When I last checked Technorati showed 4250 posts about Photosynth so I expect this to be old news to all you well read folks.
Photosynth is the first Microsoft product (maybe someday) that really makes me sit up, take notice, and want more time to play with. Hell, I want it on my desktop now!
It is one of those things that you will not fully appreciate until you’ve taken it for a test drive. Nevertheless here are a few words from the developers:
Our software takes a large collection of photos of a place or an object, analyzes them for similarities, and then displays the photos in a reconstructed three-dimensional space, showing you how each one relates to the next.
For best results start with this brief presentation on Photosynth.
Now, if you have a capable machine (sorry MAC users, not yet) give it a try. I have it open in a Firefox tab on a relataively new Dell Optiplex GX 280 and it is mind blowing. However, it doesn’t perform on an older Dell D600 Latitude laptop.
Now that you have watched the video and, hopefully, checked out their demo collections your mind is running wild with the possibilities this brings to the way we view and live in the world.
Here is a review and links to some related products that are targeting a parallel space; some thoughts on the implications of a Photosynth/Facebook combination and if you think there has been a lot of discussion regarding pricacy issues and Google’s Street View read this and then start thinking about the pricacy implications of Photosynth.
To make it even more interesting put a product like photosynth together with terabyte flash drives in everyone’s pocket, micro cameras and audio feeds wired into their clothing and link each of these life logs into the net. Robert Sawyer in his Neanderthal Parallax trilogy makes the case that life logs might be better kept private except under extraordinary circumstances. In the Neanderthal culture of this alternate universe life logging devices are mandatory and most real crime has disappeared as a result.