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AI & AR Recent News
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Google reveals AI tricks behind new augmented reality animations

March 2019 Kyle Wiggers



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.”

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Psychologists explain why at-home exercise machines like Peloton have what it takes to keep people moving

Psychologists Explain Why At-Home Exercise Machines Like Peloton Have What It Takes To Keep People Moving 

Mar 11, 2019  By Rani Molla@ranimolla


Peloton, a company that makes high-end stationary bikes and treadmills that stream live classes, is snapping up new users and is currently valued at $4 billion. Similar devices replete with plenty of venture capital funding — Tonal, Hydrow, Mirror — are popping up every day, each with the promise of being the exercise routine that you’ll actually stick with.


 These new companies combine at-home exercise devices with screens that stream live and pre-recorded classes, for which users pay a monthly access subscription.

In many ways, this is the natural progression of the old-school workout tape. But in addition to better screens, these companies are integrating other buzzy tech terms — social media, gamification, VR — to make exercise more habit forming and fun. Or at least less arduous than other forms of exercise.


What’s perhaps most promising about the at-home exercise devices is their ability to change. The devices’ digital screens allow companies to continually update their content.



“We believe that a product is a living, breathing thing,” Flywheel’s O’Connor said. “We’re constantly thinking about and investing in making our product better.”



Facebook Hopes To Prove AR is More Than Selfie Filters and Games

09.14.18  Edgar Alvarez,



Over the past couple of years, Facebook has been investing heavily in AR and trying to prove that it can work not just for games but for ads in the News Feed or to help brands sell shoes and phones in Messenger. Facebook sees combining digital objects with the physical world as the perfect way to keep people tied to its services. On Messenger, for instance, not only can you video-chat with your friends, but now you can also play AR games with them when the conversation needs a little pick-me-up. And the more time you spend using a Facebook product, be it Messenger or Instagram, the more money the company makes. That's why AR isn't simply an experiment for Facebook -- it's a potential gold mine.


With Facebook having 2.23 billion monthly active users on its site, as well as 1.3 billion and 1 billion on Messenger and Instagram respectively, its AR projects enjoy a reach that its Silicon Valley rivals can only dream of. 

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