“Augment your Reality”

A short summary of the talk I gave at DevConf 2018, Johannesburg.

Deep Learning has the ability to disrupt and to disrupt fast. The democratisation of AI means for our daily life that algorithms and tools are mature enough to make a difference in almost any industry and aspect of our professional and private routines.

If we reduce the definition of augmented reality to the most basic idea, augmented reality is an advanced version of reality.

The system I built and based my talk for DevConf on is aware of its own surroundings. By using a combination of a Computer Vision System, the Internet of Things (or IoT) and a Smart Assistant to interact with the environment in a natural way, it is fully embedded in our physical world.


IoT gives the world senses, a finger on the pulse.

My system uses the Particle Photon to collect sensor data and sends it to the Google Cloud to store and process.

Soil Moisture Sensor

Computer Vision

Computer Vision is used to build a contextual understanding of the environment and consists of two parts: Part I I used is YOLO and serves to detect common objects. For Part II, I applied my own novel idea based on using stickers. Stickers fool a neural network into thinking the image being classified is that of something else to consequently identify objects.

By training a Convolutional Neural Network to identify stickers from any random background, I could leverage stickers to identify individual objects in the environment.

Detecting and Identifying plants based on individual stickers

Speech Recognition

Being able to use speech to interact with our environment, I introduced Google Home Assistant to integrate with the system.

Google Home Assistant


Using a combination of IoT and computer vision, the system has a contextual understanding of its surroundings. The speech recognition capabilities of the Google Home Assistant allows the system to interact with humans in a natural way.

Watch the YouTube video below to see all the individual parts combined to “Enhance your Reality”.

“Enhance your Reality”

Using technology to build systems that have the ability to make an impact in the lives of the people around us is my passion. I challenge you: Think of applications for the system and ideas that I have just demonstrated and get in touch. Let’s see how we can put your ideas into action!

To read from original source please click here – https://medium.com/deep-learning-cafe/augment-your-reality-8de23ffb4950

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Dries is the founder of the Deep Learning Café. Designing AI and cloud strategies, supported by tools and processes, is at the core of his daily endeavours towards achieving AI excellence.

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