It was just a few days ago that we got an idea of where Microsoft’s Photosynth technology could potentially go in the future thanks to a project called “Finding Paths through the World’s Photos.” In the article, Ryan mentioned that the project involved some pretty awe-inspiring technology, which reminded him of Photosynth, another project by Microsoft. He pointed out that it has almost been a year since we have heard from the Photosynth team, and what do you know, a couple of days after he says that and the Photosynth team has spoken. The big news from them is that Photosynth has gone public!
We first wrote about Photosynth for the first time way back in August of 2006. Over two years ago. Since then Microsoft has been working on the project one step at a time. As a refresher on exactly what Photosynth is, it allows users transform their digital photos into a three-dimensional, 360-degree experience. Microsoft calls each experience you make a “Synth” and they are now free to create.
Over the last two years while they were working on the project, the Photosynth team made examples available (check them out here) for people to explore to get an idea of what it was all about, but now today, people can use their own photos to create their own synths to share with family and friends and the public..
An obvious area of improvement is shown in the screenshot below:
Yep, no Mac version quite yet, but hopefully soon. Another thing we’d like to see them do is integrate a way for collaboration to take place. If you were trying to create a synth for say, a landmark like the Eiffel Tower, wouldn’t it be great if you could collaborate with complete strangers who have also been there and took some great photos?
We have yet to try Photosynth for ourselves, but Josh Lowensohn over at Webware has and points out how fast it is. He also mentioned the fact that users get 20GB of free online storage for the Synth’s that they create. Now when visitors go to the Photosynth site, they will be able to download a plug-in that allows them to both view synths, but also create them. The plug-in comes with a desktop uploader and works in both IE 7 and Firefox 3, nice.
If you are using IE7 or Firefox 3 on your Windows PC, checkout Photosynth and let us know what you think of the process of stitching your photos together to create a 3D environment. Your computer does most of the hard work, by processing all of the images. It will take very little effort on your part to create something amazing, assuming you are able to correctly take the photos so that Photosynth has an easier time stitching them together.