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 newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sonos Arc review: The Main Event
- 2 Samsung Galaxy Z Flip review: Killer form-factor, lethal price-tag
- 3 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 4 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 5 Xiro Drone Xplorer V by Rapoo review
Latest News Articles
- Optus to take the lag out of gaming
- Echo family reimagined, inside and out
- Google smart displays now let you take charge of multi-room audio
- Recently squashed Alexa bug could have allowed hackers access to voice histories, researchers say
- Affinity offers Photo, Designer & Publisher for Free for 3 Months
PCW Evaluation Team
Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
- Sonos Arc review: The Main Event
- Soundbars: Why they’re worth it and which one should you buy
- Buying a laptop this EOFY? Here's a cheat sheet
- 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