Wednesday, October 07, 2009

A future of Chinese innovation (WN0024)

PhotoSketch: Internet Image Montage from Tao Chen on Vimeo.

As sometimes happens with Twitter, sometimes you stumble across something that's undeniably very cool and have to tell other people about it. Retweeting is the customary way, but having come across this gem, I had to tell my blog readers about it too.

Described by Mashable as 'just mind-boggling', this ingenious piece of software comes out of China - an interesting sign of the place becoming a future source of great innovation. Although it doesn't seem to be publicly available yet, the video above demonstrates quite clearly what it can do.

Mashable defines it like this:

Step 1. Draw the outlines of the figures you want in your picture – anything from seagulls to a Mercedes, whatever tickles your fancy,

Step 2. Add labels for each of the items, as well as for the background.

Step 3. PhotoSketch will then find real-life images to match your doodles and put them together in a Photoshopped image that will make your jaw drop.

The Telegraph describes it more simply as a piece of software 'which transforms basic stick-figure drawings in to a photograph', not quite doing it justice but an effective summary all the same.

The site for PhotoSketch is here, but such was the initial interest in it on the web that it crashed their servers. Goes to show perhaps, if you have a really good idea and can present it well enough, there's no better platform than the Web for getting the word out and building huge demand.

It looks to me like it has the potential to be a powerful disruptive technology that could go massive. Rather than me speculate about how it could end up being used by people and the social implications, I'm inviting comments below to see what readers think.


idleformat said...

RSS feeds are a good way of picking up stuff like this too - for those of us who can't stand Twitter! ;)

Globalism said...

True enough, and I get a fair bit of information from them too. Only thing is, I tend to use RSS more for browsing recent archived content, whereas Twitter seems to work better for real time sources.

Just like email inboxes, RSS feeds do tend to build up after a while!

idleformat said...

Fair enough. I just culled my RSS feed list because it was impossible to keep up with it all - it's looking a lot leaner now. I'm also starting to edge away from online life now too as I've found all the interesting things I used to do like drawing, reading & watching films have suffered, along with - to be honest - any sense of wellbeing I used to have. That said, I'll still be around to post comments here every now & then!

Globalism said...

Need to do a little RSS trimming myself - there's plenty that never gets read.

Glad to hear that you've got space for some of your other talents to get to breathe again.

I've gone past the point of feeling guilty if I don't update, befriend or comment at every opportunity online - it's a Sysiphusian task! Can't quite unyoke myself from the Net fully though, for two main reasons (I guess).

One of them is building audience for the things that I do (why write if no-one ends up reading it?). The other is that I remain fascinated by these revolutionary times that we're living through - the digitisation of human existence - and it's so easy to take it all for granted.

I suppose that people didn't have much of a conception of living through the Industrial Revolution while it was happening as it would only have been contextualised in that way after it was all over. Still wanna keep up with the times, man!

Do please keep up with the comments though, it's highly appreciated. I think you're probably my only regular commenter, and wouldn't want to lose that ;)

idleformat said...

No worries - always good to hear what you're up to, especially these days when we tend not to cross paths so often...