iSynth: Stroll Through Virtual Worlds

iSynth (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
Developer: Gregory Pascale
Price: free Download on the App Store

iSynth, developed by Brown University student, Greg Pascale, puts Microsoft's stunning Photosynth 3-D photo viewer in your hands, whether you're holding an iPhone or an iPod touch.

Photosynth creates three-dimensional views of scenes that have been photographed from several different angles, giving you a panoramic, "you-are-there" view of your virtual surroundings. You can take a stroll through a collection of photos, or what Microsoft calls "synths," by tapping arrow buttons and gesturing left and right and top to bottom of your screen. The iSynth interface is intuitive and makes use of all the iPhone's touchy-feely features like pinch and zoom.

There's a vast collection of synths at Microsoft's Photosynth Web site. You can upload your own photos and create synths or you can browse photo projects submitted by thousands of people and organizations. There's a world to see, ranging from Stonehenge to the Taj Mahal to the inauguration of President Barrack Obama.

Launch iSynth and you'll get a list of synths, which you can search by keywords or browse by most viewed or most recent. Each item on the list of synths has a thumbnail, number of photos in the collection, number of views and a "synthy" percentage. As best as I can tell, the "synthy" percentage seems to be related to the number of photos in the synth and how well they're stitched together.

Dig into a synth on the list and you get a description of the synth's content, number of views and other info. To navigate, you'll use your finger, or arrow buttons to tour the three-dimensional space. There's an "orbit mode" that you activate by dragging your finger in the direction you want to go. Double tapping will show you the image's camera angle.

If you prefer you can view photos in succession like a slide show. There are settings for slideshow speed, transition speed, auto-rotate, among others.

This is one of those "what will they think of next" kinds of things. It's not really iSynth that's so thrilling, but the content.

Image Gallery: iSynth

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