The Morning After: Wednesday, August 30th 2017

Richard Lawler

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

We're only at the halfway mark of this week, and Google is taking on Apple for AR dominance and Uber officially named its new CEO.

The next battleground.Google unveils its answer to Apple's ARKit: ARCore


Old and tired: AI. New and wired: augmented reality. After a few months of Apple developers wowing us with augmented reality demos using iOS 11's new ARKit features, Google is striking back. It revealed a new augmented reality SDK for Android phones called ARCore, which helps developers blend real and virtual worlds using just a device's sensors and camera. There are three key features available now: motion tracking (it uses the phone's camera to detect your position in the room), environmental understanding (so it can find horizontal surfaces) and light estimation (so the lighting and shadow of virtual objects match your surroundings).

That's where it differs from Project Tango, Google's other AR project, which relied on extra hardware for increased precision. Plus, while we're still waiting for iOS 11's public release, these features are available to developers now and will work on any device running Android N or above.

Good riddance.Google pulls 300 Android apps used for DDoS attacks

A cross-company alliance of security researchers teamed up to take down the WireX botnet, which turned out to be powered by malware-laden Android apps. Google has removed those apps from the Play Store and is in the process of pulling them from infected devices. The programs (pretending to function as basic apps like ringtone makers or storage managers) would run normally, then later download a program that ran in the background to attack its creator's targeted websites.

And Google Assistant voice controlDeezer HiFi adds Chromecast streaming

For those who require the absolute best audio quality, Deezer is expanding the reach of its high-fidelity streams. Previously a Sonos-only feature, Deezer Elite has been renamed Deezer HiFi, and will work with any device that has Google's Cast support built-in. Plus, if the device uses Google Assistant, then users can access their music library by voice control.

Acoustic Informatics.Reprogramming the piano

Every time jazz pianist Dan Tepfer hits a note, the Yamaha Disklavier -- his digital player piano -- sends the information via MIDI to his laptop, which instantly shoots back an algorithmic response that causes other keys to play themselves. The effect makes it seem as if he has four hands playing simultaneously, all of them in sync.

IRL.What we're using: Qapital, Mighty and the Switch Pro controller

This month's In Real Life focuses on self-improvement: taking your Spotify playlists to the gym minus your phone, getting some app-powered help on your savings and, er, being a better gamer on the Nintendo Switch.

A not-so-dystopian robot future.Robot caregivers are saving the elderly from lives of loneliness

Growing older alone can be bad for your health, but support robots springing up around Japan are proving surprisingly adept at keeping retirees engaged.

But wait, there's more...

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