Microsoft Photosynth is a technology that automatically stitches together digital photos.
- Incredibly cool
- No OS X support
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.
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.
- 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.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 2 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 3 Parrot Mambo Drone review
- 4 Evapolar USB air conditioner review
- 5 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Windows 10's new Paint 3D app drags physical objects into digital worlds
- Microsoft fleshes out seismic change to Windows patching
- Where's the bottom for Microsoft's Internet Explorer?
- ICANN transition moves forward, despite last-minute attempt to block it
- PSA: Windows 10's Anniversary Update reactivates ads you've already disabled
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
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.
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.
- Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: The new best Android phone
- TV buying guide: What to look for when buying a TV in 2016
- Best iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus plans: Optus vs Telstra vs Vodafone vs Virgin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTiOS DeveloperNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/J2EE/MySQL) 161103/AP/581Asia
- TPSenior Full Stack .NET Developer - AngularJSNSW
- CCSenior Change ManagerVIC
- FTProfessional Learning Facilitator - Information ManagementVIC
- TPCRM Business AnalystVIC
- FT.NET DEVELOPER | MID LEVEL | MEDIA INDUSTRYNSW
- CCIT Risk ManagerNSW
- TPEDRMS Project ManagerVIC
- FTJava Developer - Canberra RoleNSW
- TPICT Procurement OfficerQLD
- FTTechnical Services Engineer - Spanish speakingNSW
- CCAcquisition Marketing Executive - B2BNSW
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Technical ArchitectVIC
- CCSharePoint / Office365 DeveloperNSW
- CCSAP HANNA ArchitectNSW
- CCIteration ManagerVIC
- CCSenior Security AnalystVIC
- CCMiddleware SpecialistNSW
- FTApplication DeveloperWA
- CCSharePoint / Office365 DeveloperVIC
- CCPOS EngineerNSW
- CCTesting Capability LeadNSW
- CCProject SchedulerACT