This Technology Will Blow Your Mind.. (click to watch a great video)
Microsoft is working on something it acquired in February called Seadragon. It allows the user to browse visual information quickly. As they put it in their blurb:
If this sounds a little vague, consider the following four "promises" of Seadragon:
- Speed of navigation is independent of the size or number of objects.
- Performance depends only on the ratio of bandwidth to pixels on the screen.
- Transitions are smooth as butter.
- Scaling is near perfect and rapid for screens of any resolution.
Basically you can read a newspaper shown as a small image on the screen by zooming to as large a size as you need, in incredible detail. Plus, when married to Photosynth, pictures can be grouped to show panoramic views. The video even uses flickr images that people have taken of Notre Dame and arranged them in a browsable '3-dimensional' model of the cathedral itself.
It really is mind-blowing. Be sure to watch the video.