will Photosynth revolutionize photography ?


Have you seen the new Microsoft image technology “Photosynth” yet? I first saw the demo of this product about a year ago. After viewing the initial demo I was honestly left speechless.

First, a quick explanation. Imagine walking around a building, any building, large or small, taking multiple, overlapping digital pictures as you go, kind of like a David Hockney Polaroid collage. Zoom in and zoom out, capturing both overall shots and fine details. Now load those 100 or so digital captures up to the now very live Photosynth website and let it do it’s work. Before long your images will be a stitched together collage that can be navigated and “walked through and around”, a pseudo 3D experience.

Now imagine the collective power of, say, the combined images of many photographers stitched together to create a fully navigable experience of any city in the world. Whoa. It’s a step further than even Google’s street view. Have you looked to see if there’s a 360 degree photographic panorama shot in front of your own home by going to Google maps, selecting Street View and zooming in? I’m a little old school…that’s a bit much for me but there it is.

Before trying to describe Photosynth any further I urge you to follow this link to a quick video demo. I’ll be here when you get back.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2UItGPsN1M

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Take Your Photography to the Next Level: From Inspiration to Image

So that’s Photosynth. For commercial work I think the implications are huge. Imagine showing a product, interior or exterior to prospective customers that can be viewed from any angle or magnification. That experience will be totally different from a still photograph or even a video. It will be like a video that is meant to be viewed frame by frame (sort of). It will be interesting to see how professional photographers are asked to meet the new challenges of this type of media / image delivery.

For now the technology isn’t available on Mac but they say they’re working on it. Time will tell. I gave it a go on my Windows machine and it failed on Firefox but worked on Internet Explorer. It was buggy and the controls were so foreign that I felt very clumsy with the navigation. It felt like a new, unknown technology (which it is). It also felt like a huge precursor to the future of how we will view and utilize photography.

Let me know if you give this a try, I’m happy to post a mention / link.