The Friday Fillip

I’m not often kind to Microsoft. Oh I try to keep my skepticism, shall we say, in check here on Slaw, but left to my own devices, as I am at home, I live the smug life of the switcher, using Firefox on my Mac and forgetting to worry about virus protection. But inovation happens at MS too, and this Fillip is about one of their rather more remarkable achievements, Photosynth.

Photosynth has the ability to unify a number of images by identifying common reference points and building a combined image out of the parts. This might not sound like much at first hearing, but give it a think. As Blaise Agüera y Arcas, one of the MS Live Labs “architects,” says in the video that demos the application, it’s as if there is created a set of hyperlinks between images such that an internet crawler should be able to construct a network of sets of hyperlinks for images of “common environments.” You want to see the back of the basilica in Rome? No problem. You want to rotate it and zoom in on that detail there? No problem.

To see what I’m on about, you really must watch the video, which you can do in your browser or by downloading a file and playing it directly on your machine; I prefer the latter because it lets me watch with a larger screen and smoother playback.

There’s something here to tickle the imagination of those of us who work in words but who want to be better able to group and combine and retrieve… And there’s delight.

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