TweetReality: now iOS devices.user get Twitter in augmented reality


Most of the people like Twitter. Tweeting helps me to create ideas in a unique way, and despite many missteps in the company. I feel it is a net positive addition to my life. that should make me a good target audience for TweetReality: an AR app, based on Apple’s ARKit, that puts your Twitter feed in the real world. Instead, I’m probably its worst possible test case.


A couple of days ago TweetReality was released for iPhones and iPads. And it got a positive response on the product hunt for the startup showcase site. As seen in the promotional video, it turns the ordinary Twitter feed into a grid of cards that float in a half-sphere ahead of you. Like a huge power field tweets that only you can see through a camera feed. You can type your own tweets or tap cards to interact with them. One user writes that it is an “amazing way to get more involved with your Twitter timeline — literally.”

While I asked a some of the iOS users to test TweetReality, the results were more mixed. Everybody complained that on iPhone screen it was robust to see the text. Some elements like expansion, links, and post for 280 characters — were not working. but my partner loved the effect of a floating Twitter feed. “If it was larger, I’d use it in my daily life,” she told me.

I’m not so convinced.

TweetReality on iOS looks mostly like a proof of concept. It’s harder to use than regular Twitter, without much benefit beyond a neat visual effect. And Oscar Falmer designer described his app as a prototype for future A headset apps. “My goal was to innovate in what the future will look like, mainly by thinking about the upcoming glasses we’ll all probably be wearing,” he wrote on Product Hunt. The results are based on his research in 3D interfaces, and it’s not a stretch to imagine using TweetReality with hand gestures instead of taps.

But TweetReality doesn’t feel like it’s designed specifically for Twitter. Twitter is information-dense, designed to let you scroll a high volume of fast-flowing info at a glance. TweetReality, by contrast, could be a giant board with plenty of white space. It asks you to shift attention to your entire field of view as you read, giving every tweet pride of place.  It interrupts Twitter’s news-ticker feel — a structure that heavily shapes how people write and read tweets, and one of its most unique elements.

That also makes Twitter more imposing than I want it to be. Remember, we’re in the bleak future of 2017, where social media could be a minefield. I would like to have the information. I take as much as possible in the box, limiting its physical presence in my life. And i definitely don’t want to have Trump tweets suddenly overlaid on the Eiffel tower. And my feed and mentions are pretty clean. (It would be worse if I were dealing with persistent trolls.)

I’d try something like TweetReality with Tumblr or Instagram, which feature image-heavy posts that benefit from the art-gallery design. I would also try a headset-based version that more clearly “augmented” reality, displaying relevant tweets while I’m looking at a press conference or hanging out at an event. I’d even be into a sufficiently redesigned interface. but for currently, seriously — leave my feed out of it.

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