Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Microsoft Research Shows off Street Slide View

Engadget (via MIT’s Technology Review) uncovered a cool Microsoft Research project called “Street Slide” view. The project attempts to create a new interface for viewing the street-level photos used in online applications like Bing Maps Streetside View.

As explained on the project’s homepage, today’s mapping applications enable users to virtually visit cities by way of “immersive 360 degree panoramas, or bubbles.” Users move from bubble to bubble, but this doesn’t necessarily provide the best visual sense of a city street.

With Street Slide, the researchers took the best aspects of the “immersive bubbles” and transformed them into multi-perspective strip panoramas. You can actually slide out of a bubble to see the street from a different perspective – a strip that’s viewed from a greater difference. When viewed in this mode, the empty space above and below the strip could be used for business logos and building numbers (addresses), or even ads.

According to the MIT article, the researchers have already made a version of this technology for mobile devices, including the iPhone. “It broadens out your visual sense to cover a two-block radius,” says Michael Cohen, a senior scientist at Microsoft Research.

Who’s hoping for a WP7 phone implementation of this tech? I know I am. In case I didn’t explain this too well, you can see Street Slide in action in the video here.

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