Microsoft Live Labs: Photosynth


This thing is freaking cool. Basically it takes thousands of photographs with the same context from any source (but mainly web), processes and renders it into a 3D composite, making it into a huge and detailed view of a particular location. I think I’ll let the screenshots do the talking.


To experience it, you just have to watch the cool videos! I can’t wait until something based on this technology is released. Would work great with Flickr or Zoomr!

Direct links to WMV movies, you can either download or stream:

Updated: If you want to learn about how Photosynth was coded, watch this Channel 9 video. There is also another interview with the Photosynth team and demo at On10.

6 insightful thoughts

  1. Well, it’s really impressive. It seems that the engine uses the same alg that used in “panorama map” plugin for MS Expression, with the cached results… nothing really innovative, but the implementation (as in demo) is really something.

    The one bad thing, as for many of the ne MS’ technologies: how much system resources does it cost?…


  2. Is it just me or does the Photosynth logo look oh so familiar to the BP logo…

    It’s interesting to see how many “exciting” new technologies MS is showcaseing these days. It’s be more interesting to see them putting any of these technologies into products that actually work.

    How many times have they delayed Vista? Maybe MS management should get it’s engineers to focus on getting products to market rather than playing around with toys.

    Given the number of technologies MS seems to be dabbling in these days I am wondering if their management is aimlessly pocking about trying to find a new cash cow now that the Windows/ Office combo is under threat by Google and Yahoo.

    Don’t get me wrong. I love gadgets but at the end of the day I need to sell something to my customers ideally build with tools on platforms that actually work.

    So please please M$ take those billions of $$$ you are supposedly spending on R&D and building something which actually works for a change.

  3. Photosynth utilises a technology called ‘Seadragon’ which means that the resources needed to work with the images is dependent only on the number of pixels on screen i.e. your monitor’s resolution.

    In effect the resolution and number of images being displayed has no effect on the resources used: gigapixel and even terapixel pictures can be viewed as smoothly as very small images.

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