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Topic: Chromebook?

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dhaines (11 months ago)
I got a Chromebook at the end of last year.  I'm positive I checked to see if I could view Photosynths on it and I couldn't because I couldn't install a Silverlight viewer.  However, right now I'm now able to view Photosynths on the Chromebook.  Did something between then and now change - could be Photosynthg, could be Chrome OS?
CloudCover (11 months ago)
Chromebooks run on Chromium OS, which Silverlight doesn't support.
NateLawrence (11 months ago)
Hi, dhaines,

Photosynth.net is host to both photosynths and panoramas.

Originally, in 2006 - early 2010, there were only photosynths and the site used a Direct3D hardware-accelerated viewer as a plugin that only supported Internet Explorer on Windows and Firefox 2 or 3 on Windows.

In early 2009, the Photosynth team changed the default photosynth viewer on the site to a Silverlight app which worked for all browsers on Windows and Mac. It only had access to the CPU, so ran more slowly than the Direct3D viewer, since Silverlight 2 - 4 did not have free access to the GPU.

In early 2010, panorama support was added to the site and the ICE/HDView team in Microsoft Research helped write a panorama viewer in Silverlight to view ICE panoramas.

In early 2011, Photosynth's mobile panorama app launched on iOS, with Windows Phone 7 following in 2012 and Windows Phone 8 following in 2013, but none of the mobile apps support creating or viewing photosynths.
NateLawrence (11 months ago)
Days after the release of Photosynth's mobile app for iOS, Bing announced their plans for Read/Write World - a project that aimed to continue some of the original vision for Photosynth that had never been realized - namely the connecting of synths and panoramas to each other and other photography, video, spin movies, after they were uploaded.

Another part of Read/Write World's ambition was to build a universal viewer in various technologies (HTML5 Canvas, CSS3 3D Transforms, and WebGL, among them) which could open any of these types of imagery. They intended to open source their viewer and allow developers to port the code to the graphics technology of their choice, so as to enable the speedy growth of apps which could use Read/Write World's data format - RML - or Reality Markup Language.

In early 2012, the Read/Write World project went dark. There was never an official announcement of a discontinuation, but their blog + alpha demos were taken offline.
NateLawrence (11 months ago)
During the summer of 2011, the first sample of code from the Read/Write World team's work surfaced - an HTML5 panorama viewer for Mobile Safari. bit.ly/psfhtml5pano

This enabled iOS users whose friends were sending them links to Photosynth.net panoramas to view the pano before they had downloaded Photosynth's iOS app, but did not have the features of the Silverlight panorama viewer.

In fall of 2012, when Windows Phone 8 launched with Internet Explorer 10 on it (which included the necessary CSS3 3D Transforms support), the HTML5 panorama viewer worked on Windows Phone 8 as well.

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For the launch of Windows 8 (and thus the wide availability of IE 10's CSS3 support), Bing employed their HTML5 panorama viewer again, this time on the Bing image of the day, adding panoramas to the existing images and videos featured there.

http://blogs.msdn.com/photosynth/archive/2012/10/26/bing-s-pano-bling.aspx
http://www.realityprime.com/blog/2012/10/panoramas-on-bing-com/
NateLawrence (11 months ago)
(Sorry - meant to include this link for the last post: http://bit.ly/psfhtmlpv )

Some time later, the HTML5 pano viewer was enabled to run in Metro IE 10 on Windows RT ( http://twitter.com/photosynth/status/290902536179838977 ), and some time after that Metro IE 10 on Windows 8 (although that was delayed, due to IE 10 Metro and IE 10 Desktop reporting themselves identically http://twitter.com/photosynth/status/321640932116140033 ).

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So, my guess is that on your Chromebook you are viewing panoramas via the HTML5 pano viewer - not viewing photosynths (which still require Direct3D or Silverlight for the official viewers to the best of my current knowledge).

There are such things as Henri Astre's WebGL Photosynth viewer for Chrome, but it never quite captured the full photosynth experience due to no Seadragon/Deep Zoom support and displaying thumbnails of the photos beside the point cloud - not in it.

He has not worked on it since Microsoft hired him last year.
dhaines (10 months ago)
Thanks for the super detailed response!  Yes, I've only tried panos, not a synth on the Chromebook.  I think this is great news, I can now share the links to the panos, and people won't gripe to me about Silverlight (on their Mac, Linux, C=, etc.)
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