Microsoft's lab cooks up photo collage program

Microsoft's AutoCollage 2008 uses facial recognition and blending technologies to create photo collages.

Microsoft has released a simple, stand-alone program from its U.K. research lab that assembles photos into a collage.

AutoCollage 2008 is the fruit of work done in facial recognition and blending technologies, said Alisson Sol, the development manager for the project. The program, released Thursday, picks representative images while avoiding repetitive features, matching images so they seamlessly flow into one another. The photo can be resized, then printed.

Microsoft has dabbled in photo software a bit before. Previous releases includes the Windows Picture and Fax Viewer with XP, which has only rudimentary tools, such as rotating and saving photos in a different file format. The Vista OS has the Windows Photo Gallery Viewer, which lets users crop and adjust the contrast of photos, among other basic features.

Many people are already manually doing their own collages with photo manipulation programs, Sol said. Microsoft's interest was to make that process simpler and faster. There's demand for an automated program, he said.

But perhaps what is most interesting is how Microsoft is choosing to distribute AutoCollage. Rather than wrapping the feature into one of its Web-based Windows Live services, the company has opted to sell an application that has to be installed on a PC.

A Web service is "technically possible," Sol said. But Microsoft thinks that users with a low-bandwidth capacity could run into problem when uploading high numbers of large photos, and that would deter some people from using the program.

AutoCollage costs US$19.95 or US$35.43. The program is available for download worldwide, but only in English. Sol said Microsoft will gauge whether it should be localized for other languages depending on interest.

Tags autocollage

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

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

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 Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?