Yesterday we showed you an iPhone application that overlays indicators pointing to the nearest London Tube stations upon the phone’s video field of view. TwittARound, a new augmented reality app from German developer Michael Zoellner, works in the exact same way—utilizing the iPhone 3Gs’ integrated compass in conjunction with GPS and video data to mix data with what we see. TwittARound provides a 360 degree view of tweets made in the vicinity, so that, ideally, they could act as “post-it notes for the world,” as Wired’s Charlie Sorrel puts it—you could not only see a tweet regarding a great sandwich at a newly opened joint, but a marker by the place itself. Location-enabled tweets are nothing new, however, and a cursory sampling casts doubt on whether TwittARound has anywhere near as much functionality as the admittedly very cool visuals.
Scanning a one mile radius of PSFK’s SoHo office, we find the following tweets:
Ahhhhhhhh…. My nerves…Breathe Neek… Breathe*
Whiffle ball has been canceled. The other team forfeited so we win!!! That gives us 2 wins and 3 loses overall this season so far.
My patience has been tested atleast 15 times today and u know wat I did..I brushed the negative energy off and smiled :-)
While the utility of an augmented reality app that points to the nearest subway stop, or the nearest ATMs, or could display the locations of your friends would be hard to dispute, are we really gaining anything from knowledge that a mediocre whiffle ball team lies to our south east? Augmented reality will garner easy attention now and for the immediate future because of its visual appeal—but developers would be wise to reflect on what exactly they are augmenting our reality with. TwittARound is still pending Apple’s approval before appearing on the App Store.
[via Gadget Lab]