Microsoft Photosynth

Microsoft Photosynth is a technology that automatically stitches together digital photos.

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now 5
Microsoft Photosynth
  • Microsoft Photosynth
  • Microsoft Photosynth
  • Microsoft Photosynth

Pros

  • Incredibly cool

Cons

  • No OS X support

Bottom Line

Microsoft Photosynth is an exciting tool with some genuinely interesting applications and features. Best of all, the pace of change we've already seen, and the depth of ambition claimed by the development team suggests that Photosynth has a lot of potential.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 5 stores)

See all prices

Developed by Live Labs — Microsoft's applied research arm — Photosynth automatically stitches together digital photographs to create a somewhat abstract but high-resolution three-dimensional re-creation (dubbed a synth) for the world to explore. And though ready-made examples have been previewable for several months now, Photosynth.net has finally thrown its doors open for everyone to upload up to 20GB of photos.

The 3-D photo reconstructions suggest an improbable three-way love child of a David Hockney collage, Apple's QuickTime VR, and Microsoft Research's excellent WorldWide Telescope. But it's one of the more mind-blowing things to appear since Google Earth.

A new window to the world

Assuming that the launch goes smoothly, Photosynth will have some dazzling collections for visitors to dive into right away, thanks to such early testers and partners as National Geographic and NASA. Some of our favourite synths are of the Piazza San Marco, Machu Picchu ruins, Venice Grand Canal, Taj Mahal, Grassi Lakes, Stonehenge, the US National Archives, and Dale Chihuly glass sculpture exhibits.

Some of the detail shown in the latter three collections wouldn't be possible to see if you were there in person. Speaking of amazing (and seemingly impossible) possibilities, Photosynth has already been used for this episode of CSI New York.

Viewing Tips:

- A bottom-right icon allows you to have a synth occupy your entire browser window. You can improve the view further by putting your browser into full-screen mode with your F11 function key.

- You can zoom in and out with your mouse wheel; the zoom area is based on your mouse location.

- The tilde (~) key toggles the grid view mode; this allows you to see the entire photo collection that forms any synth. - The spacebar lets you jump to the next photo in the spatial tour.

- You can also navigate a synth gamer-style, with the 'w s a d e c' keys.

To use Photosynth.net, you'll need to install two small apps: a browser plug-in supporting Firefox 2 or 3 and Internet Explorer 7, and the Photosynth desktop application for uploading photos. You'll also need to be running Windows XP or Windows Vista, and have a PC configured with at least 256MB of RAM (1GB is recommended) and at least 32MB of graphics memory. Mac users who wish to try the site can run it under Boot Camp, but OS X isn't supported (yet…), nor is Parallels or VMware Fusion.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Be the first to comment.

Post new comment

Users posting comments agree to the PC World comments policy.

Login or register to link comments to your user profile, or you may also post a comment without being logged in.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest News Articles

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?