Blippar celebrates one year since the launch of its WebAR SDK. (Blippar)

Blippar Celebrates One Year of WebAR and Apple Publishes Its View on NFTs

In this week’s article: Crypto is in the green again, (unlike the stock market), ByteDance (owner of Pico) may be in hot water with the U.S. government (again), Apple’s app store guidelines aren’t friendly to NFTs, Blippar celebrates one year of WebAR, and a Future of Privacy Forum infographic explores wearables and privacy.

An Eye on the Charts

After weeks of reporting red charts, major tokens rallied this week with Bitcoin up nearly 10 percent to be back above $20k, and ETH up over 20 percent to be back above $1.5k. Also experiencing double-digit gains on the week: Cardano, Salana, Uniswap, ApeCoin, Ethereum Classic, a number of memecoins, and a few other low-trading tokens and potential outliers.

Naturally, this positive week has been met with cheers that this is the end of the Bear market. Is it? I don’t know. Probably not. What may have caused it? Read on for one theory:

Stocks and Sats

Last week a number of reports pointed out that while cryptos were below all-time-highs, they were more stable than a recently tumultuous stock market. In addition to resurrecting the oft-argued question of whether crypto can be a store of value in established financial markets, this (admittedly brief) trend may have spurred a rush in crypto buy-in, which ironically makes crypto less stable.

This has in-turn led to the resurgence of another on-and-off crypto-trend: a decoupling with the stock market. While crypto has been up this week, many stock indices have been or still are down (or are only up slightly). While this probably isn’t a (meaningful) migration of institutional investors, it could be crypto markets attracting small-time investors from stock options like Robinhood and Acorns.

An Eye on the Fed

We moved our “eye on the Fed” down in the article this week to use the space to talk about XR rather than cryptocurrency. Specifically, ByteDance’s ongoing complex relationship with the U.S. ByteDance is currently fighting allegations of espionage that could land the Chinese tech conglomerate in hot water (again). The company has been banned in the U.S. before and some think it should be again.

ByteDance is behind the video sharing app TikTok. However, it is also the owner of Pico. Pico had a strong enterprise offering in the U.S. and seemed to be ramping up prior to its acquisition by ByteDance. The tense relationship between ByteDance and the U.S. could be why Pico has shown little interest in bringing consumer support and its recently announced headsets to the U.S.

An Eye on Apple

Government legislation isn’t the only kind that can disrupt emerging technologies. Apple recently released Appstore Guidelines updates that include their view on NFTs, which are largely limiting given all that NFTs are capable of technologically. The guidelines largely restrict utility NFTs such as those used for games and social apps rather than strictly functioning as digital collectables.

The announcement could have particularly harmful ramifications on the budding world of augmented reality games and apps, which increasingly use NFTs as a way to facilitate economies and mechanics around in-game assets.

Blippar Celebrates One Year of WebAR

The AR content creation platform Blippar is celebrating one year of the WebAR SDK. The celebration included publication of numbers (over 100k users) as well as a number of updates to the platform including improved Simultaneous Localization and Mapping on mobile devices, a Unity plugin, and compatibility with new web frameworks.

Blippar recently announced plans to expand its operations in the United States. Together with Zappar and 8th Wall, the company is among the leading WebAR content creation platforms.

Wearables Wearing Down Your Privacy

The Future of Privacy Forum published an infographic illustrating how the constant flow of data through emerging technology wearables brings opportunities while also posing significant privacy risks to users. A report accompanying the infographic further discusses how emerging technology wearables require input that is not always understood by users and not always (consistently) regulated by policymakers.