Brown Harris Stevens SELECT First to Use Microsoft’s 3-D Immersion Viewing Tool
- Oct 07, 2008
Brown Harris Stevens SELECT, a new marketing division of Brown Harris Stevens has started immediate implementation of the new free product designed by Microsoft Live Labs. The product, Photosynth can be downloaded virtually by anyone, and appreciated by anyone who has a digital camera. Photosynth will be of exceptional interest to architects, builders, managers and buyers of real estate. With Photosynth you can fully explore and experience a space because it takes virtual panorama-viewing one step further. Photosynth allows the viewer to navigate and control their own immersive experience of a space, without having to be there in person, to manipulate and choose, to zoom in and out, and to virtually explore all the dimensions and details of a space, as if one were actually in the space, and walking around examining at one’s own pace. Brown Harris Stevens is a luxury residential real estate brokerage, and the exclusive affiliate of Christies Great Estates in Manhattan. Shlomi Reuveni, senior managing director, executive vice president of Brown Harris Stevens SELECT, said to CPN, “For us it’s revolutionary. It takes an hour or so to do, instead of months – [to set up] and there is close to no cost at all. I’ve been a broker here for two decades and have never seen anything like it. This tool conveys not only the physical dimension of a place, but also gives an intimate feeling and connection with a space. I think it will spread like wildfire.” One difference between this and the traditional tour now used by many real estate brokers, is that this puts the viewer in full control of a 360 degree view, as if the person looking at Photosynth were the actual photographer deciding what to look at in the first place.The technology, based on digital photography, stitches together a group of digital photos, analyzes photos separately, and allows the viewer to go in and recreate the space. Another unique aspect of Photosynth is that Live Labs is creating an on-site community. Said Josh Edwards, of Microsoft Live Labs, “Essentially our focus is on improving existing technologies, to offer new technologies, and to explore scenarios. We’re a collection of scientists and engineers, and we’re completely floored with how people are using it for art, and for commerce too in ways that we would never have dreamed of. Building a community around technology allows you to explore it much faster than if you were trying to charge forward alone through a traditional model. “ Added Edwards, “Brown Harris Stevens certainly has been the first real estate company to appreciate and make use of this sophisticated technology. They have integrated this into their website, and embedded it into their realtors’ websites. But in the three weeks since we launched the Photosynth site on August 21, already we’ve seen a considerable number of other real estate scenarios begin to appear on the site as well.” Photosynth was created as a collaboration between Microsoft and the University of Washington, and is based on the research work of Noah Snavel, Steve Seitz, and Richard Szeliski. It is available to the public, and can be downloaded at no cost.