I’ll admit it, I’m a big fan of Photosynth technology right from the day Microsoft revealed it. The Live Labs inside Microsoft which originally developed Photosynth is no more. However, Blaise Agüera y Arcas and a bunch of people of his team were still working on Photosynth. Even though the first generation Photosynth was cool, the consuming experience was not so smooth. Microsoft is fixing this issue in the upcoming Photosynth technology, but it comes with few constraints on how you take photos.
“Where we sort of failed, I think, was that the panoramas never stitch,” Agüera y Arcas says. “When you hold the mobile phone to make the panorama, you never do a good enough job for the result to be useful for 3-D reconstruction … You can’t hold the camera still enough — you always end up with seams and things.”
Rather than hammering away at this frustrating problem, Agüera y Arcas turned the problem on its head. “We realized that we could really make hay out of the idea of camera movement during the capture of a panorama instead of fighting it,” says Agüera y Arcas. “So instead of insisting that you hold the camera totally fixed, we can say, ‘Look, there are a bunch of different ways of moving the camera.’”
To capture a synth, the photographer can move in many ways: walking with the camera to capture forward movement, scanning the camera sideways to capture a flat surface, moving the camera around a point to create a spin, or moving it in an arc to create a panorama. Says Agüera y Arcas, “We can use the movement of the camera to reconstruct parallax in 3D from that set of photos. Instead of taking the set of photos and trying to fuse them, as we did with the original panorama app, we can leave them unfused and reconstruct 3D, and generate these kind of swooshy, continuous things.”
Blaise recently gave a talk at TED explaining this upcoming Photosynth tech. Watch his speech in the video above and read about it in the link below.