Some very cool stuff going on in Microsoft labs. Photosynth is an image browser from another dimension. Give it a giant pile of photos shot from anywhere within a single location (a beach, a museum…) and it will intelligently find edges, determine positions, and stitch together images into a massive 3-D soup of relationships through which users can surf, zoom, spin, dig and dive. No human intervention or tagging needed to build the relationships. Watching the demo, I’m wondering how much CPU it takes to burrow through an environment like this at reasonable speed, or how long it took to calculate the stitching (even creating high-quality QuickTime VR movies can take all night, and this is way beyond anything QTVR is capable of).
Demo is in WMV format (of course). I’ve been appreciating the Flip4Mac module that allows QuickTime to play WMV content.