Not to be outdone by other tech giants, it looks like Twitter now plans to jump into virtual reality and augmented reality.
Just a week after acquiring the machine-learning firm Magic Pony, Twitter has bought the music VR experience startup IXOMOXI and hired the startup's CEO, Alessandro Sabatelli, to serve as Twitter's director of AR and VR. We know this because Sabatelli confirmed the news via Twitter, naturally. Prior to IXOMOXI, he spent five years at Apple working on interface design for the company’s mobile products.
Sabatelli will now work under Cortex, a new division at Twitter that houses engineers, data scientists, and researchers dedicated to “developing state-of-the-art machine learning capabilities to refine and transform [Twitter’s] products.” The team at Magic Pony, which creates technology that could be applied to some AR and VR applications, has also transitioned to Cortex.
Twitter has acquired IXOMOXI & today is my first day as Director of AR & VR!! So excited to get to work with @qevni and the Cortex team!— Alessandro Sabatelli (@s4l4x) June 28, 2016
Twitter hasn't detailed what exactly it's doing in the VR/AR space, nor what it plans to do with its new acquisitions, so it'll be interesting to see what Sabatelli and his startup develop alongside Magic Pony. Earlier this year, IXOMOXI released a Gear VR app, called Lucy, that basically serves up Snapchat-like filters you can view through the VR headset.
We don't know about you, but it would be cool to see an immersive Twitter app that floats tweets in front of your face. We're not sure how practical such an experience would be, though the thought of the unknown has us all excited about Twitter's future.