Once again a technical preview for something really amazing (which was acquired by Microsoft earlier this year)
“Photosynth is an amazing new technology from Microsoft Live Labs that will change the way you think about digital photos forever.”
Mhh…yeah, of course… so what does it really do?
“Photosynth takes a large collection of photos of a place or object, analyzes them for similarities, and displays them in a reconstructed 3-Dimensional space.”
“Each photo is processed by computer vision algorithms to extract hundreds of distinctive features, like the corner of a window frame or a doorhandle. Then, photos that share features are linked together in a web. When a feature’s found in multiple images, its 3D position can be calculated. It’s similar to depth perception—what your brain does to perceive the 3D positions of things in your field of view based on their images in both of your eyes. Photosynth’s 3D model is just the cloud of points showing where those features are in space.”
“The Photosynth client shows you the 3D pointcloud, but more importantly, it also shows you the original pictures overlaid on the model. Imagine a slide projector placed at each camera position, aimed where the camera was aiming, and projecting the picture that camera took. A screen is placed in the 3D environment at an appropriate distance from the projector. As you move around in the Photosynth environment, projectors turn on and off, giving you a changing perspective on a world built entirely out of the original photos.”
“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.
Photosynth provides easy controls for exploring a collection of photos in 3D with a click of a mouse. If you’ve ever played a 3D game you already know how to use Photosynth.
Seeing your photos displayed in 3D instead of a boring old slideshow changes the way you think of taking—and viewing—pictures. Add the ability to see your pictures together with those taken by other people and you’ll start to see the endless possibilities that Photosynth promises to provide.”