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Redweb Content Digest: Animated AI and AR royalty

We’ve swept away the remnants of the royal wedding street parties, tidied up the tables and searched the internet for exciting stories from the world of content. This week, we’re embracing our inner minority report, interacting with animated assistants, and keeping an eye on a certain CEO. 


Getting hands on with the next generation of user interfaces

Hot on the heels of the announcement of their AR platform, North Star, designers from Leap Motion have published the first in a series of articles detailing their thoughts and process for creating user interfaces for VR and AR.


GIF Credit: Leap Motion

Leap Motion has established itself as a leader in human-computer interaction, with its first hand sensor released in 2013. The sensor quickly became the accessory of choice for VR headset owners looking to add hand interaction to their experiences. 

We’ve been watching what Leap Motion  has been doing with hand interactions in AR and have been thoroughly impressed! We’ve even taken a crack at combining our Meta 2 AR headset, with a Leap Motion sensor to improve hand tracking – you can check it out on our Twitter page.

Read more: Designing single-handed shortcuts for VR and AR  


An augmented reality experience fit for royalty 

As most of you are probably aware, there was a really big wedding last weekend. To commemorate it, ABC News built an extension to its existing royal wedding news platform, allowing users to insert royal-themed AR elements into the world around them. 

The application aimed to provide an interactive experience that’s not been possible at previous royal weddings, and featured models of iconic imagery tied to the British monarchy – such as the Queen’s Guard and carriage used during the procession after the wedding. 

Read: ABC’s ‘Royal Wedding AR’ is an augmented experience fit for a prince 


Meet Ava, Autodesk’s animated AI assistant 

Autodesk has recently launched an update to its customer service system, with a chatbot that can answer users’ questions about Autodesk products. While a customer service chatbot on its own isn’t really notable, Autodesk has implemented something which sets it apart from others on the market. 

Ava is able to transition from a text-based chatbot, into a fully featured animated AI assistant. When given access to your camera and microphone, it’s able to respond to questions when spoken to and detect when you’re looking away from the screen to pause the conversation. 

The team behind her worked hard to avoid falling into the uncanny valley – when something attempts to look like a human, but doesn’t quite make it – but we’ve found Ava to still be just a tad weird. Check out the demo below.

Read: How Autodesk’s assistant Ava attempts to avoid uncanny valley 


Zuckerberg’s EU testimonial fails to impress MEPs

This week, Mark Zuckerberg arrived in Brussels to testify before members of the European Parliament and lawmakers. Much like the congressional hearing, this was live streamed for all to see. This live streaming didn’t come without some controversy, however, as Zuckerberg initially insisted on the event being a closed doors affair. 

Many have criticised the format of the testimony, which required Zuckerberg to listen to questions from MEPs and then answer them after hearing all of the issues raised – effectively allowing the CEO to pick and choose questions.

Shadow profiles were also a hot topic that Zuckerberg actively dodged throughout the testimony. We’re still waiting to see if he’ll finally agree to answer questions from the UK’s DCMS committee. We’re not holding our breath. 

Read: Mark Zuckerberg’s EU parliament meeting was spectacularly awkward


That’s all for this week – we’ll be back next week with more news and stories from the content sphere. Let us know if we missed anything in the comments below.


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