Photosyth is a great product and under-appreciated I believe. Less well recognized than the integration of images and user photos into Google Maps, Microsoft has offered Photosynth collections/synths in Live Search Maps for some time. However the company is now integrating Photosyth more fully into the Virtual Earth platform (B2B):
Microsoft Corp. today announced updates to its Photosynth technology that enable commercial use through integration with Microsoft Virtual Earth. The Photosynth integration into Virtual Earth signifies the first release designed to enable businesses to use Photosynth in commercial applications.
Photosynth software analyzes digital photographs and generates a 3-D model by “stitching” the photos together. These models, or “synths,” can now be viewed using Silverlight technology across multiple platforms. Virtual Earth brings together features, functionality and content that help consumers, businesses, citizens and governments bring location to life. It helps businesses and governments share location-based information, build better connections with consumers or citizens, and helps organizations make better operational decisions. With the integration of Photosynth into Virtual Earth customers will be able to create detailed 3-D views of anything from places to products and from hotels to homes.
There are many commercial as well as purely “artistic” or educational applications of Photosynth (per the press release):
- Real estate. Showing homebuyers the inside and outside of properties with interactive views
- Tourism and hospitality. Giving an early 3-D and interactive view of hotels, resorts or cities
- Retail. Enabling customers to see the insides of branches and stores, and browse products in great detail
- Media and entertainment. Allowing media companies to create and share visual projects in a controlled environment, and build compelling campaigns and programs with new media
- Public sector. Giving citizens rich detail on public services, buildings, land use and more
- Internal business use. Using unlisted synths for location-based information, such as insurance risk assessment and claim processing
Indeed, real estate is one of the most obvious: