Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Future of Supercomputing

So Microsoft has released a beta version of their new photosynth software. This is killer computing here. a program that can intelligently extrapolate a 3D composite of a location from a large collection of arbitrary photos taken at that location. One can then navigate through these photos in a 3D environment that logically and seamlessly (assuming you have the computing power to keep up) transitions between the images placing them in the correct perspective/angle relative to the 3D model of the environment.

Whats wild about this is first, the information this software can store about an area is nonlinear, its in fact fractal. one can dive into the details of a room or environment for near infinity. The detail and depth of information is only limited by the source images used to generate the composite.

Second, the future of this technology is mindboggling. theoretically in a few years, systems could be set up to composite the globe, using every photo, image and picture ever taken, from high resolution satellite images to half a megapixle cell phone pictures. All of this stuff readily available on the net. Every picture you ever put on a computer integrated into one massive 3D generation of the world.

On the more practical side we will probably see Google and other mapping programs snatch this stuff up. No longer will you glide over dated satellite images of the planet, but will walk in 3D models down every street and alleyway ever captured on a camera. scarier yet, you will be able to walk into any building, house, or complex ever captured in a snapshot.

And I'm only scratching the surface. Its a brave new world. On the other hand I can't wait until I can play with this thing myself and start crating my own image composits.

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