom analysis pipelines instantly.

High-end vending machine powered by artificial intelligence (Fox5NY)

Inside Lisa’s glass door, the products are endless and all customized. From shaving kits to watches, to a simple bag of chocolate, the user-friendly design allows customers to pick up or put down any item and then simply walk away. The technology tracks your transaction. This might look like a vending machine but it is fully automatic retail experience.

Vicki will have some big changes. The music on ads, for instance, will be audible only to those standing in front of her. She can also scan your eye to open the door, but most importantly, she can answer your questions. For example, you can ask her if a particular medication is good for a cold and she will answer.

How artificial intelligence is helping detect tuberculosis in remote areas (Healthcare IT News)

Researchers are training artificial intelligence to identify tuberculosis on chest X-rays, an initiative that could help screening and evaluation efforts in TB-prevalent areas lacking access to radiologists.

For the study, Lakhani and his colleague, Baskaran Sundaram, MD, obtained 1,007 X-rays of patients with and without active TB. The cases consisted of multiple chest X-ray datasets from the National Institutes of Health, the Belarus Tuberculosis Portal, and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

The cases were used to train two models – AlexNet and GoogLeNet – which learned from TB-positive and TB-negative X-rays. The models’ accuracy was tested on 150 cases.

The best performing artificial intelligence model was a combination of the AlexNet and GoogLeNet, with a net accuracy of 96 percent.

Artificial intelligence could build new drugs faster than any human team (Quartz)

Atomwise, a San Francisco-based startup and Y Combinator alum, has built a system it calls AtomNet (pdf), which attempts to generate potential drugs for diseases like Ebola and multiple sclerosis.

The academic labs will receive 72 different drugs that the neural network has found to have the highest probability of interacting with the disease, based on the molecular data it’s seen.

Machine learning is being used to uncover the mass graves of Mexico’s missing (Quartz)

These two pieces are crucial to the machine learning model that HRDAG uses to predict which counties are likely to have hidden graves in them. The model is called a Random Forest classifier, and its usefulness hinges on the idea that there is something categorically different between counties that have historically been found to have hidden graves, and those that have not. The model sorts through the characteristics and weights their relevance. It then becomes possible to predict, based on those characteristics, which counties are most likely to have graves found in them in the future.

Patrick Ball, HRDAG’s Director of Research and the statistician behind the code, explained that the Random Forest classifier was able to predict with 100% accuracy which counties that would go on to have mass graves found in them in 2014 by using the model against data from 2013. The model also predicted the counties that did not have mass hidden graves found in them, but that show a high likelihood of the possibility. This prediction aspect of the model is the part that holds the most potential for future research.

‘Artificial intelligence glasses’ giving sight to blind man (BBC)

The Orcam glasses have a tiny smart camera that can recognise text and even people’s faces.

The glasses then speak to the person wearing them through a pair of headphones and explain exactly what they are looking at.

Computer Vision/Machine Vision

Ad-Blocker Using Computer Vision (mjtsai.com)

A team of Princeton and Stanford University researchers has fundamentally reinvented how ad-blocking works, in an attempt to put an end to the advertising versus ad-blocking arms race. The ad blocker they’ve created is lightweight, evaded anti ad-blocking scripts on 50 out of the 50 websites it was tested on, and can block Facebook ads that were previously unblockable.

For Facebook AI, machine vision is just the beginning (Fast Company)

Yesterday, at Facebook’s day-one F8 keynote, CTO Mike Schroepfer talked about the company’s progress in teaching computers to recognize elements in still images and videos. At the day-two keynote today, he returned to the topic of AI—but emphasized that machine vision is only one aspect.

Facebook Is Using Computer Vision To Bring AR To The Masses, Dev Platform Available Now (Tom’s Hardware)

Facebook’s AR Studio development platform takes advantage of the cameras that you’ll find on every smartphone and leverages cutting-edge computer vision and machine learning advancements to transform your everyday world into augmented experiences.

Facebook’s AR Studio platform provides tools for 3D artists and developers to create unique augmented experiences that blend in with the real world. The platform allows developers to create 3D objects and animations that interact with live video feeds. Facebook uses the power of computer vision and Simultaneous Localization And Mapping (SLAM) technology to create realistic interactions between virtual and real-world objects. For example, if you place a virtual object on a table, it will appear as though it’s sitting on the table from any angle at which you look at it, including realistic occlusion from objects around it.

Windsor Native Making Strides In Educational Computing (Courant)

Utilizing the website www.mathspring.com, Magee and his team are learning about the way middle school students emotionally react to the work they are doing. The computer program analyzes their emotional reactions to situations and adjusts the questioning to assist them in continuing to work successfully without burning out due to frustration.

Magee is attempting to improve the current interactive tutor system on MathSpring using what is referred to as Computer Vision, “to try to infer the student’s affect and emotional state,” he said.

Computer Vision looks at the students’ facial expressions and monitors if the student is actively engaged with the tutor. He says he also uses data obtained from the mouse movements.

In urban cities, Facebook expands Internet connectivity via wireless antennas, computer vision (The Tech Portal)

Under its Telecom Infra Project, Facebook had unveiled two prominent technologies — wireless antenna systems called Terragraph and Project ARIES to improve data transmission. These technologies were unveiled at previous year’s F8 developer conference, but Facebook has today shared an update on how they’re expanding the scope of wireless connectivity in urban areas using its miniature Terragraph antennas.

Now comes the biggest and best part, Facebook is employing its cutting-edge technologies, such as computer vision in this particular case, to run tests on images of the San Jose city. It analyses the map, including both the infrastructure and optic fiber layout, to now understand two important things – where they can potentially mount a millimeter-wave (MMW) radio — which have achieved a major milestone by achieving data rates of up to 80 Gbps — and what are the lines of sight.

The social media giant is employing the 60GHz wireless channel to send and receive data packets over its Terragraph antenna system. The said frequency has its challenges and requires a clear line of sight to main a strong signal and the connectivity disappears with just a minimal obstruction. Facebook is solving this by building proprietary software which routes the signal around obstructions in a split second. The whole package is also leveraging the cloud for intensive data processing to further reduce connectivity costs.

Microsoft makes three more cognitive services generally available (ZDNet)

Microsoft is making three more of its Cognitive Services interfaces generally available as of today, April 19.

The three: The Face API, Computer Vision API and Content Moderator. The new Cognitive Services are available in the Azure Portal. Pricing for Microsoft’s Cognitive Services is available here.

The Computer Vision API provides developers with tools to understand the contents of any image. “It creates tags that identify objects, beings like celebrities, or actions in an image, and crafts coherent sentences to describe it,” explains Microsoft in its blog post today. The Computer Vision API also can detect landmarks and handwriting in images. (The Handwriting detection piece remains in preview.)


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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