In a demo that drew gasps at TED2010, Blaise Aguera y Arcas demos new augmented-reality mapping technology from Microsoft.
Blaise Agüera y Arcas is the architect of Bing Maps at Microsoft, building augmented reality into searchable maps. He’s also the co-creator of Photosynth, software that assembles static photos into a synergy of zoomable, navigatable spaces.
He also created Seadragon (acquired by Microsoft in 2006), the visualization technology that gives Photosynth its amazingly smooth digital rendering and zoom capabilities. Photosynth itself is a vastly powerful piece of software capable of taking a wide variety of images, analyzing them for similarities, and grafting them together into an interactive three-dimensional space. This seamless patchwork of images can be viewed via multiple angles and magnifications, allowing us to look around corners or “fly” in for a (much) closer look. Simply put, it could utterly transform the way we experience digital images.
He’s now the architect of Bing Maps at Microsoft, where he leads a team of researchers and engineers with strengths in social media, computer vision and graphics. He joined Microsoft when Seadragon was acquired by Live Labs in 2006. Shortly after the acquisition of Seadragon, Blaise directed his team in a collaboration with Microsoft Research and the University of Washington, leading to the first public previews of Photosynth several months later. His TEDTalk on Seadragon and Photosynth in 2007 is rated one of TED’s “most jaw-dropping.”