Mobile Startup Turns Tweets Audio
Google showed some new features last week. “It is basically like a location-based chat service,” said Matt Fitzsimmons in describing the technology at the MIT Startup Demo in Seattle last week. It’s almost like a radio with tweets that are audio. You can even pick the accent of your speaker that is reading the tweets.
The technology still has a few things that need to be worked on.
Most people would be interested in setting up a personalized station that is listening to all tweets. Fitzsimmons and the rest of the iHear team are moving forward. The company’s first Android app launched in February and has 10,00 downloads.
“We are connected alone. We are members of social networks, but we are disconnected from what’s going on right in our community,” said Fitzsimmons, a former consultant at T-Mobile. “You probably know more about what your friend in Florida had for breakfast this morning than you do about what is going right across the street at the diner.”
Fitzsimmons describes iHear as a cross between Pandora and location-based services — audio Tweets appear on a map.
“We want you to be able to interact with your community. We don’t want you to be distracted by technology,” said Fitzsimmons during his pitch. “Technology should be a tool that helps you get engaged with what’s going on around you. So, this is a first step in empowering to take in the content that it is being created by their neighbors in a sort of citizen journalism-type stream.”