Microsoft brings high-tech panoramas to the iPhone, Facebook, Maps but not WP7

With the Photosynth app, you can see your panorama take shape with each picture you take. — AFP picWith the Photosynth app, you can see your panorama take shape with each picture you take. — AFP picWASHINGTON, April 19 — For the times when a single photo won’t capture the full visual experience, Microsoft has created a high-tech, interactive panoramic program called Photosynth — and now it’s available for the iPhone.

“Using the latest computer vision technology, the Photosynth app makes capturing panoramas fun and engaging, while creating sharp, high-resolution results. With the app, you can process, view, and store your panoramas directly on your device. Then, share them in a variety of ways, including to Facebook as images or as interactive panoramas (hosted for free) on Photosynth.net,” said Microsoft in an April 18 post on its Bing blog.

Up until now, Photosynth has only been available as a downloadable software tool on the PC. In a slight to its own Windows Phone 7 mobile users, Microsoft is bringing the software to iPhone users first.

Previews of Photosynth date back to 2006 but it wasn’t until 2008 that users could upload and create their own panoramic shots with the software. Since then, Photosynth has been used to create Gigapixel panoramic photographs and 360° fly-throughs of locations and points of interest around the globe.

The iPhone version of the software, however, makes it much easier for users to capture and share their panoramas.

Photosynth for iPhone is by no means the first panoramic application to hit the App Store.

Apps like Pano, 360 Panorama, Panoramatic 360 and AutoStitch Panorama precede it, however Photosynth’s advanced, on-device image stitching, high image quality, progressive and intuitive photo completion, and $0 price tag make it an easy first option for those searching for a panoramic-photo-taking app.

The most interesting news in Microsoft’s iPhone app announcement, however, is that iPhone users will have the ability to upload their panoramic photos to Bing Maps.

When users publish their panoramas and “synths” to Bing Maps, they become publicly viewable and appear on Microsoft’s Photosynth “map app.”

Microsoft is no doubt hoping that millions of iPhone users will upload their panoramic images, helping the company to create a comprehensive and navigable view of the world.

With the help of mobile users, Microsoft’s Photosynth database could expand to include interactive views of points of interest, and perhaps more importantly, high-res images showing the inside of buildings — take that, Google Street View.

Microsoft notes that it will be launching Photosynth for its own mobile platform, Windows Phone 7 (WP7), next, but failed to provide any concrete roll-out plan.

A video of the Photosynth app in action can be seen here: http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/microsoft-photosynth-app-april-2011/1ii4ck7pi

The Photosynth app can be downloaded from http://www.itunes.com/apps/photosynth. — AFP-Relaxnews




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