Photosynth: Bladerunner Becomes a Reality

Thanks to Assassin for forwarding this. It’s a Microsoft technology that allows real time photo data mining. Remember that part in Bladerunner when Harrison Ford is watching a video like:

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(Yeah, they did it Super Troopers, too.) Well this is kinda like that, only with tons of photos instead of video, and a better interface. It’s seriously badass.

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4 thoughts on “Photosynth: Bladerunner Becomes a Reality”

  1. Seriously wicked. I saw this type of interface postulated back in 1996 by special agent designee R.Hoffman. He came back from a symposium where various types of metadata displays for search-engine-data were presented. There were fields of data points, cylinders with varying colorations representing data correlations, and a single field of image pixels very reminiscent of this Photosynthesis interface.

    But I don’t think we had the processing power to display the actual images or correlate their contents like this.

    It all seems to key on the metadata accompanying the picture. So your picture had better say “2000 people naked in front of Notre Dame” or the Photosynthesizer (!!) will not be able to use your image in the collage. We now need to have our cameras automatically label the content (via voiceprint identification or GPS location??) instead of calling everything IMG450006 or some such.

    I expect this techonology to make its motion-picture debut soon. With Jason Bourne running through the crowd in photo collage fashion. Fear for your privacy, and soon.

  2. There are cameras or attachments currently on the market that will incorporate GPS data into the metadata of your image as you take each image. Flickr already lets you link your photos to a map of the world so you (and others) can keep track of where they were taken. Most people add some sort of basic meta data to their images either as they download them to their PC or as they upload them to sharing sites such as Flickr.

    The world is ready for this technology, although I don’t know what we will do with it.

  3. As I said, I would be extremely disappointed if this does not show up in some movie, very soon. I just hope it does not become one of those anachronistic artifacts found in some older movies that purported to be cutting edge……

    I was watching the so-so movie “Hook” and had to tell my kids that the brick-sized device that Peter was holding up to his ear was a cel-phone. They just stared, dumbfounded. Wouldn’t have been too bad if Spielberg hadn’t called so much attention to it by featuring it in a humorous sequence and made it one of the movie’s symbols. It’s just sad, now.

  4. The closest thing I can think of, movie-wise, is Minority Report. That often gets mentioned by computer scientists as an example of gesture-based interfaces.

    Your cell phone comment reminds me of an episode of X-Files when they did a flashback to the first time Mulder meets the Lone Gunmen. His phone rings, and he pulls out one of those long, rectangular cellphones out of his trenchcoat – probably from the same pocket one would normally use to conceal shotguns. It worked to great comedic effect.

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