Microsoft officially launches Photosynth
Microsoft announced Wednesday night the release of a free online service called Photosynth, an innovative application that automatically crunches and then stitches together up to 300 photos at a time to create “synths” of an object or location that users can then browse through in a 3-D interface.
The more photos users add, the more detailed the synths can be, allowing them to pan . The online demos have proven quite interesting. Check out photosynth.com to see samples, includinga synth of Stonehenge (for which a National Geographic photographer got special permission to go inside the circle).
The ultimate goal, according to Photosynth innovater Blaise Aguera y Arcas, is to create a browse-able synths of the world that anyone can contribute to by uploading additional photos.
If you’re a Mac user you’ll have trouble viewing synths for now because tragically, Photosynth is only for Windows users at this point. The good news for now is that you can watch this video showing Aguera y Arcas (recently named among the 2008 Young Innovaters Under 35 by Technology Review magazine) explaining some key features of the new technology. You can also check out this instructional video at blip.tv about Photosynth with a host who may prove way, way too hip for much of Planet Earth.
Any user with a Windows Live ID can log on and use up to 20 gigs of free storage to create synths, but for the time being all synths will be public and stored on Microsoft’s server–nothing private just yet.
Let us know if you put together a sweet synth! You may have to be somewhat patient, though, as excess traffic had Photosynth bogged down at the time of this posting.