Darren Straight's Blog

ICT Enthusiast and photographer.

By - Darren Straight

Photosynth Tech Preview is Live

It’s been just a few short months since the Microsoft Live Labs Team announced Photosynth at SIGGRAPH 2006 in Boston and boy have they been busy!

Today they are very happy to announce the first public release of their Photosynth Technology Preview. And hey as the Team thought you might have some questions about this release they’ve provided you with some Questions and Answers as provided below. Great Work Team!

Q. What does Photosynth do?

  • A. Photosynth combines hundreds or thousands of regular digital photos of a scene to present a detailed 3D model, giving viewers the sensation of smoothly gliding around the scene from every angle. The scene can be constructed regardless of whether the photos are from a single or multiple sources. It’s like a hybrid of a slide show and a gaming experience that lets the viewer zoom in to see greater detail or zoom out for a more expansive view. By viewing the photos in a 3D context you are able to get a better sense for the place where they were captured.

Q. What exactly is a ‘Technology Preview’?

  • A. In essence a Technology Preview is a sneak peek at good things to come. Microsoft Live Labs is very much focused on pushing the state of the art of the internet forward and showing what’s possible today. We like to do things quickly and in a very collaborative way. Over time you’ll start to see more and more of our technologies work their way into great products across Microsoft, but in the meantime we want to get your feedback on what we’re doing right, and areas where we can improve. Being on the cutting edge unfortunately comes at a little bit of a cost so if your computer is more than a couple of years old, there’s a chance that your graphics drivers may prevent Photosynth from running properly. If weird stuff happens, please install the latest drivers for your graphics card and try again.

Q.When can I build my own collections?

  • A. We’re working on it! We want to provide this capability as soon as we can but there are some real technical hurdles to solve before we’re ready for primetime. Today each and every image in a collection needs to be compared against each and every other image in order to see if it’s a match for the scene undergoing reconstruction. Processing to build a collection can take hours or days in some cases. We have lots of ideas on how to improve this processing time but we need some time test some of these ideas and make the tools easy for people to use. In other words, stay tuned and enjoy the collections we’ll be releasing in the months to come until we’re ready for our next big update.

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