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August 20, 2012

Ottawa-built Tweex app lets you sync Twitter to your PVR

Last week I was watching the Olympic closing ceremony several hours after the fact on my PVR, and I wondered out loud on Twitter: "Idea: App that time delays your Twitter feed so you can watch PVR'd shows with accompanying snarky tweets."

Within a few minutes, Gord Smith told me that there is such an app.  It's called Tweex, and it was created right here in Ottawa by InGenius, an Ottawa software developer. The app has a function called "TweeVR" that lets you time-shift tweets about the show you're watching.

Gord's a senior software architect at the company, and I asked him to explain how the TweeVR feature  works:
"Most people record shows nowadays and watch later. With Tweex, you can now wind back the "Tweet Clock" and have tweets replayed in "real time" with your recorded show. You can only go back so far, based on Twitter's limits (7 days for searches/shows, or 3200 tweets in your timeline). You're also guaranteed not to see a tweet more recent than the clock is set to, hence avoiding spoilers. The only thing we haven't figured out is how to inject your tweets back in time!"
This is Gord Smith's "slideshow mode", with his iPad
propped up next to his (very) big screen tv. (Click for full size.)
The app was originally created as a tool to help people follow along to hashtagged tweets at conferences, but the developers recognized how useful it could be for television and other live events as well.  Gord describes how he uses it to follow Indy Car races:
For #IndyCar races, [I have] the 60" LCD fired up, with my iPad set up with Tweex in slideshow mode on the left, and my Playbook with the timing and scoring web page up on the right. If it's a day where the race is tape-delayed, then it all still works except the live timing and scoring.
Thousands of people have downloaded the app, which is available for free on iTunes.  (Full version costs $1.99.) Currently available only for iPad only.

See also: Ottawa Technology Guide
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