Summary of “The Reality Ecosystem: What AR/VR/XR needs to go big – TechCrunch”

Mobile AR has shown what is possible, with Pokémon GO, Snapchat and soon Google Maps/Lens again standouts.
Critical use cases for mobile AR are beginning to emerge, with perhaps the first being Google’s Maps/Lens combination revealed at Google I/O 2018.
It solves a universal problem when you come out of Embarcadero Station and are told to go south – but where’s south? Google combined computer vision with mobile AR to show you exactly where to go, and even gave you a cute fox to lead you there.
Houzz proved mobile AR apps can drive an extraordinary 11x sales uplift.
Current mobile leaders could determine how mobile AR evolves even more than startup insurgents.
It’s too early to tell with smart glasses again, but their critical use cases might need to be more than ports from breakout mobile AR successes.
It could become a key enabler for the Reality Ecosystem for both mobile AR and smart glasses.
Talking with 30 leading VCs in Sand Hill Road and China showed a mental model geared toward mobile AR and computer vision in the near-term, and smart glasses in the long-term.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What the Facebook Crypto team could build – TechCrunch”

The blockchain, but how? Back in May Facebook formed a cryptocurrency team to explore the possibilities, and today it removed a roadblock to revealing its secret plans.
Former head of Messenger David Marcus who leads the Facebook Crypto team today announced he was stepping down from the board of Coinbase, the biggest crypto startup.
Marcus provided a statement to TechCrunch explaining he was stepping down “Because of the new group I’m setting up at Facebook around blockchain” noting that “Getting to know Brian , who’s become a friend, and the whole Coinbase leadership team and board has been an immense privilege. I’ve been thoroughly impressed by the talent and execution the team has demonstrated during my tenure, and I wish the team all the success it deserves going forward.”
Facebook could build a cryptocurrency wallet with its own token that people could use to pay for things with partnered businesses or that they discover through Facebook ads.
The social network could eat the costs of running the program, passing the transaction fee savings on to the users, while touting partnerships with Facebook Crypto as ways to boost sales for businesses.
Facebook could offer cryptocurrency-based payments between friends to let a wider range of users settle debts for shared dinners or taxis through Messenger.
Users might fund their Facebook Crypto wallet once with a payment, possibly with a one-time transaction fee, and then they could send and receive the tokens for free from then on.
Facebook recently debuted its own virtual currency called Facebook Stars that users can buy and send to creators, who can then cash them out for one cent each.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Amazon, Airbnb, and Asos are all investing in this one simple design i”

Service design has been one of the greatest disruptive forces in our lives over the past 20 years.
I have worked in service design for roughly half of its life as an industry, and I’ve seen every kind of service.
As the home for all of the U.K. central government services, Gov.uk has to deal with millions of users trying to do complex tasks for the first time, so they recently changed the architecture of the site to enable users to find the task they were trying to complete, and navigate the various forms and guidance that are required to complete that service in a simple step-by-step guide-like learning to drive.
The service must clearly explain what is needed from the user in order to complete the service and what they can expect from the service provider in return.
The service must work in a way that does not unnecessarily expose a user to the internal structures of the organization providing the service.
If there’s an established custom for your service that benefits a user, your service should conform to that custom.
A service should not use language that assumes any prior knowledge of the service from the user.
Lou Downe is a designer, writer, and director of design and service standards for the U.K. Government.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Network Effects Matter Less Than They Used To. That’s a Really Big Deal.”

Network effects can be direct: for example, Slack becomes more useful as other people also use Slack.
Network effects can also be indirect, meaning that one set of users benefits as more of another type of users joins a platform.
We have long taught that network effects can provide market power and sustained or even self-reinforcing competitive advantage.
What has changed? Why don’t network effects work as they used to?
For one thing, today network effects are not tied to a particular piece of hardware, like a desktop computer.
These examples remind us that network effects only really work as a source of competitive advantage if your product is also “Sticky.” Scale will not bring future competitive advantage through network effects if your customers can all leave tomorrow.
The theory is that data stored in one place can lead to lock-in which in turn will power up network effects.
Look at the iTunes Store, which was once my favorite teaching example of a sticky digital platform exhibiting network effects.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How do Apple’s Screen Time and Google Digital Wellbeing stack up?”

Apple and Google are both adding new dashboards, with options for more zoomed-out perspectives on how you’re spending your time, along with more granular views of how often you’re using individual apps – down to the minute.
Google does offer a separate app called Family Link that can do many of the same time-monitoring and app-blocking tricks, but it’s a separate app that parents have to go out of their way to install and enable, not something that’s built into the OS. Google and Apple are both updating their Do Not Disturb and notification features to put more options back in the hands of users, too.
While Apple is expanding the scope of Do Not Disturb to include location-based or event-based triggers, Google is making its version more powerful.
Information or action Overall, one could probably say that Google is taking a bit more of a brute force approach with its Digital Wellbeing program, whereas Apple’s approach is a bit more tilted toward simply supplying information to the user so they can make better decisions themselves.
Both are beta pieces of software, so there’s a very real chance that Apple and Google may make huge changes to how these features work by the time they’re released in the fall.
At the end of the day, Apple and Google are taking some real, introspective strides here when it comes to giving users information about how they use their phones.
Yes, there are certainly cynics who may feel that Apple and Google’s efforts are disingenuous – after all, these companies have always wanted to ensure that users, hardware sales, and, most importantly, profits go up ahead of anything else.
At least Google and Apple are starting to think about the problem.

The orginal article.

Summary of “SoFi and Robinhood: How to save money”

Speaking on a panel Tuesday at SoFi’s offices in downtown San Francisco, fintech designers shared with moderator and behavioral economist Kristen Berman exactly what challenges users face when it comes to navigating financial tech, and how good design can help users overcome these barriers.
SoFi Another challenge for these designers is helping their users even conceptualize the scale of large debts like student loans and credit cards.
So while Digit aims to help users saving small amounts of money in the short-term, it often has to overcome their bigger, looming concerns about their longterm goals.
Digit uses automation to help its users “Save money without thinking about it.” It just transfers money from a bank account into a Digit account.
Unlike automated bank transfers, Digit helps users figure out their savings goals and what the right amount of money is to save.
At Robinhood, which helps users invest in the stock market and cryptocurrency, the biggest user concern is “The fear of getting started,” according to Heather Breslow, lead user experience researcher at Robinhood.
Robinhood also offers new users a free share of stock so that they can become comfortable with the daily ebbs and flows of the stock market, without putting any of their own money on the line.
Whether it’s a set of tech stocks, or stocks from companies with female CEOs, Robinhood reduces the number of decisions that users have to make until they are comfortable taking control over their entire portfolio.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Facebook starts its facial recognition push to Europeans – TechCrunch”

Facebook users in Europe are reporting that the company has started giving them the option to turn on its controversial facial recognition technology.
Jimmy Nsubuga, a journalist at Metro, is among several European Facebook users who have reporting getting notifications asking if they want to turn on face recognition technology.
In Europe the company is hoping to convince users to voluntarily allow it to deploy the privacy-hostile tech – which was turned off in the bloc after regulatory pressure, back in 2012, when Facebook began using facial recognition to offer features such as automatically tagging users in photo uploads.
Under impending changes to its T&Cs – ostensibly to comply with the EU’s incoming GDPR data protection standard – the company has crafted a manipulative consent flow that tries to sell people on giving it their data; including filling in its own facial recognition blanks by convincing Europeans to agree to it grabbing and using their biometric data after all.
Under the EU’s incoming data protection framework Facebook cannot automatically opt users into facial recognition – it has to convince people to switch the tech on themselves.
A Facebook spokeswoman confirmed to TechCrunch that any European users who are being asked about the tech now, ahead of the May 25 GDPR deadline, are part of its rollout of platform changes intended to comply with the incoming standard.
In the meanwhile Facebook users are being socially engineered, with selective examples and friction, into agreeing with things that align with the company’s data-harvesting business interests – handing over sensitive personal data without understanding the full implications of doing so.
Depending on how successful those tests prove to be at convincing Europeans to let it have and use their facial biometric data, millions of additional Facebook users could soon be providing the company with fresh streams of sensitive data – and having their fundamental rights trampled on, yet again, thanks to a very manipulative consent flow.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Facebook moves 1.5bn users out of reach of new European privacy law”

Facebook has moved more than 1.5 billion users out of reach of European privacy law, despite a promise from Mark Zuckerberg to apply the “Spirit” of the legislation globally.
A week later, during his hearings in front of the US Congress, Zuckerberg was again asked if he would promise that GDPR’s protections would apply to all Facebook users.
Worldwide, Facebook has rolled out a suite of tools to let users exercise their rights under GDPR, such as downloading and deleting data, and the company’s new consent-gathering controls are similarly universal.
Facebook told Reuters “We apply the same privacy protections everywhere, regardless of whether your agreement is with Facebook Inc or Facebook Ireland”.
It said the change was only carried out “Because EU law requires specific language” in mandated privacy notices, which US law does not.
“This is a major and unprecedented change in the data privacy landscape. The change will amount to the reduction of privacy guarantees and the rights of users, with a number of ramifications, notably for for consent requirements. Users will clearly lose some existing rights, as US standards are lower than those in Europe.”
“Data protection authorities from the countries of the affected users, such as New Zealand and Australia, may want to reassess this situation and analyse the situation. Even if their data privacy regulators are less rapid than those in Europe, this event is giving them a chance to act. Although it is unclear how active they will choose to be, the global privacy regulation landscape is changing, with countries in the world refining their approach. Europe is clearly on the forefront of this competition, but we should expect other countries to eventually catch up.”
That means users will exist in a state of legal superposition: for tax purposes, Facebook will continue to book their revenue through Facebook’s Irish office, but for privacy protections, they will deal with the company’s headquarters in California.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to save your privacy from the Internet’s clutches – TechCrunch”

There are some practical steps you can take to limit day-to-day online privacy risks by reducing third party access to your information and shielding more of your digital activity from prying eyes.
Every data misuse scandal shines a bit more light on some very murky practices – which will hopefully generate momentum for rule changes to disinfect data handling processes and strengthen individuals’ privacy by spotlighting trade-offs that have zero justification.
Tell me more: Keyboard apps are a potential privacy minefield given that, if you allow cloud-enabled features, they can be in a position to suck out all the information you’re typing into your device – from passwords to credit card numbers to the private contents of your messages.
Tell me more: Choosing friends based on their choice of messaging app isn’t a great option so real world network effects can often work against privacy.
Tell me more: No connected technology is 100% privacy safe but Apple’s hardware-focused business model means the company’s devices are not engineered to try to harvest user data by default.
Roid is a more open platform than iOS and it’s possible to configure it in many different ways – some of which can be more locked down as regards privacy than others.
Action: Say no to always-on voice assistantsWho is this for: Anyone who values privacy more than gimmickry.
So it’s a great time to write to your reps reminding them you’re far more interested in your privacy being protected than Facebook winning some kind of surveillance arms race with the Chinese.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Instagram Looks Like Facebook’s Best Hope”

Instagram relied on Facebook for its success, but now Facebook may depend on Instagram for its longevity.
“We had a dashboard that had a live updating number of who signed up for Instagram per minute. That was growth for us.” Once the acquisition closed, only a few months after Facebook’s initial public offering in 2012, Zuckerberg installed members of the Facebook growth team at Instagram.
A spokeswoman says Instagram “Initiated and drove the creation of Stories internally and was not pressured.” Systrom acknowledges there was “Tension” over the direction of Instagram, which he’s grateful for.
One Kolkata shopper told an Instagram researcher, Ashlee Edwards Brinegar, that she didn’t feel as if her life was interesting enough to post on an Instagram account.
During the meeting, Kevin Weil, Instagram’s head of product, pointed out that if Instagram got local celebrities and cricket stars to use the less-polished Instagram Stories, it might teach everyone else how to do so.
On LinkedIn, when employees change jobs from Facebook to Instagram, they list Instagram as a separate company.
Some of his followers asked, what about Instagram? Instagram was “Borderline” but “Probably okay,” Musk tweeted, “As long as it stays fairly independent.”
Roger McNamee, an early Facebook investor who’s now one of the company’s loudest critics, says Facebook “Used its dominant position in social media to grease the skids for Instagram” and has intentionally tweaked Instagram to make it more Facebook-like.

The orginal article.