Microsoft Photosynth: Making You Go WTF?!

In Geek Stuff, News, Videos on May 20, 2008 at 9:34 am

It’s an old video taken from the TED conference last year, but for some reason, this presentation by Blaise Aguera y Arcas on Photosynth resurfaced on the Digg site today. Not many people knew about it obviously, including myself. But the demo here on how networked images can be viewed is mind-blowing: it’s hard to imagine technology like this exists, and hopefully Microsoft can roll it out in the right way.

Having been in development over the past year, the demo you see is already up and running at Microsoft’s Live Labs for a preview, so you can try it out yourself. It runs on Active X though, which isn’t great if you’re paranoid on security issues.

Somehow, this reminded me of Microsoft Surface that was supposed to come out last year. Where the hell is it? Microsoft, don’t botch up cool tech like this.

Here’s a little bio on the creator:

Blaise Aguera y Arcas’ background is as multidimensional as the visions he helps create. In the 1990s, he authored patents on both video compression and 3D visualization techniques, and in 2001, he made an influential computational discovery that cast doubt on Gutenberg’s role as the father of movable type.

He also created Seadragon (acquired by Microsoft in 2006), the visualization technology that gives Photosynth its amazingly smooth digital rendering and zoom capabilities. Photosynth itself is a vastly powerful piece of software capable of taking a wide variety of images, analyzing them for similarities, and grafting them together into an interactive three-dimensional space. This seamless patchwork of images can be viewed via multiple angles and magnifications, allowing us to look around corners or “fly” in for a (much) closer look.

Simply put, it could utterly transform the way we experience digital images.

  1. hmm i don’t get it. what’s so special about it?

  2. @joon it’s a pretty slick looking interface that networks all the pictures tagged by users–like the dude said (not the Big Lebowski dude), if you look for Notre Dame, what you’ll get is a bank of pictures from all over the world related to Notre Dame that you can swoop through. It’s got the potential to tie up the mess of pictures and arranges them into a smooth interface.

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