You can think about what Photosynth does as linking images together. Whenever images are taken in a common environment, it's as if you form a hyperlink between them. And, and so now if you think about the emergent network of hyperlinks between images that, that can, that can be built by a crawler, say, ah, going out and searching the whole, ah, the whole web it's a very powerful idea.
Here's a shot of Saint Peter's Basilica. We're looking at it where we can navigate through hundreds of photos. The fun thing happens when we arrange all of these guys into a common three dimensional environment. Here's a point cloud: a model that's been reconstructed from all of those images. Let's turn all of the images on so we can where they all ended up. You see this kind of complicated picture of lots of photos in their own planes inside that model. Let's go dive in and find the photo that we were looking at. And now we can move back and forth among different photos like this... just moving from side to side. These white boxes that are now appearing on the screen are showing where photos were taken. So, for example, if we want a close up over here, click on that and we see that everything is registered perfectly with the three dimensional model.
So you can imagine a technology like this one with many people's photos being registered simultaneously becoming like a three dimensional map or a universe. We have a three dimensional reconstruction of the environment and we can also, of course, look at those photos individually. And then from there we can navigate around the space either via photos or via the entire environment. This is all of them turned on simultaneously which is kind of fun.
If we want to look at other images similar to the one that we're looking at right now we can do this trick. Now we've grouped, close to the center of the screen, all of the images that shared a lot of context with that image that we were just looking at before. These are nearly identical shots. Here's, for example, a close up of this clock. Looking at similar shots, we see that the clock also occurred in a number of other photos like this one. So this gives you a way of grouping and navigating between images using the image content without any kind of tagging having taken place beforehand - no hand intervention.
This shows you how we can zoom on different parts of the image. And, ah, as we zoom, only the necessary data for that particular part is, is coming in over the network. This is all of the images that had this same content anywhere in them, so... here's another image of the same museum, another image. And you can see the registration happen in real time as we go back and forth between those images.
Here, we're moving back and forth among neighboring images - so images that share some content. So this gives you a kind of neighbor tour. It gives you a rapid way of navigating around inside that space. If you had an image like this one somewhere on the web and you wanted to know what's in one of those murals, another photo would just be discoverable like that. This photo could have come from somewhere else entirely. It certainly gives you a way of looking at other perspectives on something, or close ups, or what's around the corner - based on a starting image.
Let's say that this close up is on a web page that talks about this particular scene. You could dive in and then dive back out at that web page. And so it gives you a way of linking contextually across different places in the web where the image content actually lives.
This long standing dream of augmented reality where the computer will tell you about the world - the real world that you're immersed in - will finally be delivered with this kind of Photosynth technology. We're gonna see a collision of the real world and the virtual world that'll create this incredible experience that people can go and visit and really get a sense of what it's like to see things they've never seen before.
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