Get hands on with emerg­ing tech

TECHLIFE’S PRAC­TI­CAL MONTHLY ROUNDUP OF ALL THE LAT­EST VIR­TUAL RE­AL­ITY AND AUG­MENTED RE­AL­ITY APPS AND EX­PE­RI­ENCES, ALONG­SIDE AI-DRIVEN BOTS AND OTHER USE­FUL TOOLS.

TechLife Australia - - DISCOVER - [ JOEL BURGESS]

WITH RU­MOURS BUB­BLING that Ap­ple may be re­leas­ing it’s own HoloLens-like AR head­set in 2017, it might be the year the ne­glected sib­ling of al­ter­nate tech­no­log­i­cal re­al­i­ties be­comes a thing to re­ally get be­hind. Or rather, it would have been, if tech web­site The In­for­ma­tion hadn’t re­cently re­vealed that much of the tech­nol­ogy un­der­pin­ning the $1.4 bil­lion ven­ture-cap­i­tal­ist-backed Magic Leap head­set is still noth­ing more than a con­cept...

Never to be over­shad­owed, vir­tual re­al­ity is push­ing ahead with an­nounce­ments of mas­sive im­prove­ments in smart­phone VR thanks to Qual­comm’s up­com­ing high-end Snap­dragon 835 chips, which in­clude no­tably bet­ter po­si­tion and ori­en­ta­tion track­ing. Add to this a part­ner­ship between Ocu­lus and the BBC Earth team to cre­ate im­mer­sive na­ture doc­u­men­taries, along­side the Vive’s ad­di­tion of an ‘any ob­ject’ VR re­mote at­tach­ment and there’ll be plenty to suck you into VR this year.

Fi­nally, AI chat­bots are in­fil­trat­ing and suc­ceed­ing in ar­eas that you would never ex­pect them to, whether that’s stand­ing-in as the man of your dreams, or pro­vid­ing gen­uine psy­cho­log­i­cal eval­u­a­tion and treat­ment to vul­ner­a­ble in­di­vid­u­als — as we’ve found this month, there is a num­ber of sur­pris­ingly prac­ti­cal ap­pli­ca­tions for the chatty soft­ware.

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