Amazon hardware unit Lab126 is collaborating with the Alexa voice software team to produce a wrist-worn, voice-activated device that can read human emotions, Bloomberg reports. By discerning emotions via the sound of a person’s voice, the device could ultimately direct the wearer on how to communicate with others.
Sennheiser is improving on the immersive experience of Magic Leap’s augmented reality glasses by offering its own Ambeo AR One headphones. In addition to the headphones, the company has rolled out a new Ambeo Augmented Audio Lab app, which allows developers to create AR audio experiences.
Magic Leap has unveiled its AR headset, as well as content from several partnerships with developers, including game developers Weta Workshop and Wingnut AR. Meanwhile, medical imaging company Brainlab and furniture retailer Wayfair demonstrated business applications for the Magic Leap.
Headphone and audio company Sennheiser is teaming up with Magic Leap to develop AR accessories. Sennheiser will work through the “Works with Magic Leap” certification program to develop tools that work with the company’s headset.
Health professionals are finding that virtual reality (VR) technology is an effective alternative to pain medicine and aids in anxiety management for patients. One patient with Crohn’s Disease had difficulty getting an IV, so he was immersed in a peaceful environment with VR that showed him Yellowstone National Park. This helped him calm down and allowed the nurse to find a vein more easily. Another patient had anxiety about her decision to give birth without an epidural, but after using VR at the recommendation of her doctor, her anxiety subsided, and she was thankful for its distraction from the pain.
Microsoft has acquired Lobe, a startup company that has developed a platform for users to build and ship custom deep-learning models. Lobe will offer platform support for Microsoft offerings while operating as a stand-alone service.
Samsung worked with London-based advertising agency BBH on an augmented reality experience based on “Family Guy” by allowing users to explore the popular cartoon’s kitchen. The event featured Samsung SmartThings-compatible appliances with which users could interact.
Apple has acquired tech company Akonia Holographics, which specializes in lenses for augmented reality glasses. Experts believe the move could indicate that Apple plans to develop a wearable AR device.
Sony recently announced that it has sold 3 million virtual reality headsets and 21 million copies of PlayStation VR games. Overall, the company has sold 82 million PlayStation 4s, indicating that only a small portion of users have purchased the VR add-on.
Nvidia has announced its new Turing GPU hardware, which can render ray tracing 25 times faster than previous options, thanks to the assistance of advanced AI features. The graphics card will use Samsung’s GDDR6 memory, which will allow it to process data faster while conserving energy.