Microsoft's panorama creation tool Photosynth has been updated with a number of immersive new 3D features. Photosynth can be used to create interactive images by stitching together a series of photographs, and the latest version bumps the number of 3D experiences to four. The update is being made available as a technical preview and it's being operated on a first-come, first-served basis… so get in quick if you want to try it out.
This is in fact the third generation of Photosynth and this release ties in neatly with the recent update to Bing Maps which added 3D interactivity. If you've used Google Maps' Street View to check out a new city, you'll have a basic idea of what to expect, but Photosynth takes things a lot further.
You are still able to create a basic panorama -- stand still and spin around while taking a series of shots that will be stitched together -- but you can also create spin, walk and wall images. The names are fairly self-explanatory: spin is almost a panorama in reverse, and enables you to pick a landmark and use it as the central rotation point for an interactive 3D experience. This is great for numerous tourist attractions and other points of interest.
Another new option is 'walk'. This can be used to trace a path that can then be walked along virtually -- this is very much like Street View's navigation. Finally, there's the wall option. This can be used to pan sideways across a scene. To give you an idea of what can be achieved, take a look at the Bing blog where you'll find several examples showing off the new options.
Take it for a spin and share your creations!