Remember Photosynth? About 2 years ago Microsoft Live Labs release the tech preview of Photosynth and I hasn’t lost any bit of coolness ever since. It was presented at TED Talks by Blaise Aguera y Arcas (together with SeaDragon) and is one of the most watched videos of the complete TED video collection (which on itself is pretty awesome already). Watch that first if you haven’t done so already.
Long Zheng at istartedsomething.com reports on a new 3D photoviewer that was created by Microsoft Research and the University of Washington:
“The collaborative research team from the University of Washington and Microsoft Research who only two years ago in 2006 published their paper “Photo Tourism” and their technology demonstration “Photosynth” have again pushed the boundaries of what can be achieved by intuitively processing the abundance of digital images shared on the web. This week at SIGGRAPH 2008 they’re sharing with the world some even better technology they’ve been working on which they call “Finding Paths through the World’s Photos“. Don’t let the name fool you, it’s damn cool. If you’re not much of a reading person like me, take a look at this video demonstration.”
Here’s the video, pretty stunning indeed:
If this technique becomes popular, we’ll see tourists crawl behind, around (and maybe even on) touristic attractions, such as statues, altars and towers. Not sure whether everybody will be enthusiastic about that… :-)
It really is great. The only big thing I can see Microsoft missing is a large collection of such high quality photos. Maybe you guys can work something out with Flickr to get this out to everyone.
There are so many possibilities with this technology! If you add a timeline to the concept, the software could make a movie out of all these pictures! This would only be interesting for changing objects (like a building being build or collapsed). It would also be interesting to see photosynth incorporated into Live Maps.