Photozoom

One of the most fascinating technologies showed at MIX08 was Deep Zoom, which was used in during the Hard Rock demo of their new Memorabilia site. It was a demo done right and the technology itself is pretty fascinating as well. Later during MIX the LiveLabs team opened up Photozoom, a new web service that allows you to create the same experience with your own fotos… and embed to you site/blog if you want.

Just like many other projects based on LiveLabs technology, this is a research project for now and not officially supported yet:

“PhotoZoom is an experimental project developed by a small group of Microsoft developers, and it is definitely not an official, supported Microsoft product. Also, I cannot make any guarantees that it will be operational at all times, that it will support a large number of users, etc. This is not an official Microsoft press release and I am not a spokesperson. I can’t make any suggestions about future Microsoft product releases related to this technology or concept. In other words, I hope people will have fun with it, but please set your expectations accordingly.”

Still an interesting evolution though so make sure you check it out. I can’t embed an album here (because WordPress.com doesn’t allow me) but here’s an album I just created with some pictures of the Grand Canyon. You will need Silverlight 2 beta 1 to make it work. Oh and by the time Photozoom is rolled out more publicly, I’m pretty sure the ‘logo’ will change as well ;)

MIX08 (Grand finale)

This last post about the MIX conference is not that much related to the conference anymore actually. The conference stopped on Friday around noon and since most of the Belgians only left on Saturday morning, we had booked a helicopter flight over and trough the Grand Canyon with Sundance Helicopters. What can I say, if you are ever in Vegas do treat yourself with this, because it’s absolutely brilliant!

The Sundance company comes to pick you up with a limo by the hotel and drives you to their spot at the airport. Once you get there you sign in and about 15-20 minutes later you’re airborne, over the airport straight to the mountains. The total flight time is close to 90 minutes back and forth, and there’s a scheduled stop somewhere in the middle of the Grand Canyon offering you a fantastic view accompanied by a glass of champagne and a small lunch.

And as an image says more than a thousand words, here is what it looked like.

Grand Canyon 

During the flight the helicopter films both inside and outside of the whole trip and you can buy the DVD with that footage. I’ll let you know if that’s any good by the time it arrives via post mail. Anyway, here is the full set.

We ended the day at Morton’s Steakhouse (a personal favorite) making this the perfect ending to a great event.

MIX08 (Part 2)

The key session of day 2 at MIX was without a doubt the Q&A between Guy Kawasaki and Steve Ballmer. You’ll have to watch it and see for yourself what you think of this, but I found it a quite unique experience (and I think many did with me). Can you think of any other CEO of a company such as Microsoft to do a keynote this way?

Guy Kawasaki and Steve Ballmer during MIX08 keynote

During the rest of the day, before and after the keynote, I focused mainly on sessions that talked about web2.0, social networking and mobile. Here are some videos worth watching of these sessions:

Sessions I missed but are worth checking out as well on video are:

There are a ton of sessions I still have to go through, all of them are up on http://sessions.visitmix.com/ for your viewing as well (requires Silverlight plugin).

That evening we joined the European MIX08 guests at the European party in Club 40/40 together with David Armano and his wife. The party was good fun and some magic but no pictures to share from this one… what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas I guess ;)

MIX08 (Part 1)

There’s always one difficult part about going to conferences and blogging and that is that you hear so many interesting things you want to talk about, but no time to do so because you’re paying attention. I do have some time right now though before going to the official MIX party at TAO in about an hour or so I thought I’d share some first thoughts on the conference.

Together with most of the European invites of Microsoft to MIX, we arrived in Vegas on Monday night as we had a pre-conference scheduled in on Tuesday, the day before the official start of MIX. The pre-conference is a unique opportunity to get up close with some people that will present at MIX later as well but given we’re with about 200 people it makes it more accessible to get into a conversation. In the afternoon we had the choice between some activities, for which we chose to go for the “High Rollers” – a training basically on gambling, to get you started ;) This training took place in the Stratosphere Tower, a nice enough opportunity to take some pictures and stitch them all together in this panorama.

Las Vegas Panorama

Today MIX officially started. We had the keynote in the morning with Ray Ozzie and Scott Guthrie which got covered pretty good live by Duncan Riley at Techrunch. I’d say check out their post to get an idea of the keynote, or watch the video. There’s one thing that struck me the most and that was the Hard Rock Memorabilia demo, using the Seadragon technology within Silverlight. You can see it right here, make sure you check it out. Really cool, trust me.

hardrock

After the keynote (and the following lunch) I went out to see Lou Carbone again. I saw him at MIX07 already and found it a fascinating speech, reason enough to go see him again. Unfortunately, his MIX08 speech was the same as last year. Still very good, but been there done that.  Too late to go anywhere else so and my next session was in the same room anyway. Next up, David Armano with the Fuzzy Tail. David and I have been in touch occasionally through the AoC and on Twitter but here in Vegas we finally met in person which was good. The Fuzzy Tail wasn’t new to me as I followed the development of the presentation on his blog a couple of months ago, still good to see it presented by the man himself.

Other than that we saw some cool stuff related to the new IE8, we had again some demo on the Surface – always fascinating – and finally we joined the other MIX attendees for the official MIX party in TAO.

I know that guy

More images from MIX can be found on my Flickr account, and for more news and videos you should check out the MIX website.

Getting ready for MIX08

Within a week we’ll be on our way to Vegas again for the MIX08 conference. I quite enjoyed last year’s MIX conference with the announcements of Silverlight and Expression Studio, but also for presentations such as Lou Carbone’s for instance (who will be back this year by the way).

What I like about this year’s agenda as well is that there will be a bit more presentations and workshops that aren’t all 100% tech, as that was probably my only wish after last year. With people like Steve Ballmer, Lou Carbone, Guy Kawasaki, David Armano and obviously also Hugh MacLeod and Loic Le Meur (and many others) it looks indeed like that is happening. Anyway, a lot of presentations these 3 days so to make sure I don’t miss anything, I’ve fired up the schedule builder on the MIX website to make sure I scheduled everything I wanted to see (and added that to my Outlook which is an option within ‘my schedule’). Small note on the schedule builder, you need to be registered for the event to be able to use it. And unfortunately, if you aren’t registered already, the event is sold out since last week.

MIX08sessions

So if you’re going to MIX as well (and you’re reading this blog) then let me know so we can connect in Vegas (maybe in the Blogzone). I guess that relates immediately to the one big thing I’m missing on the MIX website and that’s the social element. Now I’m not waiting for the next social network, but since I’ve got a login after registration anyway, it would have been nice to be able to use that some more. Who do I know that is going? Which sessions are they going to? It’s like adding a bit of LIFT08 to MIX08 :) That said, it was interesting and fun last year, I’m sure it’ll be so again this year.

PS: Oh yeah, and thanks to David Armano, I now known in Vegas as ‘Two Slice’