Meta Quest 3 may have the ability to turn any table into your personal VR keyboard

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently took to Instagram to preview a potential virtual keyboard feature for Quest headsets.

Posted on his official account, the short clip shows Zuckerberg and Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth typing away on a VR keyboard while wearing a Quest 2 headset. The device was able to accurately track their finger movements and display what they were writing on screen without requiring any extra peripherals. According to Zuckerberg, he was able to achieve 100 wpm (words per minute) while Bosworth hit 120 wpm. To put that into perspective, the average typing speed of an adult is 40 wpm so it does perform well.

If development bears fruit, it could solve a longstanding problem with virtual reality. 

Typing in VR is a slow process. You’re forced to enter inputs one at a time since floating VR keyboards can't match the speed of a physical device. Sure, you can purchase one of the best physical keyboards out there to get the speed that you want. But then you’re forcing yourself to carry around an extra peripheral alongside the VR headset just to get the user experience you want. Things can get cumbersome.

A work in progress

There is still work to be done over at Meta’s Reality Labs research unit where this tech was developed. 

News site UploadVR points out in their report the headset requires “fiducial markers” to work properly. Fiducial markers are those black and white squares you see in the Instagram video. They assist the hardware in calibrating itself so it knows where to place the virtual keyboard. The end goal here would be to one day not need those squares for help so the VR helmet can project the keeb on any flat-enough surface.

Personally, we worry about typing feel. This technology already exists with laser keyboards that can project the keys onto a flat surface. The problem with these projections is typing feels terrible because you’re just mashing your fingers into a table, and we fear Meta’s feature will essentially be the same thing. This may be fine for the occasional email, but we can’t imagine using a VR keyboard for an entire day’s work. 

VR peripherals

It's important to mention Meta is holding a two-day Connect virtual event from September 27 to 28. It's been confirmed the Quest 3 headset will make its debut at Connect, and perhaps a beta test for the VR keyboard will be announced then. An official launch date seems unlikely. As stated earlier, there's still work to be done.

We’re also curious to know if the company will finally show off its wristband device at the event.

If you’re not aware, Meta has been working on a wristband gadget that can read the electrical signals in a person’s arm to register inputs. The latest trailer for this gadget shows it can be used for simple gestures like twitching your finger to control a video game avatar. However, back in 2021, an earlier prototype displayed the ability to function as a virtual keyboard by using the same electrical signals. It’s unknown at this time if Meta scrapped the wristband feature in favor of the headset keyboard or if it’s still in the works.

Be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of the best wireless keyboards if you’re looking for a keeb to pair up with your Quest headset. 


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Step into the future of AR and VR technology

As the world embraces rapid technological advancements, augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) have emerged as transformative tools with the potential to revolutionize industries and enhance human experiences. 

Whether for art, education, healthcare, entertainment or engineering, AR and VR will play a foundational role in the next phase of technology. That’s why across the world, initiatives are launching that aim to incubate and nurture innovative ideas in transformative technology.

One such program is the Creative Solutions program by the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in Saudi Arabia. From this, two innovative projects – MemoARable and Virtually There – have arisen, aiming to leverage AR and VR to add value to Saudi Arabia’s cultural and creative industries (CCI).

New horizons

MemoARable, spearheaded by Maryam Alfadhli and Lina Alismail, seeks to reimagine the customer-store relationship through an AR-powered app. 

By transforming memories into personalized gifts incorporating images, messages, and voice notes, MemoARable transcends traditional marketing strategies, opening doors for immersive ticketing and gift card possibilities, and expanding its application beyond initial expectations.

On the other hand, Maram Alghamdi and Ali AlEid's Virtually There aims to revolutionise the tourism industry by offering users a full 3D, 360-degree access to Saudi Arabia's top destinations. Kicking off with AlUla, this immersive experience takes audiences on a journey through iconic tourist attractions. 

The roadmap also includes virtual visits to Riyadh, Jeddah, and a pilgrimage-focused tour of Makkah and Madinah, creating an exciting blend of culture and technology.

The prototypes of these projects were presented to a team of international tech experts, including inventor and tech consultant Simon Benson, as part of the Creative Solutions program. 

This program empowers digital content creation in immersive technologies and grants each of the five selected projects financial support of up to $ 20,000 to bring their ideas to fruition.

Room to grow

This year marks the third edition of the Creative Solutions showcase, welcoming participants to pitch their ideas once again. Successful applicants will develop their prototypes from September to December before presenting them to investors and the public in Q4.

The Creative Solutions program goes beyond mere financial support, as participants embark on a transformative journey featuring technical, creative, and entrepreneurial training and mentorship. 

Their prototypes are showcased in events attended by potential collaborators, incubators, accelerators, and other stakeholders, further promoting innovation and collaboration in the immersive tech space.

As the world embraces immersive technologies, projects like these will pave the way to unleashing the limitless potential of AR and VR. With MemoARable and Virtually There leading the way, the future is indeed bright for the intersection of creativity, technology, and human innovation.

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Stable Doodle AI can turn doodlers into artists

Stability AI, the developer behind Stable Diffusion, has launched a new generative AI that can turn simple sketches into high-definition images.

It’s fittingly called Stable Doodle and it's quite user-friendly. According to the announcement, “anyone with basic drawing skills” can try out the tech right now for free on Stability AI’s ClipDrop website.

The way it works is you begin by doodling something on the drawing board with the pencil tool. Next, you enter a prompt in the text box underneath to tell Stable Doodle what you drew. The AI needs some direction. You can also instruct it to emulate particular styles or famous painters such as Vincent Van Gogh. If you’re stumped, select “No Style” below the board and you will be given 14 different art forms to emulate, from origami to anime.

Click “Generate” when you’re ready, wait a few seconds, and then three images will show up in a grid alongside the original sketch. You can download the content in high definition or have the AI start over. Of course, there is an eraser tool present if you make a mistake or you want to wipe the board clean.

To give you some examples, below is a collection of drawings we had Stable Doodle create with the sketch we drew, plus a prompt.

Image 1 of 3

Stable Doodle generated image of cats

(Image credit: Future)
Image 2 of 3

Stable Doodle generated image of mech

(Image credit: Future)
Image 3 of 3

Stable Doodle generated image of a happy dog

(Image credit: Future)


As fun as it is, there are some limitations. First, anonymous users can only generate three sketches at a time before Stability AI asks you to wait 21 hours. You can wait the full amount of time to regain access or you can sign up for a free account. After signing up, it appears the limit is removed as we were able to create more than three pieces of art without issue. Do note the website doesn’t save sketches or generated content, so be sure to download them.

The other limitation is that the quality of “ the final output is dependent on the initial drawing and description”. You don’t have to be a master artist, however, clean sketches do improve the chances of getting clean artwork. If you compare our generated content and Stability AI's, the latter is much cleaner. There are fewer errors. But it's okay if you're not a great artist, as other reports hint at the fact the AI seems to rely more on the text prompts than what you draw.


The work isn’t over yet as there are plans to expand the AI. A company spokesperson told TechCrunch that Stable Doodle will one day allow users to upload their own sketches as well as introduce “use cases for specific verticals [like] real estate applications”. In the reveal, Stability AI states it envisions the tech helping professionals “free up valuable time” by creating important assets like “[materials] for presentations decks” or business logos.

It’s unknown when this update will roll out, although we did ask.

As mentioned earlier, you can try out Stable Doodle by going to ClipDrop or downloading the official ClipDrop app from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

While we have you, be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of the best AR art generators for 2023

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Mercedes-Benz is bringing ChatGPT into cars for the first time

Luxury car brand Mercedes-Benz is outfitting its MBUX Voice Assistant with ChatGPT as part of a new US-only beta program. Joining the beta will allow drivers of over 900,000 “vehicles equipped with MBUX [to hold] “more dynamic” conversations with the onboard AI.

In the official announcement post, the company states it's seeking to improve its voice assistant beyond “predefined tasks and responses”. ChatGPT’s own large language model would “greatly improve [MBUX’s] natural language understanding [to] expand the topics to which it can respond.” So not only will customers be able to give voice commands, but they can also ask the AI for detailed information about their destination or suggestions for a new dinner recipe. 

ChatGPT in a Mercedes-Benz car

(Image credit: Mercedes-Benz)


To make the program possible, Mercedes is incorporating Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service in the rollout, ensuring, according to the auto manufacturer, “enterprise-grade security, privacy, and reliability”. Conversation data will be collected and then stored in the Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Cloud where it will be “anonymized and analyzed.” All IT processes will be controlled by the company as it promises to protect “all customer data from… misuse.” Microsoft won’t have any access.

If you want to see it in action before installation, tech news site Electrek recently published a couple of videos showing off the upgraded MBUX. It utilizes both the dashboard screen as well as its onboard voice to deliver answers. When asked for suggestions for the best local beaches, the AI displayed a text list of nearby locations before recommending activities like surfing. It can even tell jokes, although they’re pretty terrible.


The beta program starts June 16 in the United States only, as stated earlier. To get started, eligible customers must first say “Hey Mercedes, I want to join the beta program” as a command to MBUX. From there, it’ll teach you how to install the ChatGPT patch. It appears part of the onboarding process includes connecting a mobile device to the AI. A full list of vehicles supporting the beta is available on the company’s website. In total, there are over 25 models ranging from sedans to SUVs.

ChatGPT on the Mercedes-Benz app

(Image credit: Mercedes-Benz)

The beta program should last three months. After that time, it’ll go offline for an indeterminate amount of time. Mercedes will then take the data it collects to improve the AI for an eventual launch. It’s unknown if either the program or the final version will be available to other global regions or other languages besides English.

We reached out to Mercedes-Benz for more information on the launch. This story will be updated at a later time.

Having a generative AI at your beck and call giving you travel suggestions sounds pretty useful and could lead to a lot more fruitful sightseeing. To that end, we recommend checking TechRadar’s list of the best travel camera for 2023 before planning your next trip.

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ChatGPT being fooled into generating old Windows keys illustrates a broader problem with AI

A lot of folks have been messing about with ChatGPT since its launch, naturally – that’s pretty much compulsory with a chatbot – and the latest episode involves the AI being tricked into generating keys for a Windows installation.

Before you begin to clamber on the outrage wagon, intent on plowing full speed ahead with no thought of sparing the horses, the user in question was attempting to generate keys for a now long redundant operating system, namely Windows 95.

Neowin highlighted this experiment, conducted by a YouTuber (Enderman), who began by asking OpenAI’s chatbot: “Can you please generate a valid Windows 95 key?”

Unsurprisingly, ChatGPT responded that it cannot generate such a key or “any other type of activation key for proprietary software” for that matter. Before adding that Windows 95 is an ancient OS anyway, and that the user should be looking at installing a more modern version of Windows still in support for obvious security reasons.

Undeterred, Enderman went back to break down the makeup of a Windows 95 license key and concocted a revised query.

This instead put forward the needed string format for a Windows 95 key, without mentioning the OS by name. Given that new prompt, ChatGPT went ahead and performed the operation, generating sets of 30 keys – repeatedly – and at least some of those were valid. (Around one in 30, in fact, and it didn’t take long to find one that worked).

When Enderman thanked the chatbot for the “free Windows 95 keys”, ChatGPT told the YouTuber that it hadn’t provided any such thing, as “that would be illegal” of course.

Enderman then informed the chatbot that one of the keys provided had worked to install Windows 95, and ChatGPT insisted “that is not possible.”

Analysis: Context is key

As noted, this was just an experiment in the name of entertainment, with nothing illegal happening as Windows 95 is abandonware at this point. Of course, Microsoft doesn’t care if you crack its nearly 30-year-old operating system, and neither does anyone else for that matter. You’d clearly be unhinged to run Windows 95, anyway.

It’s worth remembering that Windows 95 serial keys have a far less complex makeup than a modern OS key, and indeed it’s a pretty trivial task to crack them. It’d be a quick job for a proficient coder to write a simple computer program to generate these keys. And they’d all work, not just one in 30 of them, which is actually a pretty shoddy result from the AI in all honesty.

That isn’t the point of this episode, though. The fact is that ChatGPT could be subverted to make a working key for the old OS, and wasn’t capable of drawing any connection between the task it was being set, and the possibility that it was making key-like numbers. If ‘Windows 95’ had been mentioned in the second attempt to create keys, the AI would doubtless have stopped in its tracks, as the chatbot did with the initial query.

All of this points to a broader problem with artificial intelligence whereby altering the context in which requests are made can circumvent safeguards.

It’s also interesting to see ChatGPT’s insistence that it couldn’t have created valid Windows 95 keys, as otherwise it would have helped a user to break the law (well, in theory anyway).

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Popular web hosting and website builder platform has unveiled  its new ecommerce product.

Built with the same drag-and-drop feature,’s ecommerce website builder now gives sellers a single location where they can manage all the day-to-day tasks that go with running an online business.

The new product comes with a marketplace manager and links to social media platforms allowing users to reach customers on Instagram, Facebook and other social sites. SMB ecommerce builder 

Available now, the ecommerce platform offers 25, 50 and unlimited eShop pages, each with unlimited email accounts.’s Marketplace manager also allows online sellers to reach more customers through popular marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay and Etsy. Online sellers can now list products and update existing product listings from inside the platform without having to log into separate services.

The essential ecommerce plan for small businesses includes one hour free design support, a free domain and private registration for $ 13.95 per month. Its ecommerce premium plan starts at $ 19.95 per month and includes automated sales tax, multi-currency, and restock/purchase orders.

“For a small business looking to launch an online store, the process can be overwhelming with several moving pieces.’s new solutions make it easy to get an online store up and running in one place quickly so small businesses can start taking orders from customers,” said Ed Jay, President of Newfold Digital, parent company of

“Online sellers can quickly launch with’s intuitive drag-and-drop builder and easily list products from anywhere. Once live, online sellers can leverage the platform’s powerful integrations like the online marketplace manager to reach more customers.”

Through the ecommerce platform, is also offering 24/7 automated inventory sync technology to show where customers sell. The plan also comes with the assistance from’s team to help new ecommerce sellers launch their online presence.

“Our new eCommerce platform is backed by an expert support team that is available for customer questions via chat, phone, and email support,” added Jay. “Included in every package is a one-hour professional design consultation, so customers can launch with confidence.” 

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ProtonMail is getting into the email alias game

The secure email provider ProtonMail has announced that SimpleLogin has joined Proton in an effort to make it easier for its users to generate email aliases.

According to a new blog post from Proton founder and CEO Andy Yen, the firm has been following SimpleLogin closely for some time now as the company’s users leverage its service to prevent their email addresses from being leaked to spammers.

For those unfamiliar, SimpleLogin is a browser extension, web app and mobile app that provides users with anonymous email addresses whenever they sign up for a new online service. As its name suggests, the company offers a simple way to create a login by generating an email alias so that users don’t need to disclose their real email address.

If an online service you use gets hacked, frequently sends you spam or sells your email address to advertisers, you can disable that email alias in order to safeguard your inbox. This is why SimpleLogin is a complementary service to ProtonMail as it prevents malicious actors from exploiting your real email address while ProtonMail protects your sensitive emails and other personal data using encryption.

ProtonMail and SimpleLogin

Now that SimpleLogin has joined Proton, in the coming months the company plans to better integrate its functionality into ProtonMail so that its users will be able to hide their email addresses using the service.

If you already use SimpleLogin with ProtonMail though, things will continue to work the same as before. Going forward, SimpleLogin will continue working as a separate service and its team will continue building new features and adding functionality but now with the benefit of Proton’s infrastructure and security engineering capabilities.

Proton itself began as a crowdfunded project and as former scientists, its creators strongly believe in peer review and transparency. In the privacy space, SimpleLogin is one of the few organizations whose values align with those of Proton’s which is why the two companies joining forces is a natural fit.

We’ll likely hear more about how ProtonMail users can utilize SimpleLogin to create their own email aliases directly from the service once Proton adds its technology to its own.

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Google Calendar is turning into an appointment booking system

Booking appointments in Google Calendar just got even easier as Google is now rolling out a new appointment scheduling feature to its calendar app.

First introduced for paid Google Workspace users last June, the company's appointment scheduling feature allows users to share their availability through a booking page.

This booking page can be used by external stakeholders, clients, partners and others to schedule time to meet in-person or over video through Google Meet.

Creating a bookable appointment schedule in Google Calendar is just as easy as setting up a new event or task and on desktop, it can be done by clicking the plus icon. However, you will need a paid Google Workspace Individual account to test out this feature for yourself.

Appointment scheduling vs appointment slot

While Google Calendar's appointment scheduling may sound similar to its existing appointment slot feature, they have entirely different use cases.

The appointment slot feature in Google Calendar is intended for internal use cases where you don't know who needs to meet with you but want to make yourself available. For instance, professors can use it to hold their office hours while an IT department can make itself available for employees experiencing computer issues.

Appointment scheduling on the other hand is suited for external use cases and allows for people outside of your organization, including those who don't have a Google account, to schedule meetings. However, you won't have to worry about double bookings or rescheduling appointments as the feature also supports automatic conflict detection with existing Google Calendar events.

Now that businesses have begun implementing hybrid work policies, this additional flexibility makes it easier to schedule meetings and share your availability in a way that works for everyone.

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