Jaw dropping demo

Quite a bit of excitement has been generated by Blaise Aguera y Arcas’s Jaw-dropping Photosynth demo. The demo starts with a quick run-through of the capabilities of Seadragon, now owned by Microsoft, and then follows this up with a demonstration of Photosynth. I think it’s rare to hear a round of applause in the middle of a technology demonstration…. Photosynth is the real jaw-dropper, and I’m inspired by the promise of being able to construct elaborate 3D models of spaces from the aggregation of many, tagged, 2D images in systems like Flickr. But it’s Seadragon, which takes progressive refinement to another level which has really piqued my interest, because of its potential for general applicability. The embedding of an advert into the Guardian newspaper page was a fascinating moment in the demo - I can imagine all kinds of ways in which this approach could start to challenge our notions of information and information linking. Taken to a (possibly ridiculous) extreme, within a single website this approach could do away with the need for linking at all from the user’s perspective - where we currently have a hyperlink for example, this kind of technology could allow the ‘linked’ information to be simply embedded at a ‘deeper’ level of resolution. Anyway - it’s just a technology preview/demonstration at this point, albeit a very slick one. Good to see Microsoft innovating - or acquiring innovation at least…. Windows only. Makes me wish I’d bothered to install a Windows emulator on my MacBook, and I don’t find myself thinking that very often!



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