My thanks to Friendly Ghost for bringing to my attention Photosyth. Like FG I usually don’t get excited by the geeky stuff. Code doesn’t excite me. My usual question is: “What can it do for me and my clients?”
But his blew my mind into a whole new hair do!
Friendly Ghost says it best:
“The first ‘wow’ factor is that you can zoom right into images - and when I say zoom, I really mean zoooooom. You know that scene in Blade Runner where Rick Deckard zooms in on a photo and just keeps going further and further in? Photosynth does that - and how. You can see an entire book and zero in seamlessly, watching the pixels turn into pages, then paragraphs, then sentences, then suddenly an entire, perfectly resolved character fills your screen. As Blaise Aguera y Arcas, the presenter, says, you’re only limited by the resolution of your monitor. So Photosynth is compositing and rendering images to your screen in real-time and absolutely smoothly. It works for maps and it works for photos - basically, any image or, for that matter, image-set.”
When you let it loose on the web, Photosynth can intelligently search for images and composite them together, effectively creating semantic links between images. So, point it towards Flickr, type in ‘Notre Dame’, and the next thing you know it has rebuilt Notre Dame, in three dimensions from photos - any photos, all photos - of the cathedral. You can walk around it and it just chunks the photos and overlays them to build the image. It really is amazing to see how Photosynth grabs and composites the images given the viewer’s perspective.
This is a Microsoft project – and fair play to them that they have put it out there as it has so many applications. Friendly Ghost again:
"How about setting it loose on astronomical images, recreating planets and solar systems that you can walk around? What about pointing it towards a medical image bank and recreating human beings, inside and out? There’s a theory that everything which can be digitised, has been digitised - maps, blueprints, plans, diagrams - everything. Imagine if Photosynth could crawl the web and grab all of this, creating a spatial, semantic representation of the real world.”
Enjoy the presentation at TED - Ideas Worth Spreading.