Tuesday, June 5, 2007

"Can't be done..."

I just can't resist this.. Microsoft has succeeded in producing something called photosynth that looks truly fantastic, a mechanism to link pictures (from any source e.g. flikr) together into cohesive, zoomable, navigable, QTVR-like virtual worlds. Have a look at one of the most impressive demos you will see this year here.

If it doesn't have this functionality already, it will undoubtedly be linked to geo-spatial coordinates as discussed in this post about Google Street View, thus completing the complete "virtualization" of the real world. Ahem, wow!

What I can't resist noting for posterity is that I suggested exactly this idea to several of my friends nearly three years ago and they unanimously dismissed it as impossible (mostly the stitching problems). This is akin to a similar situation in which I suggested the development of a system that would allow musicians to play together online, simultaneously which was similarly panned as impossible, this time do to network latency. Now, of course, you can visit ejamming.com to experience exactly what I had proposed.

Not to be too whiny, I hope, lessons learned:

  • ignore doubts (and doubters)
  • in a world with 6 billion+ people in it, the value of a single idea is minimal, no matter how novel, in comparison to the value of the work that goes into actually making it happen. There are probably thousands of people that have dreamed up these things independently, kudos to those that made them reality!
  • it sure would be nice to have the resources of Microsoft (case a) or Aerosmith (case b) to back up your lunatic ideas..

    I can't wait to see what comes next :)


    Anonymous said...

    I'm starting to love google street views. You can spy on so many weird stuff there. Here's one with a UFO on top of a chinatown restaurant. So funny!

    UFO Spaceship has an affinity for Chinatown shops

    Morgan Langille said...

    Very cool!!! I tried it out and it works amazing. The smooth transitioning when zooming and moving around has not really been seen by any other tool. Are people ready for this?!

    Pedro Beltrao said...

    I don't know if it is know harder to be original or if it is just much easier to see other peoples ideas that match our own interests. On one hand it is easier today to reach out to different fields. With blogs we can just very literally gets feeds of people interested in almost any topic. So it is easier to be exposed to and combine different ideas. On the other hand everybody else can do it too and somehow it looks like there is always someone else covering the same combinations of ideas as we are.

    I am sorry if this was not very coherent :)