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The Memory of AR Apps can be boosted by this new platform.

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 The Memory of AR Apps can be boosted by this new platform.



SPILLING OUT INTO THE MIDDLE OF THE AIR. A table topped with a package of Lego bricks. Put on your fictitious augmented reality goggles and join me. All of your bricks in front of you are cataloged by an AR camera, and you’ll be presented with ideas for new models based on the components you have available. The doorbell rings, and it’s…someone. You leave and then return to see if it’s there. Fortunately, none of those components will need to be rescanned by your glasses. As far as the AR is concerned, they’re right there where you left them

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Perceptus, a new augmented reality software platform from Singulos Research, is built around the idea of continuously recalling scanned real-world things. Even if the camera is no longer staring directly at the scene, Perceptus retains those objects in its memory. The Perceptus platform kept thinking about what more you could build with the pieces on the table while you walked over to answer the door. It didn’t cease working just because you were no longer focusing on the puzzle.

There is no need to gaze at the entire room at once in an AR environment, says Brad Quinton of Singulos Research, CEO of the company. The idea that there are things out there that we can’t see because we’ve seen them before and remember them is not a problem for us as humans.” With AR that understands what is going on around you, it can go and do things for you.”

That, at the very least, is the plan. Developers currently use Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore to create AR apps. Perceptus functions as a layer over these technologies. There are many steps that must be taken before this works on your mobile device.

Singulos Research receives 3D models of the Lego bricks — or any other object — from the app developer. As part of a machine learning process, the platform analyses how the object would appear in various lighting circumstances, on different surfaces, and so forth. To make use of this new object comprehension, Perceptus is then applied to the developer’s app. As with our hypothetical Lego app, the developer’s task is to ensure that the program genuinely suggests things you can build with the bricks it identifies.

There is still a great deal of manual labor involved in the scanning and identifying of objects. In order to get started, Perceptus platform licensees will be required to submit computer-aided design models of the objects they wish to have the platform remember. The CAD models will be added to Singulos’ library so that future developers can more easily search through the digital stacks to discover what they’re looking for. There are already “huge quantities of very precise 3D models” from video game producers that Perceptus will be able to detect in the near future, according to Quinton.

There is no need to send image data to a cloud server for analysis because the platform is trained to identify specific things well before you open an AR app that might use them. Locally installed on the device, Perceptus can be used with any current mobile processor with no issues. It’s impressive to see it in action. I watched as Quinton pushed an iPad closer to a table full with Lego blocks, and the camera began detecting all the forms and their colors in real time. Even though there were a few parts missing, it was still extremely near.

The chess demo the business created, which I used to virtually play against Quinton, was even more remarkable. It was a white-only checkerboard, so he pointed the iPad’s camera there. A piece moved on the illustrated board running in a browser tab on my computer screen as he moved a tangible piece on his board. As soon as I made a move, a virtual black piece appeared on his board and followed my instructions. Seeing this game through an iPad’s screen is strange, but when you imagine it while wearing AR glasses, it makes a lot more sense.

A major goal for Perceptus is to make augmented reality devices that can be used on a wide range of platforms, such as Apple products, smartphones with Qualcomm Snapdragon chips, and even Google-powered devices, such as the future wave of AR headsets from these firms, possible, adds Quinton. It should be simple to adapt to various augmented reality systems.

“The interplay between virtual and physical worlds is what I find neatest about this,” Quinton explains. “We have this metaverse-y thing that isn’t real—there aren’t any [chess] pieces here, but we’ve constructed this new reality. It’s not difficult to envision a scenario in which you have a chessboard next to you and use this software. A physical reality in which both of us exist but which neither of us can access is formed.”

There is an advantage to this technique, argues Matthew Turk, a computer vision expert and the president of the Toyota Technological Institute in Chicago. Machine learning algorithms don’t require you to take a ton of photos of an object or have individuals search for thousands of photos on the internet. Although Turk thinks it’s a good solution for AR apps that need a physical component, it may not be suitable for general-purpose AR.

It is impossible to have a CAD model of everything that comes into contact with you, according to Turk. This is a small set if they’re only looking at things for which you already have CAD models, but that set can grow over time as more libraries are made available.” For most people, that’s not enough, but it’s enough for a number of fascinating uses.”

We’re still a long way from a world where you just point your AR glasses at something and they know exactly what you’re looking at, but this is a good starting place for us to get started.

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Overwatch 2 Beta Begins Tomorrow: Start Time and What to Expect

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Overwatch 2 starts its second beta on Tuesday, June 28, for PC and console players. The beta begins at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT and runs through Monday, July 18. Sign-ups are still open for a chance to participate, and you can still get guaranteed access if you’re willing to spend some cash.  

The next beta will be our first look at Junker Queen, a new tank hero who first appeared in posters on the Junkertown map that was released in 2017. Fans have been hoping to play her ever since, and five years later, we’re finally getting the chance. The new beta also adds a new hybrid map, Paraiso. The developers have laid out their goals for the beta, which include testing server capacity and hero balance. 

Overwatch 2 is the sequel to Blizzard’s class-based shooter, featuring two teams of five players fighting over objectives. Overwatch devs announced in June that the game will be free to play and will launch in early access on Oct. 4. The first beta injected a frantic pace into the game, which was a welcome change from the slower, more grinding pacing that’s plagued Overwatch in recent years. The free-to-play PvP element will bring the game more in line with other competitive shooters, like Valorant and Apex Legends.

How to sign up for the Overwatch 2 beta

Anyone can sign up for Overwatch 2’s second beta, but it’s not technically an open beta. The game will add people gradually as it ramps up server capacity, and the first big wave of beta access will happen on July 5, according to the beta FAQ page. Even if you were in the previous beta, you’ll need to sign up again. 

Here’s how to sign up:

1. Go to the Overwatch 2 beta site.
2. In the top right corner, log in to your Blizzard Account.
3. At the bottom of the Overwatch 2 beta page, choose your platform (and region for PlayStation players).
4. Then hit Request Beta Access.

If you want guaranteed beta access on June 28, you can purchase the Watchpoint Pack ($40). In addition to beta access on day one, you’ll also get two legendary character skins, a unique player icon and enough digital currency to buy the first two battle passes.

How do I download the Overwatch 2 beta?

Blizzard hasn’t released details on downloading the second beta, but it should follow the same process as the first beta. Here’s how that worked:

1. Log in to your Battle.net account and navigate to Overwatch on the game launcher.

2. In the bottom left, click the Game Version drop-down.

3. Select Overwatch 2 Tech Beta to install.

4. When the download is complete, hit the blue Play button to start.

Junker Queen spinning her axe

Junker Queen’s ultimate ability helps her close distance and end fights quickly.


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Junker Queen abilities

The new beta finally gives fans a chance to play as Junker Queen, a hero we’ve all been excited about and/or thirsting over since she was first teased on the Junkertown map. Here’s what we know about Junker Queen’s abilities, from the Overwatch Twitter account:

New Hybrid Map: Paraiso

The beta also adds Paraiso, a new hybrid map that explores Lucio’s home, including the DJ’s Clube Sinestesia. As with all hybrid maps, players will start by attacking or defending a control point, and if the attackers succeed, players will spend the rest of the map attacking or defending a payload. 

An underground club with light-up floor

Clube Sinestesia is where support hero Lucio found fame as a DJ.


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For more Overwatch 2 news, check out everything we learned from the Overwatch 2 reveal event.



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Icebergify: How To Create an Iceberg of Your Most Listened to Spotify Artists

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Been on social media today? Seen those bizarre musical Icebergs floating around in your feed? You’re not alone. Screenshots like this have been doing the rounds today, particularly on Twitter. 

It’s all created via the magic of a website called Icebergify.

Using the data from your Spotify listening habits, Icebergify creates an Iceberg of your most listened to artists ranked by popularity. At the tip of the iceberg? Your favourite “mainstream” artists. Your Taylor Swifts, your Beyonces, your Drakes, etc. The further down you go, the more obscure it becomes. It looks a little like this…

If you want to see your own iceberg, you can head to the website directly. Be warned: it does require your Spotify log-in. 

The Icebergify website was developed by Akshay Raj, a freshman studying Computer & Data Science at Rice University. He says he has no plans to monetize the site or use the data collected — which is limited to your username, Spotify account ID and the top 50 tracks and artists listened to over the past few years. 

How does it work? It’s fairly simple. Icebergify takes your most listened to artists and sorts them according to popularity rankings. Streams, shares, saves, likes, and followers are all taken into account. This is why Beyonce might be at the top of your iceberg, but lesser known artists are at the bottom, beneath the ocean. Also worth noting: It seems like Icebergify is being flooded due to its surprising popularity. Head back later if it doesn’t immediately work.





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Apple’s First Mixed-Reality Headset May Sport New M2 Processor

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Apple’s first mixed-reality headset could come with the company’s flagship M2 processor, just one of the “deluge” of new products the company is expected to unveil in the next year, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported Sunday.

The M2, unveiled in June, features redesigned central processing units and a significant memory increase, which would provide a significant boost to the much-rumored headset over the previous M1 chip.

The much-rumored headset incorporating both virtual and augmented reality environments is expected to provide a boon to the gaming industry. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said earlier week that the headset — expected to be announced in January 2023 — would be the most complicated product Apple has designed yet.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been vocal about his excitement about AR. Earlier this week, he explained that the tech industry is still in the “very early innings” of this technology’s possibilities.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities we’ve seen in this space, and sort of stay tuned and you’ll see what we have to offer,” Cook told China Daily.

Other products Gurman expects to debut in the next 12 months include four iPhone 14 models, three Apple Watch variations, several Macs with M2 and M3 chips, iPads, updated AirPods Pro earbuds, a fresh HomePod, and an upgraded Apple TV. 

Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read moreApple AR, VR Headset Rumors: WWDC, Release Rumors, M1 Chip and More



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