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Microsoft Live Labs Photosynth

 10:34 am on Aug 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Microsoft Live Labs Photosynth [livelabs.com]
First there was the snapshot, and then came video. Now there is Photosynth, a new service available at photosynth.com that will change the way you experience and share photos.

You can share or relive a vacation destination or explore a distant museum or landmark. With a nothing more than digital camera and some inspiration, you can use Photosynth to transform regular digital photos into a three-dimensional, 360-degree experience. Anybody who sees your synth is put right in your shoes, sharing in your experience, with detail, clarity and scope impossible to achieve in conventional photos or videos.

Synths constitute an entirely new visual medium. Photosynth analyzes each photo for similarities to the others, and uses that data to build a model of where the photos were taken. It then re-creates the environment and uses that as a canvas on which to display the photos.

Photosynth requires a viewer (a browser plug-in) and the Photosynth application for creation of synths.



 12:38 pm on Aug 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thought this pop-up was amusing:
Still using IE6 I see. We've optimized Photosynth for Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 3. You're free to use IE6, but our site won't look very good.


 4:18 pm on Aug 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Good, they're finally building sites with other browsers in mind.


 5:08 pm on Aug 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

My wife took part in the Yosemite Extreme Panoramic Imaging Project which used, among other things, the photosynth technology, to take a baseline survey of the rocks fo Yosemite for future reference. It's pretty amazing stuff.

The photsynth site is apparently overwhelmed at this point, but you can see a fun photosynth demo [ted.com] of this from the 2007 TED conference.

I'm sort of an image afficianado, so take this with a grain of salt, but for me in terms of interface this is the biggest thing to hit the web since hyperlinks and as for its search aspect, it appears to be phenomenal.


 8:33 pm on Aug 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

I am happy this is finally released. I remember being blown away by this the first time I saw it.

If they would have been able to buy Yahoo! this would have been a sweet way of viewing Flickr!


 2:16 pm on Aug 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

They are still snubbing us Mac users though...

Unfortunately, we're not cool enough to run on your OS yet. We really wish we had a version of Photosynth that worked cross platform, but for now it only runs on Windows.

Trust us, as soon as we have a Mac version ready, it will be up and available on our site.


 9:38 am on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

All good stuff.

I think all cameras should accurately date and GPS stamp each photo as a common standard, cos software like photosynth will be making full use of all the photos the world produces in to one massive kinda 3D time laps virtual environment.


 12:42 am on Aug 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

>>I think all cameras should accurately date and GPS stamp each photo

It's a price sensitivity issue I imagine - it would add at least $80 to each camera. You can get camera-specific GPS/card reader that works with any camera - slip in the card and it uses the EXIF timestamp tags to match photos with coordinates and then fills in the EXIF long/lat fields. You can get these for less than $100. And you can get ones for many SLRs for a couple hundred dollars that will add coordinates to EXIF when the photo gets saved (not sure what it does for RAW images).

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