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Delighting Users with Rich Interactions is Key to Making VR Engaging & Effective

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VR software has introduced many new challenges to developers. Among these challenges, rich interactions are at the very core of all the new elements VR software designers need to consider when creating games or general applications.

Guest Article by Enrique Tromp 

Enrique is cofounder and CTO of VRMADA, a tech company providing enterprise VR solutions worldwide. With a strong passion for computer graphics and digital art, his career spans nearly 20 years in simulation, video games, and live interactive experiences. These days he loves taking on challenging VR projects and creating realistic interactions. You can follow his latest work on Twitter @entromp.

It’s no surprise that all the top selling VR games have something in common: their interactions are extremely polished and fun to play with. Games like Job Simulator (2016) paved the way of modern VR interaction while Beat Saber (2019) showed us that simple but engaging interactions can beat big studio productions in this medium as well.

Even though my background includes game development, I’ve spent most of my career developing training simulators. Currently I’m working in the enterprise VR market for training and, as you can imagine, realistic interactions here are key.

When developing a particular interaction, whether it is for games or for training, I always strive for three things: making it a really enjoyable experience, anticipate all kinds of interaction ‘misuses’, and polish it until everything feels right and then some.

Quality VR interactions are key to effective training because they are more engaging and authentic, developing new neural pathways that provide the ability to learn and perform new tasks. They work the same way good professors make lessons entertaining that keep you engaged, facilitating the assimilation of new knowledge. Bad interactions will cause frustration and decrease training efficacy.

The main challenge when developing VR interactions is the amount of freedom that the medium inherently presents to its users. In traditional videogames we use action buttons to interact with the world. The object and the context determine what will happen. In VR we use natural gestures instead; we pick things up like we would do in real-life, we manipulate complex tools, we can throw things around, all using our own hands.

This is a big paradigm shift in the way we design and implement interactions and presents a big challenge because users are inherently curious and they like freedom—especially in VR. Some will follow the ‘expected’ behaviors of the application, but others will be carried by their curiosity and inevitably test the limits of the world before them. Surprising the user by anticipating the creative ways that they interact with objects can make the experience more enjoyable and increase the sense of being in a cohesive world rather than a scripted experience.

In this article I will showcase some of the interactions I’ve developed and offer some thoughts on the design approach to each.

Lab Elements

I’ll start with a sci-fi lab that is part of a sandbox we developed internally to create and test new interaction mechanics.

The lamp on the left presents 3 handles that can be grabbed using a single hand or both hands at the same time, from the inside or the outside. It is attached to the world through a mechanical IK-driven arm that hangs from the ceiling which constrains its range of movement to a sphere and gives context for its ability to be placed in any position.

From all the changes that we made, adding haptics and smoothing out the movement of the lamp had by far the biggest impact on user experience. The smoothing filter conveys the feeling of mechanical resistance (that it’s not possible to move it around that easily) and adding haptics multiplies this feeling tenfold. It is also very gratifying to see how the mechanical arm follows the lamp around when you move it, and how it keeps swinging a little when you release it. These are little things that we add for no other reason than to keep the user happy and engaged.

The laser has a different IK setup. One of the things that we tried to experiment with is the rubber joint that joins the head with the arm and gives it two degrees of rotational freedom. We got the inspiration from the avatar wrist in the game Lone Echo and thought it was a cool way to model a ball joint.

The laser beam works by casting a ray from the tip and creating a polygon strip simulating the burn if the surface has been exposed long enough. Smoke particles help to add a bit more detail as well.

Lab Battery

This clip showcases a battery swap in the same sci-fi environment. The main purpose is to study objects with different constraints that need to be manipulated correctly in order to complete the task.

The first step is opening the door, while the object can only be rotated around its axis. Being anchored to the world has a very important consequence in the grab action: instead of the object snapping to the hand, it is the hand that will snap to the handle.

The second step is slightly more complex because it involves using both hands to unlock the mechanism that keeps the battery in place. If you try to pull out the battery without unlocking it first, the hand will maintain the grip or snap back to its position if pulled away too far.

Once the lock is open the battery can be extracted, which is accomplished by constraining the position allowing it to slide only along the tube until it comes free.

Drill

The first challenge when recreating a drill in VR is to determine the necessary conditions to start the drilling process. After all, there is no physical resistance in real-life that prevents someone from moving their hand through a wall in VR.

In this example, the conditions that are required are:

  • The drill bit must be able to penetrate the material it’s pressed against
  • The drill bit needs to be oriented at a correct angle against the surface.
  • The drill needs to be slowly pushed against the surface when the user presses the trigger.

If the user tries to pull the tool any other way than out during the drilling process, the drill will be kept in place and the hand will snap back if it is moved too far away from it.

Subtle haptics play a big role in the interaction making things such as the drill rotation or the physical resistance of the medium more believable.

Continue Reading on Page 2: Cabling and Rope & Tire »

The post Delighting Users with Rich Interactions is Key to Making VR Engaging & Effective appeared first on Road to VR.

Source: https://www.roadtovr.com/delighting-users-rich-vr-interaction-design-enrique-tromp/

Blockchain

XRP, NEO, Dogecoin Price Analysis: 28 September

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XRP showed signs of bearishness on the charts, although on a longer timeframe, there was the possibility of a bullish breakout. NEO has been forming a bearish pattern over the past few days, with the same validated as NEO sought support in the face of selling pressure. Dogecoin could be entering a period of low volatility, although its movements were still part of a larger bear trend.

XRP

XRP, NEO, Dogecoin Price Analysis: 28 September

Source: XRP/USD on TradingView

A bearish divergence was seen on the 4h charts, highlighted in yellow. This divergence can be expected to take the price back to the support at $0.232. Given that XRP has been trending for more than a month, the $0.232-level might be lost as support in the next few days.

The previous week also showed a hidden bearish divergence, with price making lower highs as the RSI made higher highs, as shown by the white lines.

The longer timeframe analysis also showed a descending channel, indicating the possibility that in a week or two, XRP might break out of the channel to the upside.

NEO

XRP, NEO, Dogecoin Price Analysis: 28 September

Source: NEO/USDT on TradingView

The most recent trading session showed a 4.8% loss, although the session had not yet closed, at the time of writing. The purple trendlines highlighted the formation of an ascending broadening wedge, a bearish reversal pattern.

The pattern played out as the price slid beneath the lower of the two trendlines. This pattern can generally drive prices back to the base of the formation, in this case, $18.6.

The Aroon indicator also showed a downtrend since the price broke out to the downside as the Aroon Up (orange) dived toward 0, while Aroon Down (blue) rose and crossed over to signal a change in trend in the near-term.

However, it is also possible that the buyers may step in at the $19.5-level.

Dogecoin [DOGE]

XRP, NEO, Dogecoin Price Analysis: 28 September

Source: DOGE/USDT on TradingView

The Bollinger Bands were beginning to squeeze around the price, while the trading volume was also reaching new lows. This indicated a period of lowered volatility.

If the prior trend were to repeat, DOGE might stay around $0.0027 for a few days, before experiencing another drop towards, and even beneath, its support at $0.0025.

Source: https://eng.ambcrypto.com/xrp-neo-dogecoin-price-analysis-28-september

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Israel Wants To Classify Bitcoin as a Currency to Amend the High Capital Gains Taxation

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Israel Wants To Classify Bitcoin as a Currency to Amend the High Capital Gains Taxation

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Israel is considering making Bitcoin a currency, according to a new bill that was tabled by four members of the Nationalist party Yisrael Beiteinu, which aims to regulate better the taxations of digital currencies in the country.

The four members, led by Oded Forer consider a 25% capital gains tax on Bitcoin to be outdated. They are looking to amend the current Income Tax Ordinance with a more adaptable version which reflects better the reality of digital assets and transactions.

The proposal referred to as a private member’s bill will add a new section to the Income Tax Ordinance in which digital currency is considered as an asset. This makes trading or converting any digital assets into fiat subject to capital gains. In the bill, the four members stated:

“The regulatory reality in Israel is not adapted to the existing reality in the field.”

New Bill: Qualities of a Real Digital Currency

The new bill stipulates that for a distributed digital currency to be considered a currency, it must have four characteristics. Any digital currency like Bitcoin which meets the set criteria will be considered a currency for both trading and taxation purposes.

First, it should be operated by a distributed network of nodes and not a centralized entity like state or financial institutions. The network should be in consensus as to the rules that govern development and transactions.

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Secondly, the initial issuance of a currency unit need not have been intended as payment between either party and with a market cap of not less than 1 billion NIS ($287.4 million).

The last quality requires a digital currency to have a general utility purpose and not designated for certain uses or entities. The market cap requirement excludes the rest of crypto assets in the market, leaving only Bitcoin to be certified as a currency in Israel.

Amendment to Benefit Global Technology Development in Israel

Apart from reducing taxation on Bitcoin, the new bill also intends to boost innovation around blockchain technology in Israel, which already considers itself as a global high tech power.

The members believe that Israel has the capacity to be among the leading countries in digital currency innovation, which will play a central role in the future of world economic dominance.

“It is precisely in this period when the economic future is not clear that it is possible to promote digital payment options due to the social distance that has been forced on us.”

The Income Tax Ordinance was implemented in February 2018 declaring Bitcoin and other crypto assets to be taxed as capital assets. In May 2019, the Israeli District Court issued its first Bitcoin transactions ruling when it denied an appeal by a taxpayer to be exempted from paying 3 million NIS in taxes, from the profit he made selling Bitcoin in 2013.


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The views expressed in the article are wholly those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, ZyCrypto. This article is not meant to give financial advice. Please carry out your own research before investing in any of the various cryptocurrencies available.

Source: https://zycrypto.com/israel-wants-to-classify-bitcoin-as-a-currency-to-amend-the-high-capital-gains-taxation/

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Bitcoin Cash short-term Price Analysis: 28 September

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The price of Bitcoin Cash was flourishing, at the time of writing, with BCH’s price picking up momentum since the 23rd of September. After briefly testing a low of $200, the crypto-asset was quick to recover by $20 within a day. In fact, over the past couple of days, the crypto-asset has consolidated between $235 and $220.

With Bitcoin Cash’s price trending upwards, chances for a re-test at the resistance level of $237 are evident. At press time, Bitcoin Cash had a market cap of $4.28 billion.

Bitcoin Cash 1-hour chart

Source: BCH/USD on Trading View

For Bitcoin Cash, its latest bullish recovery was supported by a couple of technical patterns over the past few days. After the massive dip on 22nd September, the price managed to stabilize above $200, keeping close proximity to that range for quite a bit of time. However, the price movement over the ensuing week soon led to the formation of a cup and handle pattern. Following the same, the crypto-asset’s value was able to positively breach the neckline at $218.

Another positive indicator was the recovery of buying pressure on the charts. After a massive sell-off during the third week, buyers were able to recoup a better position in terms of dominating the outlook and moving a bullish narrative forward. With the 50-Moving Average underlined as a support level, the price of BCH might continue to climb north.

Bitcoin Cash 30-min chart

Source: BCH/USD on TradingView

With the price of Bitcoin Cash lined for a re-test at $237, an entry position should be kept with a little bit of pessimism. The valuation should be pulling back until $225, before pushing for another rally, which should be marked as an entry for a long position. With a stop loss at $221, profits can be taken at $237 as suggested for a Risk/Reward ratio of 3x.

The Stochastic RSI pointed to a minor bearish flip as well, one that is possibly going to take BCH down to $225 in the next few hours.

Source: https://eng.ambcrypto.com/bitcoin-cash-short-term-price-analysis-28-september

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