Twitter confirms it's launching an AR division with new hire

The former Apple designer will be the Director of VR and AR.

Markus Schreiber/Associated Press

Following its acquisition of Magic Pony earlier this month, Twitter confirmed to me on Tuesday that it had hired Alessandro Sabatelli as its new Director of VR and AR. He will head up the Augmented Reality team within Twitter Cortex, the company's upstart machine-learning division.

Sabatelli used to be a UI designer at Apple and is credited with helping create the iTunes visualizer. He has also worked with IXOMOXI, a startup focusing on developing contextual overlays for AR and VR systems.

The additions of Sabatelli and Magic Pony, which is now also part of the Cortex division, bode well for Twitter. Sabatelli's expertise with visual overlays combined with Magic Pony's data compression patents could lead to fuller, more immersive content -- think streaming 3D Periscope videos or a virtual Twitter client -- without defenestrating your monthly mobile data allocation.