worldwide telescope After all of the speculation regarding what extraordinary thing was coming from Microsoft, we now know that the WorldWide Telescope is “it.” Robert Scoble confirmed this yesterday and reiterated that people who have not seen the demo will think that a telescope is lame. He says, “like I said, it isn’t the product that’s impressive. You’ve gotta see this thing to really understand.” His demo will be available on Monday.

At the TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) conference which is currently going on, Microsoft made a presentation (embedded below) on the WWT and while the video doesn’t actually show a great demo of it, we do get an idea of what it’s all about from the presenters. Before we get into some of the comments the presenter made, first we’ll explain further what it is. According to the official website:

The WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is a rich visualization environment that functions as a virtual telescope, bringing together imagery from the best ground and space telescopes in the world for a seamless, guided exploration of the universe.

WorldWide Telescope, created with Microsoft’s high-performance Visual Experience Engineā„¢, enables seamless panning and zooming across the night sky blending terabytes of images, data, and stories from multiple sources over the Internet into a media-rich, immersive experience.

The presenter made these points about the telescope:

  • It will change the way we teach astronomy
  • It will change the way we see ourselves in the universe
  • Will enable users to experience the universe – “it’s like a magic carpet” he says
  • Allows users to tour the universe with astronomers as your guide — and it’s not just experts who are telling you what you’re seeing but people who are truly passionate about what they do
  • Users can create their own tours to share with friends and family
  • While viewing tours (already created tours of self-made) users can zoom-in or pull back out
  • Tours are interactive and can be paused along the way

Curtis Wong from Microsoft eventually made it to the microphone and said that they hope this telescope will inspire kids of all ages to explore the universe. It’ll be available this Spring as a free download and will be found at Now I can’t wait to see a great demo of it in action…


Source: I Started Something