- by Jeff Greene
Detective Stella Bonasera (Melina Kanakaredes) and computer expert Adam Ross (A.J. Buckley) use Photosynth to investigate the death of a New York prep school guidance counselor on CSI: New York Wednesday night on CBS. Photo: Randy Tepper, CBS
Demonstrating that Microsoft Research projects have potential real-world applications, Photosynth, imaging software developed by Microsoft Live Labs, is featured prominently and accurately in this Wednesday's episode of CSI: New York (Season 4 / Episode 18 "Admissions").
Photosynth analyzes large collections of photos from a specific location, arranges them according to similarities in shape and contrast, and then utilizes the resulting "point cloud" to display the photos in a reconstructed 3D panoramic space.
In this weeks' episode Stella and Adam recreate a crime scene by uploading hundreds of cell phone images collected from students attending the dance / crime scene onto a PC back at the crime lab. The nomenclature, interface, and technology is all accurately portrayed and Microsoft receives substantial screentime. In the end, the good guys catch the bad guys because, as Detective Don Flack states, "Hey, it's Microsoft's world, I'm just living in it..."