My feed reader seemed to have a lot of posts this morning. That’ll be the release of Photosynth then. Eileen has a great write-up of all of the useful keyboard shortcuts.
Generally the reviews seem to focus on the cool factor of it. And of course it is. But I’d like to think about the utility of it: working in the media space, I think that I can safely say there are a whole bunch of ideas out there which will emerge over time.
There are a couple of key things for me:
1) Photosynth takes an existing technology – digital photography - and enables a whole new explore/discovery experience from it. That’s great because it means that anyone can find this accessible immediately. It also does it without any specific user training (other than best practice for capturing collections). I was very surprised at how well my first few attempts turned out. Consider the possibilities for capture of UGC images from multiple viewpoints of the same event at the same time (sport, crime scene(!), disaster and so on). From the Nokia Global Survery 2006, 44% of people already used their mobile handset as their main camera.
2) Photosynth provides a journey, much like video, but with typically improved quality over video (in terms of the images) and also without prescriptive guidance. Video is all about being shown the path, Photosynth is about finding a path. Try using a frame grabber on some video footage and then synth that. Good fun!
Combining this visual experience with other relevant experiences such as Virtual Earth provides additional detail to exploration and discovery metaphors that maps provide that are becoming very familiar for the end user.
Of course, more than that, it’s just great fun.