8 years ago

Microsoft new visual eye candy on Bing Maps

Blaise Aguera y Arcas of Microsoft Live Labs has built a formidable reputation around himself after his now famous demonstration of PhotoSynth at TED conference in March 2007.

Fast forward three years and the software engineer has used the latest TED event to unveil some incredible integration of augmented reality into Bing Maps.

Alongside some upgraded functionality to the standard viewing system, Bing has added additional layers onto the system to show off some of the more pioneering work it carries out through Live Labs.

The augmented reality system works by combining static data from images sites such as Flickr with live video streaming recorded at the same location.

The streaming, of course, wouldn’t need to be live – especially for travel DMOs using mapping with video to showcase activities or historic sites.

Glenn Gruber points to how the travel search model is being challenged by consumers deciding on where to go by what activities and things are available rather than the destination itself.

Advances in mapping technology and, as Andrew Nicholson of TravelTainment claimed last week during a  Travel Technology Europe seminar, multimedia search (especially images) is the next battleground for travel search.

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.



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  3. Kevin May

    Kevin May

    @Robert – agree. the trickle of DMOs seeing the potential for Photsynth-esque functionality is starting.

    One of the first in the UK was in Brighton of all places, rather than the obvious bigger cities such as London and Edinburgh.

    A nice integration of user Photosynth photos and Bing Maps.

  4. RobertKCole

    Hoteliers should be very excited and frightened by this technology. As is normally the case, those organizations running quality operations can use the technology to communicate more effectively with prospective clients. Unfortunately, those that have operational issues now have the new risk of individuals being able to stream very precisely tagged date and location media that can provide damning evidence of service breakdowns and product failures.

    On the positive side, the ability to film & map interiors using backpack cameras will provide the ability to provide an incredibly compelling and immersive virtual property tour. I would

    On the negative side (for the hotel operator, not necessarily the guest) it may be challenging to avoid undesirable photos being shared from flickr. The ability to directly contrast the “brochure” against “reality” images literally provides a new perspective.

    Always the optimist, this provides a huge opportunity for hotel, attractions and destinations to showcase the travel experience in a new and interesting way.

    The presentation made me say “Wow” a few times. Very impressive – and apparently very highly integrated into local search functionality. Great stuff.

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