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Photosynth : To See a World in a Grain of Sand…

Another tech demo at TED (can you tell I’m addicted?). Normally I won’t be showcasing much in the way of technology for two simple reasons-- one, all of it is subject to change (at dizzying speeds) and I’m not a full-time tech reporter, and two -- for the most part none of it is truly “new” or innovative. Sure, there are smaller devices with larger capacities and the odd interface tweak here and there-- (Windows Vista, I’m looking at you) but only very rarely is there an idea that actually could change our experience.

This is such an idea.

In this case, the experience is imagery. The technology is called Seadragon, and creates multidimensional representations of images--including reconstructions of buildings based on freely-available photographs of them, visualizations of the contents of a book, and more. The technical ability needed to pull off a project like this is phenomenal.

I can see this idea being applied to all fields of knowledge someday-- eliminating the window/icon/mouse dependency once and for all, and potentially allowing us to access our technocultural archives in ways that are much more intuitive, much more exciting, and--dare I say it?--much more human. And in doing so, we may find that we are free to be our deepest selves; able to create, to do, make, and see things in entirely new ways. (Click here to view: 7.5 minutes, requires Flash)

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