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The boys at Microsoft Research are smart… I mean really smart, they make simple developers like me, look like extras in The Only Way is Essex (for the US readers its a bit like The Hills). At the MIX event in Las Vegas they had a number of booths near the restaurant in which they proceeded to blow the minds of passing developers.
My favourite demo from the whole week was the one below from Eric Stollnitz. He showed a research project that could take a set of photographs and construct them into a 3D scene.
The basis for the technology is Photosynth, they use Photosynth to extract the point cloud from the set of images. They then use a technique that falls into the category of depth from stereo, which infers the three-dimensional structure of a scene from a pair of stereo images. Finally they stabilise the camera path to achieve the smooth scrolling effect.
When you put all this wizardry together, it creates an effect that could be used by hundreds of retailers to sell anything from dress to second hand cars. Check out the video below.