This week I was approved to take part in a preview of Microsoft’s new Photosynth. A free service that allows you to take multiple photos of an object or place, and then combine them into a sort of 3D image. You can “play” a moving version of your images or even scrub through with your mouse, or touch on a compatible device. The coolest part of this tech is how well it interpolates the frames between the photos you supply. It’s as smooth as video, but with far less raw data, and using high-res photos produces high res Photosynths.
The previous version of Photosynth could be used to take fantastic 360 degree panoramic pictures. The new preview adds three new types of interactive photo:
There is Wall, which is used to combine several photos of a 2D plane such as a mural or building face, but can also be used to capture an extended landscape view.
The new Photosynth also features what is called a “Walk”, which is great for actually giving the feeling of navigating an area along a set path. I used, as an example, walking through a MACS Cooler that was being constructed in Santa Maria, CA. Taking roughly 15 pictures yielded the results seen below. (Not mobile browser friendly)
The final new Photosynth is the “Spin”, sort of like a reverse panorama. Where a panorama has you stand in the middle and take photos in 360 degrees around you, the Spin has you rotate 360 degrees around an object or subject. The one below used about 15 pictures and suffers some distortion at times due to the amount of foreground images. But I’m quite impressed overall. More photos equals better Photosynths.
Here is a MACS Cooler in the yard where it is being built for a facility in Oxnard, CA.
These Photosynth images were taking using a minimal 15 photos, but if a little more time was put into snapping more photos, I think this technology could be a great way to promote a product. Maybe MACS Coolers will be the first to use such technology in promotion. I’ll have to run that by my boss.