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DFINITY raises $102M from a16z and Polychain for a decentralised ‘Internet Computer’ to rival AWS

Since blockchain technology appeared, there has been a persistent problem in its development: how to make it scale to billions of users. Bitcoin was famously never really designed for this, and today other platforms like Ethereum are also struggling. If you could crack this problem, the thinking …

Blockchain

Magic Leap wants to create art, not just technology

It hopes to be the Island Records of augmented reality.<p>Everyone has an opinion about Magic Leap. It's either a revolutionary augmented reality company that could change the face of entertainment, or it's emblematic of everything wrong with the technology industry -- an over-hyped, multi-billion …

Augmented Reality

How brand new science will manage the fourth industrial revolution

It's about artificial intelligence, data, and things like quantum computing and nanotechnology. Australian National University's 3A Institute is …

Blippar is using AR to help customers find their way indoors

Remember the scene in Minority Report where Tom Cruz walks through the mall and thousands of holographic ads pop up around him? That reality may not be as far off as we thought.<p>Blippar, the augmented reality startup that launched back in 2011, is today announcing the launch of a new product that …

A beginner's guide to AI: Algorithms

<i>Welcome to TNW’s beginner’s guide to AI. This (currently) four part feature should provide you with a very basic understanding of what AI is, what it can do, and how it works. The guide contains articles on (in order published) neural networks, computer vision, natural language processing, and</i> …

Optic wants to help developers drop boilerplate code into their development flow

Stack Overflow and other various sites and tools have made it easy to Google search for solutions — or code snippets — to the easier parts of putting together an app or program for developers, but Aidan Cunniffe wants to take that one automated step further.<p>That’s the premise behind Optic, which …

This 3D-printed AI construct analyzes by bending light

Machine learning is everywhere these days, but it’s usually more or less invisible: it sits in the background, optimizing audio or picking out faces in images. But this new system is not only visible, but physical: it performs AI-type analysis not by crunching numbers, but by bending light. It’s …

Facebook, Google and more unite to let you transfer data between apps

The Data Transfer Project is a new team-up between tech giants to let you move your content, contacts, and more across apps. Founded by Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Microsoft, the DTP today revealed its plans for an open source data portability platform any online service can join. While many …

Google’s Apigee teams up with Informatica to extend its API ecosystem

Google acquired API management service Apigee back in 2016, but it’s been pretty quiet around the service in recent years. Today, however, Apigee announced a number of smaller updates that introduce a few new integrations with the Google Cloud platform, as well as a major new partnership with cloud …

Facebook improves AI by sending 'tourist bots' to a virtual NYC

Virtual guides help a 'lost' AI find its way.<p>As a general rule, AI isn't great at using new info to make better sense of existing info. Facebook thinks it has a clever (if unusual) way to explore solutions to this problem: send AI on a virtual vacation. It recently conducted an experiment that had …

Artificial Intelligence

Teaching computers to plan for the future

As humans, we’ve gotten pretty good at shaping the world around us. We can choose the molecular design of our fruits and vegetables, travel faster and farther and stave off life-threatening diseases with personalized medical care. However, what continues to elude our molding grasp is the airy …

Machine Learning

App Maker, Google’s low-code tool for building business apps, comes out of beta

It’s been a year and a half since Google announced App Maker, its online tool for quickly building and deploying business apps on the web. The company has mostly remained quiet about App Maker ever since and kept it in a private preview mode, but today, it announced that the service is now …

Apps

AI edges closer to understanding 3D space the way we do

If I show you a single picture of a room, you can tell me right away that there’s a table with a chair in front of it, they’re probably about the same size, about <i>this</i> far from each other, with the walls <i>this</i> far away — enough to draw a rough map of the room. Computer vision systems don’t have this …

Artificial Intelligence

Mapfit raises $5.5M for its mapping platform

If you are a developer and you want to use the Google Maps Platform to power direction or other location-based features in your applications, things can quickly get expensive. Mapfit, which today announced that it has raised a $5.5 million funding round, promises to challenge Google on price while …

Location-based virtual reality is increasing its footprint in the U.S.

Earlier this year, in a small, grey-walled storefront inside a very large mall in Torrance, Calif. (just past the AMC Center) , the virtual reality game-maker Survios planted its first flag in the market for location-based gaming.<p>It’s one of several companies (many based in Los Angeles) that are …

Maps walking navigation is Google’s most compelling use for AR yet

Google managed to elicit an audible gasp from the crowd at I/O today when it showed off a new augmented feature for Maps. It was a clear standout during a keynote that contained plenty of iterative updates to existing software, and proved a key glimpse into what it will take to move AR from …

Augmented Reality

Fantasmo is a decentralized map for robots and augmented reality

“Whether for AR or robots, anytime you have software interacting with the world, it needs a 3D model of the globe. We think that map will look a lot more like the decentralized internet than a version of Apple Maps or Google Maps.” That’s the idea behind new startup Fantasmo, according to …

Clouds are complicated, and these fabulous 3D renderings of real weather data prove it

Some people, when they look up at the sky and see a cloud, think “dog” or “fluffy.” And some people think “it’s a waning cumulus with a feathered edge suggesting a pressure system from the north ending in an updraft, which would probably cause turbulence. Also looks a bit like a dog.” Clearly one …

Watch how quickly humans are changing the planet in these animations of NASA satellite images

From rising sea levels to an increase in wildfires.<p>A new website, EarthTime, aims to shows how humans have dramatically changed the planet — such as how glaciers are melting and where refugees are migrating — through time-lapse satellite photos.<p>The site’s interactive maps use images taken by NASA …

EarthNow promises real-time views of the whole planet from a new satellite constellation

A new space imaging startup called EarthNow aims to provide not just pictures of the planet on demand, but real-time video anywhere a client desires. Its ambition is matched only by its pedigree: Bill Gates, Intellectual Ventures, Airbus, SoftBank and OneWeb founder Greg Wyler are all backing the …

Google offers access to virtual 3D models of ancient monuments

You can virtually visit historic locations in 18 countries.<p>Historic monuments around the world face threats from natural disasters, tourism and war, which is what led Ben Kacyra to found CyArk -- a non-profit organization working to scan and digitally archive ancient monuments. With laser scanning, …

Side view satellite images turn the Earth into 'Sim City'

Satellite images can still enlighten and delight, but we're so spoiled by constant views from space that it's hard to surprise us. Satellite imaging company Planet has managed to do just that, however, with a collection of new images, including a shot of the man-made Pearl-Qatar island in Doha. …

Qualcomm launches its new vision intelligence platform for IoT devices

Qualcomm’s chips already power virtually every Android smartphone on the market, but the company has long set its sights beyond this core market and is increasingly looking at IoT as one of its next major growth areas. Earlier this year it launched its new embedded platform for IoT developers; …

Why 2018 will be the year apps go to the edge

If you’re running a software company today, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that most or all of your apps will run in the cloud. Likely Amazon or Google’s. It’s hard to imagine that this wasn’t always the case, but there are still some late adopters migrating their own physical data centers into …

What The New Google Maps Game API Says About Data As A Platform And The Future Of The Cloud

One of the most expensive elements of modern game design is the creation of the artistry that immerses players in the virtual constructed realm of play. For the growing world of augmented reality games which must allow players to freely roam at will through nothing less than the planet itself, it …

Google Maps

Facebook has suspended the account of the whistleblower who exposed Cambridge Analytica

Tech hath no fury like a multi-billion dollar social media giant scorned.<p>In the latest turn of the developing scandal around how Facebook’s user data wound up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica — for use in the in development in psychographic profiles that may or may not have played a part in the …

What the GDPR will mean for companies tracking location

The tracking of people’s location is becoming an increasingly useful tool for many businesses, whether they want to use it to connect customers with their special offers, monitor footfall, or provide other location-based services.<p>However, a snag is coming in the shape of the EU’s General Data …

Data Protection

Google is using Maps to turn every video game into an earth-sized epic

Video games are about to look a lot more like the real world. If you’ve enjoyed the thrill of driving through GTA V and spying out Los Angeles landmarks, then that’s a sentiment you’re probably going to start feeling a lot more often while you play video games.<p>Google is making its Maps API play …

Google explores how light fields shape VR environments in new free app

Lighting can make or break the right photo — when it comes to static environments inside virtual reality that users can move around in, this becomes exponentially more true.<p>Today, Google released a new app for VR devices focused on helping users make sense of “light fields.” They’ve also got a blog …

HTC Vive

Now you can visit Disney Parks in the US through Google Street View

Special for kids — and importantly parents of kids — now you can get designs on visiting Disney — and without dropping a small fortune in the process — thanks to Google Maps after it added Street View images for 11 Disney Parks.<p>The feature looks to cover parks in the U.S. only at this point, but …