Microsoft brings deep zoom to iPhone

Microsoft’s Live Labs has ported its Seadragon application onto the iPhone, allowing users to “deep zoom” into gigapixel-size images.

Microsoft brings deep zoom to iPhone

The deep zoom technology knocked our socks off earlier in the year, with its ability to zoom smoothly into an image regardless of image size or bandwith.

Explaining the decision to port Seadragon to the iPhone, Alex Daley, group product manager for Microsoft Live Labs, says he was impressed with the hardware available.

“The iPhone is the most widely distributed phone with a (graphics processing unit). Most phones out today don’t have accelerated graphics in them. The iPhone does and so it enabled us to do something that has been previously difficult to do. I couldn’t just pick up a BlackBerry or a Nokia off the shelf and build Seadragon for it without GPU support.”

A video demonstration explaining the release also offers a glimpse at the potential uses of the technology.

“If you can think of a data type this could be applied to it,” says developer Ben Vanik.

“Imagine being able to access every photo you’ve ever taken, every document you’ve ever written, every email, everyone you’ve ever talked to without ever having to hit a loading screen, or a next button, or scrolling through a massive list of thousand of items. It could be very, very cool.”

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