Toyota is investing $1 billion in a research company it’s setting up in Silicon Valley to develop artificial intelligence and robotics, underlining the Japanese automaker’s determination to lead in futuristic cars that drive themselves and to apply the technology to other areas of daily life.

Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda said Friday that the company will start operating in January with 200 employees at a facility near Stanford University. A second facility will be established near Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

The investment, which will be spread over five years, comes on top of $50 million Toyota announced earlier for artificial intelligence research at Stanford and MIT.

Toyota said its interest extended beyond autonomous driving, which is starting to be offered by some automakers and being promised by almost all of them.

Toyota has already shown an R2-D2-like robot (called the Toyota Partner Robot Family) designed to help the elderly, the sick and people in wheelchairs by picking up and carrying objects. The automaker has also shown human-shaped entertainment robots that can converse and play musical instruments. As the world’s top auto manufacturer, Toyota already uses sophisticated robotic arms and computers in auto production, including doing paint jobs and screwing in parts.

Read the rest of the article at: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-toyota-silicon-valley-20151106-story.html

VR = Virtual Reality
IoT = Internet of Things

From medicine to science and engineering, VR and related technologies could soon change teaching and learning.

Virtual Reality and the IoT Can Fuel a Connected, Gesture-Driven Classroom
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I think Mr. Walter’s November 2nd article in EdTech HigherEd,  is forward thinking in his recent observation about the the increased use of Virtual Reality in Higher Education and it’s connection to the Internet of Things— a natural progression for research universities in all subject domains (and most definitely not going to be found in an under-classman’s large lecture hall).

One aspect of the article I don’t believe can be emphasized enough is Google’s involvement. He writes:

“Google is accelerating the march forward toward a more gesture-fueled Internet of Things. The company unveiled projects this year that incorporate not only virtual reality, but also a technology called augmented reality: a view of the real-world environment that is supplemented by computer-generated sounds, video and graphics.

Google’s major movement into the space, Project Tango, allows tablets, robots and other devices to use spatial and dimensional understanding of their environments. For example, one could use a tablet to scan a room and create a 3D map of the space, which could then be used by an architect or designer for space planning.”

From medicine to science and engineering, VR and related technologies could soon change teaching and learning.
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See a Previous Post on the Internet of Things (iot)

Original Source article: http://www.edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2015/11/virtual-reality-iot-connected-gesture-classroom
by Derek Walter

loves-minecraftYesterday I attended a wedding and enjoyed sitting with relatives. What was striking about the event wasn’t so much the beautiful ceremony, but the 4-year old who talked my ear off FOR OVER TWO HOURS about one thing: MINECRAFT!  IT WAS AWESOME!! (see little Levi’s picture at left)

Every little youngster in our family is hooked on the “digital lego” game, so it wasn’t entirely a surprise to me when Microsoft bought Minecraft’s parent company, Sweden-based Mojan, for $2.5 Billion last year.

However, I was blown away when I saw that Microsoft had reprogrammed it from the “ground up” around their new augmented reality system: Hololens.

I’ve been fortunate (pre-purchase by Facebook for $2B;  Read: Why Facebook Bought Oculus Rift) to test beta versions of the impressive Oculus Rift (see our first virtual reality experience here) but, Hololens looks SUPER AMAZING.
[See my other video on Hololens– I’m still trying to get my hands on one…developer kits don’t come out until 2016…stay tuned!]

Watch the video above to see how impressive the immersive world’s of Minecraft are now in virtual reality with Hololens.

And then consider the concluding paragraph from Business Insider on WHY Microsoft bought Minecraft:

There’s one other reason for Microsoft to buy Minecraft that not many people are talking about. It is growing in popularity in the education space. Teachers are using it with their students and there is a dedicated group to focusing on education.

As that grows, it gives Microsoft access to a young demographic

Business Insider: Here’s Why Microsoft is Paying $2.5 Billion For Minecraft

Internet of Things (IoT) is the inter-connectedness of all things through the Internet.

What Is the Internet of Things

The drivers of the technology and movement are the technology companies who will power the IoT: IBM, Intel & Cisco amongst others.

IBM Think Academy put out this great video HOW IT WORKS: Internet of Things

 

Takeaways from the 2015 Stanford Graduate School of Business Entrepreneur Symposium

Technical and…enlightening presentation on the future of Internet of Things

Trae Vassallo is an independent investor, board member, and advisor. She is also a strategic advisor to Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, where she was a general partner. She serves on the Board of Directors of Enlighted.

Click on any of her links above and you’ll understand her endeavors are committed to the making the future she explains a reality.

@Microsoft HOLOLENS

IF you missed this demonstration of the HOLOLENS at the Microsoft Windows 10 event this past January, please stop what you’re doing and take a look into the future– it’s pretty incredible.

And, if you have children or students that enjoy Minecraft, then you must see why Microsoft bought Minecraft (link below). Hololens is augmented reality.

click image for the Official Microsoft Hololens website

Microsoft HoloLens

ADDITION:  Minecraft + Hololens = Amazing!