HTML5, Flash or Silverlight?
So, you’ve seen panoramas rendered with the usual flash (not on this page), sliverlight (photosynth) and html5 solutions. The problem most solution providers have is compatibility – looking at the market it’s pretty much flash/silverlight across most desktop patforms including OSX and Windows and to that extent the mobile platforms of iOS and Android suffer. The ability to capture a 360° image and share it across most platforms still alludes us!
The options for the iPhone
I love Photosynth for it’s simplicity and ease of use but 360° from floaty provides a truly quick and easy panorama without the need to capture sequential photos and the time it normally takes. On the other hand Panoramatic does provide the best quality of panorama. When you compare the samples provided below please consider leaving a comment if you like any of the images or applications listed below.
Here’s one of the latest entries to the immersive image market – and surprisingly it’s from Microsoft. Photosynth has been around for sometime now but had been dependent on you shooting enough images to create the 360 using a normal camera and then using the Silverlight software to stitch them together once you get home. However, with the introduction of the iPhone app, Microsoft have made a very successful and easy to use application to capture, render and share immersive images.
Although the Photosynth app has a number of positives, it’s implementation is classic Microsoft (fortunately sans the blue screen). Once you’ve captured a panorama, you’ll more than likely want to share it – ouch. This is where the app will get a little confused authenticating with Bing, Facebook or Photosynth.net. Once it does crash, you’ll have to relaunch it several times in order for it to finish what ever it was trying to do. You’ll notice the internet activity icon spinning away – just let it finish before you try to access any of it’s features.
Although it’s not as interactive as Photosynth, panoramatic generates a better quality image than both Photosynth and 360°. The downside is the time it takes to slowly pan around and aligning each subsequent image. Rendering on the iPhone can take anywhere between 2 to 7 minutes (a bit longer if you’ve chosen the 360 VR option)
The app from floaty, 360, is still the quickest way to capture a relatively good 360° image. The one shown below was captured in only 15.7 seconds and uploaded to yFrog (Twitpic was having a bit of a problem during at the time)