Who, didn’t think I’d see “Microsoft Corporation” listed in the Apple AppStore for iPhone this quick.
Want to view gigapixel images on your iPhone? The team at Live Labs just announced their approved iPhone App – Seadragon Mobile.
So what is Seadragon? it was the original Microsoft Research project that many products are now based on. Most popular probably is the Deep Zoom technology brought first to Silverlight 2. This is the process of taking gigapixel image and providing a smooth viewing experience viewing that image over even lower bandwidth speeds. One of the most popular Deep Zoom Silverlight sites is the Hard Rock Memorabilia site which shows over 500 of Hard Rock’s most collectable items, including the original Fender guitar from Clapton that started it all.
Now you can get that same viewing experience on the iPhone. I installed it real quick and it was pretty impressive (viewed over WiFi connection). Even though the Photosynth option is there, if you don’t read the fine print you’ll wonder why it keeps saying “Loading…” – it’s because it isn’t activated yet. My guess is that the team wanted to have that option in there so they wouldn’t have to re-submit the app, but rather just turn on the collections.
So plug away! Use Deep Zoom composer to create your collections with Deep Zoom Composer and view them in various ways now, including mobile.
The technology allows for you to look at an image like below and zoom in to see that the image is actually made up of cola cans ordered in a mosaic format:
Of course this is just a fun example, but there are others and with the Photosynth integration, it would be quite cool. Check it out!
Have you seen those television commercials about used car markets and someone standing in a white background and as they vocalize their automobile preferences the selections fly in and around them. That’s what I was reminded of when I came upon the new feature on Kelley Blue Book’s comparison feature on their site. I had previously written about some innovative uses of DeepZoom with Jose’s samples and I like what KBB has done here as well.
They’ve leveraged Silverlight with DeepZoom in a way that provides some good user functionality but at the same time provides a line-of-business application for their organization. You can get to the comparison feature by starting at their Perfect Car Finder® section of their site and clicking the Photo Edition near the bottom of the application. Once launched you are presented with an array of vehicles which you can start trimming down by using the controls to specify your preferences. As you enter options the images of vehicles filter and wrap into a new grid view.
I saw something that I’ve been working on as well for a blog post used in this application…a range control:
I did some snooping and was able to spend some time chatting with the developers of this beta application for KBB. It was great to hear how they’ve got to this point in such a short time (abt a week) and with a developer who said this was his first Silverlight application. I like that they had a need for a custom control and built it. If you play around with it on the site you can see that it is basically the Slider functionality with two Thumb controls (which is the direction of my sample as well). Changing these slider values also filters the car selections as well.
The car pictures are the DeepZoom portion of the application and do what you’d expect any DeepZoom app to do at this point with some great resolution photos. One thing that KBB has done here is monitor where you (the user) are viewing within the DeepZoom collection and provide some highlighting of the car you are looking at (via a border). Once you click on a specific vehicle it also zooms directly into that vehicle to provide you additional information.
They are making use of knowing where the user is as well as where in the collection that car exists to provide the best functionality to the end user.
I think this is another great use of Silverlight and DeepZoom together to provide some business functionality that is fun for the customer and functional for their organization. It’s a great mix of services and client technology. In talking with their developers I made a few suggestions that I think could even enhance the overall user experience and they understand they have some refinement they are desiring to do as well. But from nothing to an integrated experience in a short time is great! I’m looking forward to see how this application evolves. Go check it out and tell them what you think. Great job KBB team!
Take a few minutes and look at this video of Jose Fajardo re-demonstrating one of his ReMIX features shown using Silverlight and DeepZoom. Are you kidding me?! Seriously, Jose has a great imagination and an incredible sense for effectively demonstrating things.
In this video he answers questions posed to himself like “what if all web images were DeepZoom-able?” and “what if all the documents on the web were DeepZoom-able?” Then he gets crazy and suggests that people could collaborate with a DeepZoom image and demonstrates this using a Silverlight chat experience built using network sockets. I love his context of showing an x-ray and possibly having physicians review this together.
Bravo Jose on another well executed set of experiences. I hope these surface online for use as the Hard Rock memorabilia site has stiff competition even in these samples!