Microsoft researcher shows image rendering tech

— 1:17 PM on June 12, 2007

We've spotted a very cool video on Clipaday that shows a live demo of Seadragon, technology developed as the result of Microsoft's acquisition of Seadagon Software back in February 2006. In the video, Seadragon is shown displaying and zooming through "many many gigabytes of photos" with silky smooth frame rates. According to Blaise Agüera y Arcas, who demonstrated the technology, "it doesn't matter how big these collections are, how big the images are." Indeed, the software effortlessly renders an entire book and zooms to show individual letters rendered with flawless detail. It also shows a newspaper with ads into which users can zoom far beyond the definition of standard print media to see details in ads. Seadragon should "do away with those limits on screen real estate," Agüera y Arcas claims.

Another application of Seadragon technology is PhotoSynth, a web-based app that examines multiple images and manages to determine their location within a given space. The software has been used to render a view of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris based on random images taken from photo sharing site Flickr. Users can zoom into the 3D scene to examine the stonework in more detail, or zoom out and view photos of people posing with the cathedral in the distance.

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