SOME CREDIT DUE
The one take-away I'd add in addition to my post on John Doerr's presentation yesterday, is how much Microsoft seems to have become the Rodney Dangerfield of the Internet.
They absolutely, positively get no respect. Generally, the expectations of what Microsoft may deliver just don't seem that high. As a result, it surprises folks when they do something new and different.
Case in point is a TED presentation by Microsoft that did seem to positively surprise a number of observers. As Austin Hill puts it:
"Two different Microsoft employees just showcased some new research coming from Microsoft including Virtual Earth with rich 3D models with hi-res photo’s to help build richer textured models, Photosynth and their Seadragon projects."
This stuff is groundbreaking and visually stunning. They are showed a Flickr mash up that grabbed all pictures on Flickr for the Notre-Damn catherderal and automatically mapped it to a digital model with point of view references to create a collaborative photo mash-up of the building by analyzing point of view and pasting the right pictures to the proper part of the 3-D model."
I've talked about my enthusiasm for Photosynth project in a post this past November. So it's great to see how much progress they seem to have made.
Its aim is nothing less than to change the way we use screens, from wall-sized displays to mobile devices, so that visual information can be smoothly browsed regardless of the amount of data involved or the bandwidth of the network."
In the demo, one could zoom down from a 200,000 ft. view of a range of documents down into the footnotes of a car ad in one of the pages. Then continue down to examine the curlicues of a specific font.
Very, very cool indeed.
And it's from Microsoft.
It's great to see it.