The Digi-Cult

A New Religion for a Digital Age

Photos in a 3D Environment

Posted by Matt Harbottle on October 29, 2008

With this new technology, you will never want to look at a digital photo in “old” conventional ways again.  The Photosynth technology, developed by Noah Snavely (UW), Steve Seitz (UW), Richard Szeliski (Microsoft Research), first took flight in a prototype called “Photo Tourism” in 2006.  That technology later evolved into what we now know as “Photosynth,” in partnership with Microsoft Live Labs.

Photosynth is a visual medium that allows a person to analyze or compile sets of digital photographs of a place or object, in a 3D environment.  How you say?  Well this groundbreaking technology calculates the places or objects in a 3D space by pinpointing distinctive features and similarities from one photo to another.  Once everything is calculated, Photosynth arranges all the flat images in an order that a user can then rotate around, zoom in, or just move around to view whatever it is they want to look at.  All a person has to do is visit photosynth.net to check it out.

Understandably, for this program to work, a fast graphics card is needed due to Photosynth being heavy on graphics hardware.  The problem for some is that it only supports Windows Xp or Vista on the PC, and Mac users must be running Windows for the program to work.  So if your computer supports what was listed above, you’re pretty much set, ready to go.

All a person needs to do is download the free application from photosynth.net to create the synths and download the web browser plug-in to view them.  Once that is done you can create your own synths or share photos with others to compile into synths as well. 

The next step for the Photosynth team is to join with MSN within the next year.  This will help them to share the technology with a wider audience, seeing as synths will become a part of the experience on msn.com

Matt

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