by CIO Staff

Microsoft Photosynth Morphs Photos into 3-D Models

Aug 01, 20062 mins
Enterprise Applications

Microsoft, the world’s leading producer of software, has developed a technology called Photosynth, which enables users to turn collections of images into 3-D models that can be manipulated and examined from various angles and perspectives, BBC News reports.

The Redmond, Wash.-based company plans on demonstrating Photosynth at the Siggraph 2006 conference in Boston on Thursday, where attendees will gather to view and discuss the most recent trends in computer graphics and interactive methodologies, according to BBC News.

Photosynth works by scanning photographs of the same object or location taken from different angles and viewpoints until it detects specific features in each that are then matched up against each other to find the photo subject’s 3-D image, BBC News reports.

The technology can also deduce from a collection of images the positions of the cameras that snapped the photos, according to BBC News.

Richard Szeliski, a Microsoft Research principal researcher who developed Photosynth in association with representatives from the University of Washington, likened the technology to a geometry equation, BBC News reports.

“You are simultaneously adjusting the position of the camera and where those little pieces of images are until everything basically snaps together,” Szeliski said, according to BBC News.

Photosynth can build 3-D images from as few as two photos, but it works better and the final product is more interesting when dozens of photos are employed, BBC News reports.

Szeliski said one likely application of the new technology would be on photo-sharing sites like Flickr, according to BBC News.

“Wherever people share photos, instead of just seeing a gallery of unorganized photos, now you can pull everyone else’s photos together and make a rational sense out of it,” Szeliski said, BBC News reports.

Additional uses of the technology could include real estate applications where agents could display houses or locations without actually visiting the sites, or in museums or other historical sites where interested parties could virtually navigate sections of the facilities.

Microsoft said the technology will most likely be Internet-based, and it hopes to have Photosynth available by the start of 2007, according to BBC News.

Related Link:

  • Microsoft to License ‘Touchlight’ Image Tech

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