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I feel Photosynth is far from being mainstream still, while the potential for Microsoft to crowd source photo material to enhance the Bing Map experience is huge and while the potential to offer users and their audience a unique photo and Photosynth (travel) story telling experience is huge too. A win-win, I would say.
Back in early 2010, soon after joining, I have made a comment on the manageability of more than a handful of Photosynths. Now, 4 years later, we are in this bare bones situation still.
While ago too, I have written an extensive feedback to SkyDrive on their potential to turn their great photo storage and viewing functionality into a photo story telling social platform.
I would not be surprised if the majority of synthers so far use dslr camera's. I feel Photosynth should continue to support the true photo enthousiast and his ways. However, DSLR's are not the mainstream future for Photosynth. Phone and phablet camera's (16:9) are. These devices have positional and directional sensors as a standard, to be taken advantage of.
Phones, and phablets even more, are rapidly turning into the primary (if not the only for many) communication, story telling and productivity device.
(I would not be surprised if the Windows Threshold release will do away with the Windows Phone OS as we currently now it and replace it by Windows RT, powering phones, phablets and tablets alike.)
When I refer to a social photo/Photosynth story telling experience, then I refer to the following.
'Hey, look what's happening around me.'
'Hey, have you seen this?'
'Look what I am doing.'
'Hey, this place is gorgeous!'
'Do you know where I have been?'
'You should go to see this place too.'
'Where have I been in my life and when.'
'How do you like this beautiful photo/Photosynth of mine?'
And so on.
As many social media are moving to include photos in albums, messaging or whatever, photo story telling is clearly hot. But, in general these media have a focus on blogging or messaging. They do not have the focus on storing, organizing and presenting photos/Photosynths as a timeline and/or location based persistent story. For the photo/Photosynth enthousiast/professional, copyrighting, watermarking and licensing should be part of the game.
Going from the presumption that there is huge win-win potential in this indeed, then this would be an opportunity for the new One Microsoft to shine and do away with the slow, non synergetic, divisionalised competition behaviour of the past. The Bing and platform/devices group are to join forces to deliver this social platform with SkyDrive, Photosynth and Bing Maps hooked into it, with supporting apps for average and pro users on Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows Phone 8, Android and iOS.
Definitely looking forward to this. Who joins?
Very well put, I think, Joscelin.
If we look at things like Worldwide Telescope, we can see that via their user-made tours, they saw the potential in storytelling years ago.
Similarly, the Digital Narratives project in Microsoft Research has also demonstrated their understanding that maps, photosynths, and other media can make a compelling storytelling experience.
Virtual Earth/Bing Maps 3D used to have support for touring a collection of locations on the globe and you could customize what angle the camera looked at the map when it zoomed in and whether it rotated around the spot, etc. and also superimpose a single photo per location while playing back the tour while pausing at that location. Hopefully with this upcoming return to 3D Bing Maps with WebGL, they'll resurrect that touring ability as I think that it is the basis for a compelling storytelling experience and if you could transition into a synth from swooping down on the globe, that would be fantastic.
Imagine sitting in front of your Xbox One controlled TV, accessing your life's adventures from a timeline and/or location perspective at the mSocial site using gesture and voice commands, while having mSkype snapped to a side to revisit your adventures together with your friends and family in the same room or through mSkype. Of course there was a shared appointment for this session in the mCalendar.
Video Moments to be included, of course.
Instagram is moving.
'Even if you are on the right track, if you just sit there, you get run over.'
Kick ass One Microsoft, move, be a dancing elephant.
A dancing elephant. I like it. We're trying! Thanks for the push to be at *least* as good as the sum of the parts of our company.
Microsoft misses something like a personal portal to all its services, which is a social and crowd sourcing platform at the same time.
This topic relates to the topic on 'gamification'