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Exclusive: Designing Single-handed Shortcuts for VR & AR



For new computing technologies to realize their full potential they need new user interfaces. The most essential interactions in virtual spaces are grounded in direct physical manipulations like pinching and grabbing, as these are universally accessible. However, the team at Leap Motion has also investigated more exotic and exciting interface paradigms from arm HUDs and digital wearables, to deployable widgets containing buttons, sliders, and even 3D trackballs and color pickers.

Guest Article by Barrett Fox & Martin Schubert

Barrett is the Lead VR Interactive Engineer for Leap Motion. Through a mix of prototyping, tools and workflow building with a user driven feedback loop, Barrett has been pushing, prodding, lunging, and poking at the boundaries of computer interaction.

Martin is Lead Virtual Reality Designer and Evangelist for Leap Motion. He has created multiple experiences such as Weightless, Geometric, and Mirrors, and is currently exploring how to make the virtual feel more tangible.

Barrett and Martin are part of the elite Leap Motion team presenting substantive work in VR/AR UX in innovative and engaging ways.

As we move from casual VR applications to deeper and longer sessions, design priorities naturally shift toward productivity and ergonomics. One of the most critical areas of interaction design that comes up is mode switching and shortcuts.

Today we use keyboard shortcuts so often that it’s difficult to imagine using a computer without them. Ctrl+Z, Ctrl+C, and Ctrl+V are foundational to the efficiency of keyboard and mouse input. Most of you reading this have committed these to muscle memory.

In VR we’ve seen controller inputs adopt this shortcut paradigm relatively easily by remapping commands to buttons, triggers, trackpads, and analog sticks. To increase or decrease the brush size in Tilt Brush you swipe right or left on the trackpad of your brush hand.

But what happens when we think about one-handed rapid selections for bare-handed input? This requires a different kind of thinking, as we don’t have buttons or other mechanical inputs to lean on. In our previous work, we’ve mapped these kinds of commands to either world-space user interfaces (e.g. control panels) or wearable interfaces that use the palette paradigm, where one hand acts as a collection of options while the other acts as a picker.

But if we could mode switch or modify a currently active tool with just one hand instead of two we would see gains in speed, focus, and comfort that would add up over time. We could even design an embodied and spatial shortcut system without the need to look at our hands, freeing our gaze and increasing productivity further.

Direct Manipulation vs. Abstract Gestures

One way to activate a shortcut with a single hand would be to define an abstract gesture as a trigger. Essentially this would be a hand pose or a movement of a hand over time. This is an exception to a general rule at Leap Motion, where we typically favor direct physical manipulation of virtual objects as an interaction paradigm over using abstract gestures. There are a few reasons for this:

  • Abstract gestures are often ambiguous. How do we define an abstract gesture like ‘swipe up’ in three-dimensional space? When and where does a swipe begin or end? How quickly must it be completed? How many fingers must be involved?
  • Less abstract interactions reduce the learning curve for users. Everyone can tap into into a lifetime of experience with directly manipulating physical objects in the real world. Trying to teach a user specific movements so they can perform commands reliably is a significant challenge.
  • Shortcuts need to be quickly and easily accessible but hard to trigger accidentally. These design goals seem at odds! Ease of accessibility means expanding the range of valid poses/movements, but this makes us more likely to trigger the shortcut unintentionally.

To move beyond this issue, we decided that instead of using single gesture to trigger a shortcut, we would gate the action into two sequential stages.

The First Gateway: Palm Up

Our interaction design philosophy always looks to build on existing conventions and metaphors. One major precedent that we’ve set over time in our digital wearables explorations is that hand-mounted menus are triggered by rotating the palm to face the user.

This works well in segmenting interactions based on which direction your hands are facing. Palms turned away from yourself and toward the rest of the scene imply interaction with the external world. Palms turned toward yourself imply interactions in the near field with internal user interfaces. Palm direction seemed like a suitable first condition, acting as a gate between normal hand movement and a user’s intention to activate a shortcut.

The Second Gateway: Pinch

Now that your palm is facing yourself, we looked for a second action which would be easily triggered, well defined and deliberate. A pinch checks all these boxes:

  • It’s low-effort. Just move your index finger and thumb!
  • It’s well defined. You get self-haptic feedback when your fingers make contact, and the action can be defined and represented by the tracking system as reaching a minimum distance between tracked index and thumb tips.
  • It’s deliberate. You’re not likely to absent-mindedly pinch your fingers with your palm up.

Performing both of these actions, one after another, is both quick and easy, yet difficult to do unintentionally. This sequence seemed like a solid foundation for our single-handed shortcuts exploration. The next challenge was how we would afford the movement, or in other words, how someone would know that this is what they needed to do.

Thinking back on the benefits of direct manipulation versus abstract gestures we wondered if we could blend the two paradigms. By using a virtual object to guide a user through the interaction, could we make them feel like they were directly manipulating something while in fact performing an action closer to an abstract gesture?

The Powerball

Our solution was to create an object attached to the back of your hand which acts as a visual indicator of your progress through the interaction as well as a target for pinching. If your palm faces away, the object stays locked to the back of your hand. As your palm rotates toward yourself the object animates up off your hand towards a transform offset that is above but still relative to your hand.

Once your palm fully faces toward yourself and the object has animated to its end position, pinching the object – a direct manipulation – will trigger the shortcut. We dubbed this object the Powerball. After some experimentation, we had it animate into the pinch point (a constantly updating position defined as the midpoint between the index finger and thumb tips).

This blend of graphic affordance, pseudo-direct manipulation, gestural movement, and embodied action proved easy to learn and ripe with potential for extension. Now it was time to look at what kinds of shortcut interface systems would be ergonomic and reliably tracked from this palm-up-pinched-fingers position.

Continued on Page 2: Spatial Interface Selection »

The post Exclusive: Designing Single-handed Shortcuts for VR & AR appeared first on Road to VR.



Monero, Polkadot, Decred Price Analysis: 25 October



Bitcoin’s dominance was recorded to be 61.75, at press time, with the index noting a figure of over 60 for a week now. In fact, Bitcoin was also noting some gains on the charts, having risen above the $13,000-level. Monero shared this bullish sentiment and was also noting gains, while Polkadot exhibited a bearish divergence. Decred, while quite volatile over the past few days, was nevertheless trending upwards.

Monero [XMR]

Monero, Polkadot, Decred Price Analysis: 25 October

Source: XMR/USD on TradingView

Using the Fibonacci Retracement tool for XMR’s move from $93.54 to $136.39, some important levels were highlighted.

The cryptocurrency’s price sailed past the 23.6% retracement level at $126.28. As the OBV showed, the crypto-asset has been seeing increasing buyer interest (white). Recently, as the price retraced, the OBV trended downwards (purple), before breaking past the trendline once more.

This breakout indicated that the crypto-asset could follow and post more gains in the coming days, with the region around $140 as the target over the next few days.

In other news, Monero’s former lead maintainer, Ricardo “Fluffypony” Spagni, was recently reported to have stated that “cryptographers are always gonna stay one step ahead on privacy.”

Polkadot [DOT]

Monero, Polkadot, Decred Price Analysis: 25 October

Source: DOT/USDT on TradingView

DOT was forming a symmetrical triangle (cyan), a continuation pattern that can break out to either side. In this instance, the price appeared to break out to the upside, but it stopped short at $4.4.

Any further gains for the crypto-asset would have to be shelved over the next few hours as it noted a bearish divergence between the price and momentum (white).

DOT formed higher highs as the momentum indicator (RSI) formed lower highs. This could force DOT down towards $4.2 or even lower on the charts.

In other news, Ontology and Polkadot recently announced a collaboration to accelerate DeID adoption.

Decred [DCR]

Monero, Polkadot, Decred Price Analysis: 25 October

Source: DCR/USD on TradingView

The cryptocurrency’s technical indicators highlighted how the crypto-asset behaved with heightened volatility. Despite the rapid surges and drops in value, the crypto-asset was trending upwards as it posted higher lows on the charts.

In fact, the Stochastic RSI was in the oversold region, indicating that a spike in price was on the cards. There was also the possibility that DCR might test the support at $12.21, before moving upwards once more.


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Germany Enters Deflation

Germany negative interest rates, October 2020Europe’s biggest economy is now in a full swing monetary deflation for the first time in our era. More than 200 banks have now introduced penalty interest rates on retail…



Europe’s biggest economy is now in a full swing monetary deflation for the first time in our era.

More than 200 banks have now introduced penalty interest rates on retail deposits, some from the first euro, to cover costs incurred by ECB’s negative interest rate for bank deposits. Even mobile Bank N26 has introduced penalty interest rates from €50,000 according to local media.

A comparison website says “144 banks have published negative interest rates for private customers on their website or in their online price list.

13 banks charge fees for the overnight money account, which is usually free. This creates an actual negative interest rate.

According to media reports, some banks and savings banks charge negative interest rates, but do not publish them online.”

Almost all German banks, including the biggest Deutsche Bank, now charge -0.5% for deposits of €100,000 or more. That means such depositors have to pay the bank €500 euros a year for holding and using their money.

Numerous banks have also introduced yearly charges for current accounts, which effectively amounts to negative interest rates if regular deposits are being made.

What’s more, Germany itself has entered deflation, with the inflation rate now standing at -0.2%.

Germany enters deflation, October 2020
Germany enters deflation, October 2020

The massive money printing by the European Central Bank (ECB), which now owns some 66% of the Eurozone GDP, seems to have had little effect in Germany.

The reason is perhaps because of something peculiar, with it a bit unclear what exactly has gone on in the German banking sector.

German banks private sector lending, Oct 2020
German banks private sector lending, Oct 2020

This sharp drop of about $1 trillion in private sector lending coincides somewhat with the introduction of the euro, the official German re-unification, as well as a bit later the dot com crash.

It’s never recovered and the increase has been slow proportionally speaking, with Germans continuing to choose savings over borrowing:

German saving rates, October 2020
German saving rates, October 2020

German saving rates have fallen this past half century, save for the recent spike during the current unusual circumstances.

However, last year’s negative interest rates cost German savers €27 billion in real terms after adjusting for inflation, according to a calculation by DZ Bank.

Some half a trillion can be saved by Germans per quarter from their disposable income, with many choosing to not invest in stocks as they perceive them to be risky.

Effective Monetary Contraction and Regressive Taxation

The monetary tightening by the banks as can be seen in the above picture, combined with high saving rates, is one explanation for this monetary deflation we are seeing in the country.

Another potential explanation is the incentives are just wrong where ordinary Germans are concerned.

Capital gain taxes are 25%, with those that make more in capital gains usually not paying a higher tax rate.

This is a general Western problem with income taxes for example stopping at the somewhat middle class income of circa $40,000, above which a flat tax rate of 45%-50% is applied.

The same applies to capital gains where someone who makes a billion in capital gains pays the same tax rate as someone who makes $10,000.

This in effect amounts to regressive taxation because those that have less proportionally pay more to the commons, and the less they have, the more they pay proportionally.

You add inflation, which is the most regressive tax of them all because it applies even to bread, and this capital gains or income tax becomes more regressive with each passing year.

That’s because the income of $40,000 say in the 90s is not the same income of $40,000 as of today. Back then you could buy two nice houses in very nice locations with that much. Now, you probably wouldn’t get a mortgage for a normal house.

Yet the rate of taxation on this $40,000 has not changed even though what $40,000 means has changed considerably.

Wages Germany, October 2020
Wages Germany, October 2020

We can see above wages in Germany have grown nicely, from €2,500 two decades ago, to €4,000.

In effect however wages have not grown at all. If we take a simple 2% a year inflation, without even adding its cumulative nature, over the past two decades we have had 40% inflation. Wages here have increased by about 40%. Meaning they have not increased in real term.

What has happened during these past two decades however is that taxes have increased on ordinary income and by a lot.

Let’s say for simplicity income taxes on those earning $2,500 a year are 20%. Those same people that were earning $2,500 a year, are now earning $4,000, but in this income bracket taxes are 40%.

That means taxes have increased by 20% without any change on real earnings. Something that no one would vote for, and thus something that has been done by stealth for the above is not obvious unless you actually look at the data.

Those that were in the 90s earning above €40,000 were already somewhat rich, and thus because of that they have not paid any further taxes unlike those below them.

As the masses are being taxed more, they have less disposable income compared to the 90s, and because of that banks are lending less to them.

German disposable income, October 2020
German disposable income, October 2020

The disposable income appears to have grown nicely as well, but if we account for that 40% inflation, it has not grown at all.

What has happened instead is a reshuffling of wealth, especially as far as how much the government takes and from whom is concerned.

In effect, over the past two decades taxes have been reduced on the upper-middle and upper classes, and have been increased by a significant amount on the middle class and those lower.

Gradually over the past two decades this systemic overtaxation of the masses and no taxation of the rich has led to a plutocratic system whereby a billionaire now openly rules America.

While where Germany is concerned, the title of the longest ruling elected head of state is less of an honor, and more an indication of sclerotic democracy in a nation where there is very little, if indeed any, political competition.

Hence we get a situation where despite much money printing there is still deflation, with the reason probably being because those who receive this new money are not being taxed, while those that don’t, are being taxed and at a higher rate.

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Bitcoin SV Faces Rejection at $180, May Attempt to Reach the $183.89 High



Oct 25, 2020 at 15:11 // News

Bitcoin SV is retracing after being resisted to a low at $175

Yesterday, buyers attempted to push BSV above the $180 overhead resistance. The upward move is facing resistance. If buyers turn down from the resistance zone, the sideways move will resume.

Today, the coin is retracing after being resisted to a low at $175 at the time of writing. On the upside, if price retraces and rebounds above $170, the $180 overhead resistance will be breached. Conversely, if the coin fails to rebound, the sideways move below the resistance will persist.

Bitcoin SV indicator reading 

BSV price is above the SMAs which suggest the coin will rise. However, if the price breaks below the SMAs, the coin will resume selling pressure. BSV is above the 80% range of the daily stochastic. It indicates that the coin is in the overbought region and sellers may emerge to push prices down.


Key Resistance Zones: $320, $340, $360

Key Support Zones: $140, $120, $100

What is the next direction for BSV/USD?

Bitcoin SV is making a fresh uptrend to retest the resistance at $180. On October 22 uptrend; the coin was resisted at $172. The last retraced candle body tested the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level. This indicates that BSV will eventually rise to 1.618 Fibonacci extensions or the high of $183.68.


Disclaimer. This analysis and forecast are the personal opinions of the author that are not a recommendation to buy or sell cryptocurrency and should not be viewed as an endorsement by CoinIdol. Readers should do their own research before investing funds.


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