TED Talk on Photosynth

We’ve already written quite a bit about photosynth, which Gary Flake first showed at last year’s Web 2.0 Summit, but I hadn’t seen the TED talk till this morning. Lou Barr, an O’Reilly editor who works with us on the Head First series, wrote:

This is a long(ish) video, but well worth the effort. It’s
stunning and draws in a lot of the user-generated content ideals
that Tim’s extolling right now.

Take a look, be amazed at Seadragon: Bleak House, the high res
advert in the newspaper, and then the AWESOME 3D image of Notre
Dame created from Flickr images.

As the blurb says: “…Photosynth might utterly transform the way
we manipulate and experience digital images.”

Lou was right to call attention to the parallels between my description of harnessing collective intelligence as the heart of Web 2.0 and photosynth. Blaise Aguera y Arcas makes clear in his comments during the demo how photosynth is not just a graphics application but an application that gets better the more people use it, and in which the value of each contribution is enhanced by others. We’re just at the beginning of understanding how collective intelligence can transform applications. We’re going to see more and more breakthroughs like photosynth that don’t look like web applications but nonetheless draw from the same deep trends.