Microsoft unveils free photo management technology

Microsoft has introduced free visual technology called Microsoft Photosynth to help users improve the way...

Microsoft has introduced free visual technology called Microsoft Photosynth to help users improve the way they view and share photos.

Microsoft said users could use Photosynth to transform regular digital photos into three-dimensional, 360-degree experiences.

"Anybody with access to your 'synth' is put right in your shoes, sharing the same experience you did at the time, with detail, clarity and scope impossible to achieve in conventional photos or videos," said Microsoft.

James Glossop, The Times' Young Photographer of the Year 2008, said: "Photosynth has presented me with a new way to showcase my images as real life experiences, rather than flat pictures.

"This opens up exciting possibilities for photographers. Our audiences can now interact with the landscapes and events that we document."

Photosynth analyses each photo for similarities to others, and uses that data to estimate where a photo was taken. It then recreates the environment and uses that as a canvas on which to display the photos.

The London Eye is one of a number of launch partners using Photosynth technology on its website.

Helen Bull, marketing director for the The London Eye, said: "Photosynth will allow our visitors to explore the London Eye in a new, interactive manner.

"They are now able to experience views of and around the London Eye, allowing them to get a better understanding of what they can expect from their visit, and where the London Eye is positioned amongst other landmarks."

Just a few dozen digital photos - from 20 to 300 photos - are required to use the service.

A download of a small free software application is needed. This works with the Photosynth website, which is also free.

The finished image can be accessed from any Windows XP- or Vista-powered computer with a broadband connection.

Once created, images can be embedded on websites, blogs and social networking sites.

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