Aug 25, 2008
Microsoft labs (their counterpart to Google labs I guess) has created a new online application called Photosynth that takes regular digital photos and creates a 360 view. It's similar to Quicktime VR except you don't need any special equipment or even have to stand in the same location.
Click here to go straight to the Photosynth home page.
In order to use it you have download and install a very small application (It's only available for Windows at the moment). You take your camera and take as many photos of the room or area as you can, trying to get as much overlap as you can. You upload the photos to the site and it automatically scans and creates the 360 view for you. You can also zoom in and move forward and backwards creating an almost virtual tour of a location.
So I tested the site out and the program still seems like it needs some more refining. It's not as smooth as quicktime VR, but that's to be expected because your not on a tripod with a special camera. I think it has some potential and with more development could be a really cool tool. There are still some bugs to be worked out because I tried creating my own 360 view of an outdoor concert I went to this weekend but it gave me an error as soon as I tried to upload the photos. I'm positive about it and will continue to keep trying until I can get it to work and I'll post a link.Check it out if you can, and if you get it work post the link in the comments. Here are some screen grabs from the site: