Summer vacation is an institution in America.
Every year around this time, we cram our kids into the car and hustle off for some “quality” time together.
It’s “Hurry up and wait!” at the airport, the restaurant, the guided tour and the amusement park.
But with all that hustling around, sometimes it can be hard to actually take it all in.
What if we could continue the experience of vacation after returning home?
Studies show you’ll get more joy out of an experience like a vacation than you will from buying stuff. So we set out to find a way to make the experience of vacationing last longer.
Here’s what we found…
Photosynth: Vacation Once, Experience it Longer
The Photosynth app, from Microsoft, is the best free way we can find to make better memories on summer vacation this year.
Photosynth lets you take pictures with an iPhone, iPad, iTouch or Windows Phone and pull them together into one massive 3-D image you can experience and even explore after you get back home.
Check out this interactive image to see what you’ll be able to create at, say, the Grand Canyon:
“Photosynth interactive panoramas like the ones you can create with the iPhone app can look left, right, up and down — letting people capture a complete, high-resolution picture that gives a real sense of being there,” explained Lead Program Manager for Photosynth David Gedye, when we reached out to him about this cool application.
The final images have depth, volume and perspective. They look and feel real whether you’re inside or out. Photosynth simply blows similar smartphone apps out of the water.
Panoramas Worth Saving and Sharing
The real magic of this awesome free app is not just that it lets you pan around and experience more than 360 degrees of view to soak up your vacation longer.
It’s that the images are so lifelike that this kind of post-vacation exploration is actually worth doing.
Gedye describes the results as “HDR-like,” and that’s no joke. Photosynth images can have 1,000 Megapixels or more! You can zoom in and out and really explore the scenes you capture.
Shooting, “stitching” and sharing with Photosynth is a quick process, as well. The app allows you to post photos to Facebook and Bing Maps, and every picture you take is saved until you delete it.
You can also store your Photosynth images at Photosynth.net for free, and share the link (or embed) if you like.
All the Cool Kids are Doing it
According to Gedye, Photosynth.net currently features over 1.5 million interactive images. He says his team isn’t done improving Photosynth, either, so watch for forthcoming updates.
Forget vacation videos that your family will never watch, with Photosynth, you and your family will be able to explore the scenes and views of this year’s vacation for years to come.
All you have to do is take a moment to create a Photosynth panorama of a beautiful scene so you can soak it all in later from your computer, your phone or the web.
…Just don’t spend your whole vacation on your phone; vacations are for unplugging, too!
How do you make the most of your vacations? Share your tips with the community below!