Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Multi-Person Event Photo Viewer

For a while I have been thinking about a certain idea for a product, a multi-perspective photo viewer.

Today, after attending a wedding the night before (the original idea came at a wedding), I read an article in Springwise talking about a site that gathers wedding photos from guests. Now I havent tried the product nor seen what it looks like but the title at least hints at the idea that I originally had.

The concept follows:
  • Many people at an event, each with a camera.
  • Each person's experience is different, a reflection of their perspective.
  • The only real way to get a feel for the "total" event experience would be to somewhow see all the photos of each person.

Now I can just imagine what such an interface could be and the thought of it really gets me excited. Imagine Photosynth but on a timeline, throw in an event guest list with a sprinkle of Facebook connect for identity. Obviously video needs to be supported as well.

One really important facet here is PERSPECTIVE. The apps main navigation should be the concept of perspective. There should be a way to easily move between people's perspectives and ideally, as per photosynth, be able to see the same event (perhaps based on time) from different perspectives. I say TIME because it is not necesarily true that all the people at an event would be shooting photos of the same thing at the same time (which sometimes removes the ability to do pure photo stiching).

There would have to be a spatial view as well. Especially because in the same event there may be different spatial clusters. As geotagging of media becomes more prevailant this no longer seems far fetched.

When you add TAGGING and facebook into the mix one could imagine that I could express the experience, say a collection of photos, of different groups at an event, eg: tables at a wedding, and connect them via a cross over metafor: say the bride is in a photo from each of the collections then as a user I could use the bride as the portal between the two collections.

While doing the mockups I realised how valuable it is to have not just the coordinates of where the photo was taken but also the direction. This is similiar to the advances in Aumented Reality browsers. So we could think of this as a MULTI-PERSON RECORDED AUMENTED REALITY VIEWER.

The interesting thing here is that I could use this now as my presentation architecture.

Eg: I have a subject that both A and B have taken a photo of around the same time. I know this because the line of site of the shot interesect based on the coordinates (GPS) and direction (compass) of A and B.

One limitation here is that we dont know the depth of field of the photo so theoretically they could still be shotting at different subjects.

Now imagine that C was taking a photo of B at that exact same time converting B into the subject from a different perspective. I could visually display this and allow the user to move through these spatial and time related media in a representation that is similar to the physical world.

I could definately see in the future Facebook give the ability to add your album to an event which automatically adds the content to this multiperson event viewer.

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