Tech

Twitter Is Working On New Augmented And Virtual Reality Project

By Victor Thomson , Jun 29, 2016 05:10 AM EDT
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Twitter is working on a new VR and AR venture within its Cortex project. CNet reports that Twitter is preparing to go deeper with its future explorations in augmented and virtual reality, after embedding 360-degree NBA videos earlier this month.

According to a report by UploadVR, the company recently hired Alessandro Sabatelli, a former Apple designer. His new job title at Twitter is Director of AR and VR.

A Twitter spokesperson confirmed the hire on Tuesday, June 28. A newly-formed Augmented Reality team within Twitter Cortex will have Sabatelli as its Director. Sabatelli's LinkedIn profile currently displays a profile picture that shows him wearing an Oculus Rift headset and lists his new title.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Sabatelli's role at Apple was as a user-interface designer for WatchOS, OS X and iOS. He also worked at Ixomoxi, a company offering AR/VR music festival experiences.

Earlier this year, Ixomoxi launched a Gear VR app called Lucy, which allows users to take advantage of a phone's camera. The application consists in a series of filters that users can view through the VR headset.

Currently, the entire tech industry is focused on new augmented and virtual reality technologies. Facebook has Oculus, Snapchat is exploring AR and Google has Daydream, Cardboard and a VR-ready YouTube.

According to TechCrunch, Twitter aims to capture the experience of the here-and-now with initiatives like Moments. However, when it comes to boost user-generated media content at events, the social media network unfortunately missed the boat in a lot of ways.

On the other hand, Snapchat has achieved this goal very well. Through some recent acquisitions, the company is positioning itself as a significant power in the AR field. Among them is included the most recently acquired Seene. The startup created an app that allows people using phone's front-facing camera to capture their face in 3D.

It is unknown yet whether Sabatelli will be pursuing new VR/AR ventures for Twitter or helping the social media platform play catch-up with Snapchat. What is clear at the moment, however, is the fact that with this hire Twitter aims to involve a bit more in the VR/AR industry.

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