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Microsoft Photosynth – really very, very clever 25 June, 2007

Posted by Jay Ball in Uncategorized.

At the risk of being a little MS heavy just lately, I’ve been catching up on recent posts from TED and came across the demo of Photosynth. It’s the result of the acquisition of image tech company Seadragon and some awfully smart thinking,

Photosynth recognises the similarities between photographs in a way that allows it to create a virtual 3D environment. You can then zoom in and out of that environment, moving through all the available images of that scene. And it’s really rather impressive.

The TEDtalk can be found here. If anything, however, the following demo gets it across better:

The opportunity to create a sort of photographic Wikipedia is enormous. I also wonder whether the same thinking couldn’t form the basis of a much more interesting OS interface that is better at showing the relationship between files.

The recent TEDtalks also showed this demo of the BumpTop interface:

I’m sympathetic with the approach – the demo looks like my desk (on a good day). And it’s great that more interface options are being created than at any time recently.

I can’t help wondering, however, whether interfaces based on paper and documents are really the way forward. It would be great to see options based more on how people think and relate ideas to one another.



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