Everyone is supposed to get excited when a big company hires people for VR and AR work right now. So get excited, everyone! Twitter is hiring and buying left and right, it seems. Will Mason of Upload VR has the details.
Fresh off of the recent acquisition of Magic Pony Technologies, a machine learning company whose algorithms may have some applications for VR and AR, UploadVR has discovered Twitter has formed a new team focused on VR and AR development. Twitter has hired Alessandro Sabatelli as the Director of VR and AR to "[empower] us all in the spatial computing revolution," according to his LinkedIn profile.
Sabatelli is a big name for any company portfolio, but what is Twitter doing with AR or VR right now? Nothing. Twitter SVP Kevin Weil has talked about how great VR and Twitter could be together, but we've never gotten any details. A 360-degree Twitter app? Probably not. Upload VR speculated on the potential for live-streamed 360-degree video, but that glorious pipe dream isn't coming anytime soon. The first technical hurdle there is a bandwidth, followed immediately by a consistent framerate that won't leave the viewer praying to the porcelain gods. Periscope can't manage that with a normal video stream yet, so it's unlikely 360-degree video is right around the corner.
What would be cool, assuming Twitter is actually interested in VR and Weil's quote wasn't one of those throwaway lines you say to keep a conversation going in a positive direction, would be Twitter integration with other VR or AR apps. The ability to reach out and thumb through tweets during a break in gameplay on the HTC Vive or a more focused Twitter experience through Project Tango or Microsoft HoloLens would be incredible. Whatever happens with these hires, there's a good chance we're not going to see anything anytime soon.