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What is Photosynth(The killer technology revealed by Microsoft)?

Photosynth is an amazing new technology from Microsoft Live Labs that will change forever the way you think about digital photos. The technology is a collaboration between Microsoft and the University of Washington based on the groundbreaking research of Noah Snavely (UW), Steve Seitz (UW), and Richard Szeliski (Microsoft Research).


Microsoft Corp. has put a preview of Photosynth online to let people test drive this snazzy photo-management application, the head of the company's Live Labs research unit said Thursday. The preview is an early version of the application, so it may have kinks and bugs, said Gary Flake, Microsoft technical fellow, at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. In a demo, he and another member of Live Labs showed how PhotoSynth took a set of photos snapped in different places and, using algorithms, blended them into a seamless, fluid, high-resolution 3D image users can immerse themselves in, zooming in and out, changing angles and panning around.

The demo showed outside shots, like a composite image of the Piazza San Marco in Italy, as well as an interior image of an art gallery. Photosynth automatically analyzes the photos in a collection and mashes them up, taking into account their different angles, resolutions and similarities to create the blended image. Microsoft is now trying to figure out the different ways and scenarios in which Photosynth can be used, and it hopes that people who try out the preview will offer suggestions, said Flake, founder and director of Live Labs, a Microsoft research unit focused on Internet technologies. The site isn't yet ready to accept photos from people. It contains pre-loaded collections of photos taken by Microsoft employees. The Photosynth preview is also only available to Internet Explorer (IE) users. Non-IE surfers are told that the development team wants to extend support to other browsers and to check the Photosynth blog for updates.

This software takes a large collection of photos of a place or an object, analyzes them for similarities, and displays them in a reconstructed three-dimensional space.

With Photosynth you can:

* Walk or fly through a scene to see photos from any angle.
* Seamlessly zoom in or out of a photo whether it's megapixels or gigapixels in size.
* See where pictures were taken in relation to one another.
* Find similar photos to the one you're currently viewing.
* Send a collection - or a particular view of one - to a friend.


Photosynth provides an immersive interface where you can "walk up" to any object in a photograph...or place yourself where the photographer was when the picture was taken. Photosynth provides easy controls for exploring a collection of photos in 3D with a click of a mouse. Imagine being able to see your favorite band from either the front row or the bleachers, walking around that new motorbike you've been thinking of buying, or flying over every nook and cranny of a famous landmark.

Microsoft heralds that in future version of Photosynth, you'll be able to see your own photographs displayed in 3D, forever changing the way you think of taking - and viewing - photos. Add the ability to see your pictures photosynthed together with those taken by other people and you'll start to see the endless possibilities that Photosynth promises to provide. Photosyth has a clever Zoom too.

Source: Live Labs, Infoworld
Tags: Photosynth Microsoft

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