The current (high performance) Photosynth viewing experience uses a technology called Direct 3D, and makes sophisticated use of the graphics hardware on your computer. This approach has its advantages and disadvantages. If you have a recent Windows PC with up to date graphics drivers you’ll have a great experience, and you’ll be able to view synths with buttery smoothness. But lots of people have older PCs and others have Macs, and none of these folks could view synths before now. Not anymore, now there’s the Silverlight powered experimental viewer!
Silverlight is cross-platform (PC and Mac) and works on most old machines as well as all new ones. This generality comes at a price though, and for now Photosynth’s Silverlight experience is a couple of steps behind the Direct 3D one. But hey at least now you can look at all those pretty synths too! Most of what’s in the Direct 3D viewer is also in this Silverlight viewer, Seadragon aka Deep Zoom is in it and isn’t that the one of the most important parts? What’s not in it are the point clouds:
Point clouds will be added to it later on, when the team finds a reasonable way to do so. See they are not forgetting about all you Mac users and those who aren’t so fortunate to have a capable computer! Nice huh?
More info about this new viewer can be found at the about page.
How do you view another synth in this viewer? Easy: right-click a synth thumbnail on the site, copy the URL and paste it into the box below the synth you are currently viewing, or just hit the Photosynth button to view a featured synth.