Thursday, August 20, 2009

Augmented Reality Phone Tweeting

The augmented reality app Layar has just been released (17th August) on the global Android market. If you have an Android phone and you tweet then you will love the Tweetmondo layer. This layer takes the image from your phone and overlays an impression of recent tweets that happened close to where you are standing. For a youtube video of the app in action check out the Layar Blog, it works for me just like it shows here.

This app is great for an early release, but it can be a little confusing to get started and I couldn't find any instructions. Here is what you can do to get started.
  1. Install the Layar app on your phone
  2. Start up Layar, go to the Featured tab and hit Tweetmondo
  3. The Filter Settings dialog opens, you can probably just hit Apply
  4. Your gps icon will show in the notifications bar and you should see the output from your phone camera with a grid overlay and hopefully some bird icons representing tweeters
  5. Tap one of the tweeter bird icons then tap again on the info bar that appears at the bottom of the screen
  6. Select Privacy then you will be redirected to register your phone with Tweetmondo. Enter your Twitter credentials
  7. Now whenever the Tweetmondo layer is open on your phone your location is updated with Tweetmondo servers. By default this is not too fine-grained, for example my location shows up as something like Scarborough, Perth
  8. Now you can use your regular everyday Twitter app (I use Twidroid) to tweet and it will show up on Layar at your location.
One showstopper with the above instructions is that if you are in an area with no other Tweetmondo users you can't set up your phone to update your location through the Tweetmondo layer. When this happens you will just have to wait until you are somewhere busier and try again.

I think this is really cool for the extra level of engagement it offers to tweeters, but I'm sure just like Twitter itself this will not be everyone's cup of tea.

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