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What I Learned Designing My First AR App

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This winter, I designed my first app in augmented reality (AR) to help my company, Lextech, understand Apple’s ARKit’s capabilities. In my experience as a UX designer at Northwestern’s Knight Lab , I was aware of emerging best practices in AR, but had never designed in it myself.

Designing for AR has radically different requirements than typical mobile app design, and in my case, it was up to me to find the right tools and questions to shape the experience effectively. As the developer on my team explored object recognition with ARKit, I explored popular AR apps and tools to design in AR. In one day, I downloaded over 10 new apps to test. I explored how Pokemon Go utilized AR and played with 4 tools to design in AR.

Taking a video to mimic the in app experience

Discussing what the developer would need to build our app in ARKit guided my direction for this project. Many tools out there help designers build functioning AR experiences on their own, but that was not going to be the best use of my time. Instead of building a full working prototype on my own, I’d be more effective if I focused on explaining the general direction and creating 3D assets he could use. Had my project goals been different, a tool like WiARframe or Torch might have been effective, but those tools are more focused on building out the interactions than providing complex 3D assets.

Prototyping for AR – WWDC 2018 – Videos – Apple Developer

Low Fi Prototyping for AR

With the new goal in mind, I started with my camera and paper. Inspired by the video above, I had a friend film as I moved paper to imitate buttons. This helped me answer basic questions such as “What buttons would I expect to see in this experience?” and “What do they do when I move my phone?” Paper was extremely helpful in understanding how 2D elements would move in a 3D space, so having a second set of hands rotate paper buttons towards the camera as it moves was critical.

When I didn’t have another person to hold paper, I used Keynote to quickly overlay objects over a video. I would make buttons and animate them to move as the video moved to test different interactions. Throughout my process, I routinely came back to both pen and paper and Keynote to test design changes before building the assets in Figma.

A screen shot from a video I made in Keynote while exploring the app’s basic functionality.

In addition to using tools differently for low-fidelity prototypes, I found myself asking different questions. A user’s surroundings became even more important because they not only created the context for using the app, but would appear on screen. How a person might hold their phone or tablet, what they might be aiming it at, and how they might move it while using the app were things I paid particular attention to.

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Learning How to Edit 3D Models

The interactions in our demo were fairly simple — we needed to expand pieces of a 3D model and rotate them. Instead of focusing on designing stellar interactions, I prioritized finding and editing a detailed model of phone hardware to highlight the potential of AR to see what’s under the hood of a machine. Since none of the 3D prototyping tools had an existing model of phone hardware, I searched sites like CGTrader to purchase a 3D model.

After testing the model in the app, it was clear the model needed editing. Some parts had colors or textures that weren’t visible in ARKit. In addition, I had to group the parts to allow users to select different pieces of the model. There are many options for editing 3D models, including Autodesk 3DS and SketchUp. I used Autodesk Maya, mostly because I had the easiest time opening my files in Maya.

Maya is traditionally used for making and animating 3D models. It provided a lot of flexibility, despite being complicated to learn. Relying on Autodesk YouTube videos, figuring out how to edit an object in Maya was by far the most difficult part of the process for me. Between the unfamiliar software and foreign file types, it took a lot of back and forth with my developer to understand the best ways to utilize Maya. There were times when I thought I had fixed a problem, only to realize I saved it incorrectly or moved a part to make the whole model completely unusable in ARKit.

A screenshot in Maya with annotations for the features I used frequently: selecting an object, grouping objects, rotating objects, and changing their color and texture.

As with any design project, communication was the most important part of the project. The top 3 conversations my team discussed to keep the project progressing smoothly from the design side were:

  1. What happens once I move my phone? Just as with any design project, most of my focus was making sure my team had good communication about what we envisioned in the product. The biggest way these conversations differed from most projects was ensuring we were all on the same page about what happened when things moved in 3D space. Here’s where pen and paper and Keynote went a long way with aligning my team.
  2. What assets do you need? Where are you at now? These questions were another way of getting on the same page as my developer and allowed me to understand what the biggest gaps were that I needed to fill in. These questions made me realize that focusing on an accurate, usable model would be more helpful than building out every interaction in an AR prototyping tool.
  3. What file types can you use? Are you able to open this new file? This question was a lifesaver when it came to figuring out what problems I ran into when learning Maya. Making sure the new file worked well was also critical, because it would often alert me of a new issue in the file I wasn’t aware of before. Because the developer and I were working with the models in different software, I had to ensure that whatever he was seeing matched what I saw.

These questions allowed me to continue making progress as he figured out to recognize an object in AR Kit, which also was not an easy task.

In mobile design, you have to understand a person’s surroundings to create a great experience. This is so much more true for AR experiences, where the surrounding becomes a part of the app. AR has the potential to truly push boundaries of how apps can take advantage of their contexts and keep users focused on their surroundings.

However, to get to that point, new skill sets must be added to the field of experience design. Low fidelity prototype will include a whole new set of methods to learn about 3D space. 3D modeling will start showing up on some UX job descriptions. And I’m excited to see where these skill sets take the world of experience design in AR.

Screen shot of our 3D model in app

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What I Learned Designing My First AR App was originally published in AR/VR Journey: Augmented & Virtual Reality Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: https://arvrjourney.com/what-i-learned-designing-my-first-ar-app-85a58dfa1b16?source=rss—-d01820283d6d—4

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U.S. DoJ Extradites Key Member of Crypto Ponzi Scheme From Panama

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The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) has extradited a principal member of a fraudulent cryptocurrency mining and trading platform from Panama to the United States.

AirBit Club Co-founder to Face Criminal Charges in the U.S.

According to an announcement by the acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, U.S. authorities were able to extradite Gutemberg Dos Santos, co-founder of crypto Ponzi scheme AirBit Club.

Dos Santos, who holds dual citizenship from Brazil and the United States, was extradited to the U.S. from Panama on Nov. 23, 2020. According to Strauss, Dos Santos’ repatriation was possible with the help of the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

As reported by CryptoPotato back in August, the U.S. authorities arrested five individuals who were involved in the AirBit Club scheme that fleeced unsuspecting victims of $20 million. Operators of the crypto Ponzi scheme ran false advertisements that promised users hyperbolic rewards from Bitcoin trading and mining.

However, the DoJ at the time alleged that the group only sought to live flamboyant lifestyles of victims’ funds. While spending money on luxury homes and cars, they reportedly made more moves to recruit more victims across the U.S and different other countries.

A statement from the DoJ document reads:

“The extradition of Dos Santos reflects the determination of agents from HSI New York’s El Dorado Financial Crimes Task Force to dismantle global criminal organizations, wherever the investigation takes us. Utilizing our broad authorities and network of law enforcement partners, HSI will continue to hunt those who allegedly prey upon innocent citizens for financial gain.”

Also, if Dos Santos is found guilty of the charges levied against him, the AirtBit Club co-founder could face between 20-30 years in prison.

Law Enforcement Fighting Crypto Crimes

Regulatory authorities globally continue to warn investors about fake crypto-related schemes that promise high returns. According to a recent report by CryptoPotato, Chinese authorities confiscated $4 billion worth of crypto tokens from PlusToken scammers.

PlusToken, which is one of the biggest cryptocurrency Ponzi schemes, promised users high returns, similar to other crypto fraudulent projects. The Chinese law enforcement began investigating the project after it shut down in 2019. In July, the police arrested 27 key members of the scam project, along with 82 other members.

Another major fraudulent crypto scheme, OneCoin, reportedly stole $4 billion from investors with its founder Ruja Ignatova also known as “Crypto Queen,” still at large. Meanwhile, Ruja’s brother Konstantin Ignatov has been arrested by the U.S. authorities since 2019 and could face a 90-year prison sentence.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/u-s-doj-extradites-key-member-of-crypto-ponzi-scheme-from-panama/

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PlusToken Crypto Scammers Slammed With 11-Year Jail Sentence

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Principal actors in the PlusToken Ponzi scheme have bagged 11-year prison sentences in China. The scheme managed to defraud investors of billions of dollars in various cryptocurrencies.

End of the Road for PlusToken Scammers

According to the South China Morning Post on Dec. 1, principal members of the PlusToken scam project were sentenced to 11 years imprisonment by a Chinese court. The suspects were found guilty of duping investors of $2.25 billion worth of crypto tokens.

As previously reported by CryptoPotato, authorities arrested 27 key members of the crypto Ponzi scheme in July, in addition to apprehending 82 other individuals linked to PlusToken.

Later in November, Chinese law enforcement seized $4 billion worth of crypto from operators of the fraudulent project. According to court documents, the confiscated cryptocurrency tokens included 94, 775 BTC, 79,581 BCH, 833,083 ETH, 74,167 DASH, 1.4 million LTC, 6 billion Doge, 27.6 million EOS, and 213,724 USDT.

The clampdown of the PlusToken scam project is in line with China’s agenda to rid the country of fraudulent schemes. Also, the latest development signals a win for authorities as the PlusToken platform was one of the largest Ponzi schemes in China.

What Happened?

PlusToken, founded by Chen Bo back in 2018, had all the hallmarks of a classic Ponzi scheme, with funds generated from later investors used to benefit early investors. Chen and other operators employed social media and offline activities to get members, who in turn paid for membership fees up to $500 worth of bitcoin and other crypto tokens.

Between 2018-2019, the platform had over 2.5 million members, with rewards based on the number of new recruits that others brought on board. Meanwhile, the total number of funds generated from members was reportedly over $2.2 billion worth of crypto.

Also, court documents alleged that Chen Bo spent some of the funds on extravagant lifestyles, buying expensive cars and properties for himself and his relatives.

In addition to the PlusToken founder and other key members spending time behind bars, the ringleaders were slammed with fines. The PlusToken scammers were fined between 120,00 yuan ($18K) and 6 million yuan ($912,922),

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/plustoken-crypto-scammers-slammed-with-11-year-jail-sentence/

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The Most Profitable Buy Signal In Bitcoin Is About To Trigger Despite Distance From ATH

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Bitcoin price this week set a new all-time high price record, taking the leading cryptocurrency by market cap to right below $20,000 before a minor pullback began. And while there is always a possibility that the asset could see a stronger correction given how overheated it is and how profitable the year of 2020 has been, one indicator is pointing to significant upside from here instead.

In fact, the cryptocurrency’s most profitable buy signal ever is about to trigger. And if Bitcoin really has begun a new bull market, then anywhere between 2,000% to over 5,000% returns historically have been possible. Will this signal lead to yet another multi-thousand percent bull run? Or will miner capitulation kick into overdrive ahead of the signal confirming?

Bitcoin Hash Ribbons Ready To Signal Buy Despite Consolidation Around All-Time High

Bitcoin was the first-ever cryptocurrency, and with it birthed an entire industry and asset class, and possibly the greatest technological revolution since the computer or the internet. It has taken years of steady development and adoption for the world to begin to understand how it works.

RELATED READING | FOMO BEGINS: BITCOIN ADOPTION EXPLODES TO HIGHEST LEVEL SINCE PREVIOUS PARABOLIC PEAK

Analysts face the challenges of performing technical analysis on a chart with little price history and has risen from worthless to $20,000 in the span of a decade. Low supply, high volatility, and generally low liquidity compared to other cause indicators and chart patterns to give false signals, or not behave as anticipated.

Fundamental analysis is even more challenging, as there are no company profit margins to review, and the asset is primarily speculative. The crypto industry’s best analysts have developed a new set of fundamental tools that pay added attention to the significance of miners and their contributions to the overall cryptocurrency economics.

bitcoin hash ribbons profitable buy signal

The hash ribbons could signal "buy" as early as this week, according to the tool's creator | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com

One such analyst is Charles Edwards, who has developed a tool called the Hash Ribbons that have also been referred to as the crypto asset’s most profitable buy signal. According to Edwards, that buy signal is set to return as early as this week, even with the leading cryptocurrency by market cap trading around its former all-time high.

bitcoin hash ribbons profitable buy signal

2019 and 2020 buy signals were just the appetizers before the main course | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com

Recapping The Performance Of The Cryptocurrency’s Most Profitable Signal Ever

The Hash Ribbons are essentially a pair of moving averages of the Bitcoin network Hash Rate and Mining Difficulty, that can signal when miners are “capitulating” or unable to sustain their operations profitably.

When these miners are shaken out, the theory is there is even less sell pressure on the market and only the strongest miners are left to hold until the next peak. Given where Bitcoin is in its current cycle and in relation to its all-time high, the “capitulation” could simply be some profit-taking, which is prompting the consolidation around current levels.

When the buy signal arrives saying capitulation has ended, magic happens. In the chart above showing the performance of the Hash Ribbons from Bitcoin’s 2018 bear market bottom, the results are astonishing.

The tool accurately triggered a buy signal ahead of a 289% rally, a 46% rally, a 38% rally, and the current 116% rally in the top cryptocurrency. But those are bear market results, and the final buy signal leading to the bull market is the one to really watch, and what gives the Hash Ribbons the reputation as the most profitable buy signal in the asset’s history.

bitcoin hash ribbons profitable buy signal

2019 and 2020 buy signals were just the appetizers before the main course | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com

The chart above shows the type of power that the buy signal is capable of on a grand scale. The final buy signal before the bull breakout in 2013, was followed with a 5800% climb.

After Bitcoin’s halving in 2016, the buy signal took the asset to $20,000 and made it a household name, with a staggering 3300% surge. Given the law of diminishing returns over time, and the fact that from the first peak to the second peak, ROI dropped by 60%, another 60% reduction in returns would still put the target for the next peak at around $400,000 or over 2000% ROI from current levels.

RELATED READING | BLOOMBERG ANALYST: BITCOIN IS “TINY” NOW, BUT “PRICE DISCOVERY STAGE” IS HERE

Taking the average timeframe between each final buy signal and the next major peak, the median is roughly a full year difference, projecting the next bull market top to be in around November 2021.

Only time will tell if the buy trigger was again valid and if the data continues to prove that the indicator is the most profitable one to watch.

Featured image from Deposit Photos, Charts from TradingView.com

Source: https://bitcoinist.com/the-most-profitable-buy-signal-in-bitcoin-is-about-to-trigger-despite-distance-from-ath/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-most-profitable-buy-signal-in-bitcoin-is-about-to-trigger-despite-distance-from-ath

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