Microsoft Photosynth Now for Firefox

Microsoft on Wednesday added Firefox support to its Photosynth technology preview, which is capable of taking hundreds of photographs and building a three-dimensional model in which users can "fly" through like a virtual world. Support for user-created models is still in the works, however.

Photosynth was first announced at SIGGRAPH 2006. Microsoft describes it as "a hybrid of a slide show and a gaming experience that lets the viewer zoom in to see greater detail or zoom out for a more expansive view."

For now, Microsoft is providing the collections of photographs, as a user processing his or her own photos could take hours, or even days. The application also has pretty hefty hardware requirements and will only run on Windows XP SP2 or Windows Vista systems with a capable graphics card.

"As you know, this is a long term project and the team continues to make progress on a daily basis to add more functionality to the underlying technology. After we released the technology preview in November we saw a number of requests for a version that would work in Firefox," said Group Product Manager Adam Sheppard.

Photosynth was born out of Microsoft's Live Labs, a group of scientists and engineers that are studying new ways to use the Internet. The group was founded in February 2006 by Dr. Gary Flake, who joined MSN as a distinguished engineer in April of last year.

"We know that you are waiting for the day when you will be able to create your own collections, and that will happen, but in the meantime look for more beautiful new examples of Photosynth in action over the coming months," Sheppard added.

The Photosynth plug-ins for both Firefox and Internet Explorer are available for download from FileForum.

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