Twitter + Augmented Reality


What happens when you put together Flash, Augmented Reality, Papervision3D, the Twitter API, and a bored geek? You get this little webcam demo of a Flash app that tracks a marker and displays a speech bubble with your latest tweet.

Although Augmented Reality (AR) has been around for a while now, cheap webcams, 3D on the web, and other factors have only recently enabled the field of AR to be usable by the masses.

Thanks to John Lindquist’s tutorials, I was able to quickly put together a small demo of what you can do with AR and the Twitter API.

The commercial use of AR is still in it’s infancy and people are still trying to figure out how to use it. There have been some examples in the entertainment space, namely the PS3 game Eye of Judgement and the Topps Baseball trading cards.

Here’s a cool AR idea for a conference. Your registration badge can come with a marker that can be read by a big interactive wall installation with cameras. You can then walk up to it and it would show you your sessions. Not only that, but other people who walk up to it can also see their sessions and maybe, if the person standing next to you has the same sessions as you, it would let you know that so you can connect.

Here’s another cool AR idea for the web. Webcam Poker. Each player would have a marker on their desk. The webcam can then pick up the marker and project a virtual hand on your desk, so that your opponent would see your desk as if you had cards on them and you would be able to play virtual poker in a slightly more realist fashion than just clicking cards on screen.

Popularity: 5% [?]

DIYtraffic Realtime Traffic Alerts Via SMS

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Here’s a project that my friend Dan Greenblatt has been working on. DIYtraffic is a free community based traffic alert system. Traffic updates via mobile phones have been around a while, but some of the cost money and there hasn’t been any unified platform.

DIYtraffic is an easy-to-configure application that alerts you to traffic problems in a local area as they occur. The app, which is set up to pull from Yahoo’s traffic API and send to Twitter (but can be configured to pull/push from/to any service), will send SMS messages to your phone about traffic jams from accidents, street closures, etc, for the city you configure it for.

Here’s the twitter feed for Chicago.

Popularity: 2% [?]

Impressions of Twitter After 60 Days


I’m not gonna bore you with an explanation of what Twitter is. There’s plenty of that to be found on the net. A particularly good one is the Twitter in Plain English from the “[insert technology here] in Plain English” series. I do however want to give you my impression of what I think of Twitter after having used it for a period of 2 months. I’ve heard about Twitter long before but had the same reservations I initially had about blogs. Why would I want to write about my minutia and who would read it. Tells you what I know.

To make a long story short, after attending SXSW this year, I came to realize maybe there is something to this new fangled wizardry called Twitter. How could I pass judgment so swiftly without having first tried it and deciding for myself? What could it hurt to try using it for a bit? After all, it’s free. I believe to be good at my job, I have to be up on the latest trends and technologies. Before, I would take a passive approach to knowing about a technology. Reading up on it was good enough and unless it really interested me, I really wouldn’t do much with it. Nowadays though, I feel like I ought to at least dabble with anything before I make up my mind on it.

So as soon as I got home, I started Twittering and finding people to follow. Only a few of my friends were on it so I made it my business to start following some people who had interesting things to say at SXSW. What I was really hoping to get out of Twitter was some occasional glimpse of the minds of these brilliant folk. I wasn’t sure what I was gonna Twitter about, but I decided that it would probably be a mix of technology, martial arts related stuff, and my goings on. I even managed to get my boss interested in Twitter despite his initial dismissal of it similar to my reaction.

So what DO people use it for?

  • Logging random daily crap that I would have no interest in
  • Posting interesting finds and links on the net
  • Throwing it out there that the user is at a certain place
  • Asking for recommendations
  • PMS outlet
  • Shameless self promotion

What do I use it for:

  • Posting cool links
  • Bitching Complaining about how old I’m getting and how hard wushu is becoming
  • Interesting life events that I’d like to remember
  • Making random comments and inside jokes
  • Evangelizing wushu to the world – at least to the techy social media world anyways

I guess I find Twitter useful. I’ve found EverNote and cooktime among other things through Twitter. Occasionally I will gather something insightful or interesting from the people I follow but for the most part it’s noise. Maybe with a search or a filter tool – I could get more useful info out of Twitter. It’s my hope that Twitter would be around long enough that I would be able to look back on my Twitter logs in my old age and reminisce about some thing I Twittered about that only I or my circle of friends would care about. It’s definitely a new medium of communication and it will be interesting to see what corporate spin it will take and how the general public will embrace this. For now, I think it remains a very niche tool for a very select subculture.

Popularity: 2% [?]

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