Idea: Combine Broadcasters, Social Media & Photosynth to capture live events.

I’m sure by now, most of you have heard of Microsoft’s Photosynth technology – today’s iteration has been stripped back to a fairly straight forward panorama tool but for the purposes of this idea I’m thinking more of their early stages of the product as demoed here @ TED2007:

(The whole thing is interesting but skip to ~3:50 to see the specific use case I’m talking about)

Photosynth worked on a pretty basic premise; take a handful of wide establishing shots, then take lots of pictures from other angles and the software could then stitch them together and relate them to one another – resulting in what you see in the video above.

One thing I’ve been amazed by though, is that no one has taken this technology & run with it for Live Events. Everyone knows that familiar sparkle that any video of a live event has, as many of the spectators take photos. Today many of those pictures now end up online almost immediately.

TV as the establishing shot: Fill in with Social Media

The wide establishing shots to help give Photosynth the ‘bones’ to relate all the photos to each other would be no problem with the HD television cameras that are present at the events. Pulling pictures in in real-time could be easily handled through a dedicated hashtag (or monitoring a variety of tags).

Timeline is what makes it amazing

Where it gets even more interesting though is when you consider all of the photos would be timestamped and with good accuracy because mobile phones nowadays generally sync to their network time automatically. Add a timeline feature to Photosynth and suddenly the way you can replay or review the action changes entirely.

That great hit? That amazing moment that set of a thousand flashes? When that rock star appeared on stage? These photos can all be related to each other and suddenly you don’t just have just the TV cameras view of the action but tens, hundreds or even thousands of perspectives of that moment.

The tech is all there, I’m sure with a little tweaking it wouldn’t take much to get it going… Just throwing it out there… :)

  • Saleem Khan

    I had a similar idea the first time I saw the technology demonstrated. I even wrote a formal project proposal to develop an immersive news tool. Maybe I’ll get to build it one day.