Microsoft Photosynth Focuses On Endeavour

    August 6, 2007

Google Earth recently added a “NASA layer,” and new reports indicate that Microsoft’s also interested in the agency; Photosynth, the company’s digital photo “technology preview,” has made three-dimensional images of Endeavour.

These display “four different aspects of the Shuttle’s lifecycle as never before seen,” according to Microsoft’s NASA Collections page, and I can’t argue with that statement.

Yet for those of you whose memories might be a little fuzzy, Blaise Aguera y Arcas, an architect at Microsoft Live Labs, made a statement that quickly sums up the accomplishment: “With Photosynth, we take pictures of an environment and knit them together into an experience that people can move through like a 3-D video game.”

In a press release, he then continued, “NASA provided us with some outstanding images and the result is an experience that will wow anyone wanting to get a closer look at the Endeavour and its travels.”

A positive response to this display could speed up Photosynth’s development – since the technology was first demonstrated in mid-2006, that’s been a rather quiet front.  Then again, Greg Sterling notes that some things have been happening lately, including a Photosynth collaboration with the BBC.

“While the Photosynth imagery is very interesting it may strike many people as simply novel or fun,” Sterling later adds.  “But it should be seen in the context of other developments, including Google Earth and StreetView, as part of an evolution toward a much more visual, much more ‘immersive’ and ‘dimensional’ Internet – the so-called ‘3-D Internet.’”