About a decade ago, Blaise Agüera y Arcas and his team started on a not-so-small mission: “To reinvent the whole enterprise of photography for ordinary people.” He revealed the first step back at TED2007. In a viral talk dotted with ooohs and aaahs from the audience (his strategy? “I talked really fast”), Agüera y Arcas demoed […]Continue reading
Why you should listen
Blaise Aguera y Arcas' background is as multidimensional as the visions he helps create. In the 1990s, he authored patents on both video compression and 3D visualization techniques, and in 2001, he made an influential computational discovery that cast doubt on Gutenberg's role as the father of movable type.
He also created Seadragon (acquired by Microsoft in 2006), the visualization technology that gives Photosynth its amazingly smooth digital rendering and zoom capabilities. Photosynth itself is a vastly powerful piece of software capable of taking a wide variety of images, analyzing them for similarities, and grafting them together into an interactive three-dimensional space. This seamless patchwork of images can be viewed via multiple angles and magnifications, allowing us to look around corners or “fly” in for a (much) closer look. Simply put, it could utterly transform the way we experience digital images.
He joined Microsoft when Seadragon was acquired by Live Labs in 2006. Shortly after the acquisition of Seadragon, Blaise directed his team in a collaboration with Microsoft Research and the University of Washington, leading to the first public previews of Photosynth several months later. His TED Talk on Seadragon and Photosynth in 2007 is rated one of TED's "most jaw-dropping." He returned to TED in 2010 to demo Bing’s augmented reality maps. As a Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft, he led a team of researchers and engineers with strengths in wearable computing, interaction design, digital maps, computer vision and graphics. At the end of 2013, he left Microsoft to work on machine learning at Google.
Fun fact: According to the author, Blaise is the inspiration for the character Elgin in the 2012 best-selling novel Where'd You Go, Bernadette?
"What others say"
Blaise Aguera y Arcas’ TED talks
On a tablet, Blaise Agüera y Arcas takes us on a walk through Edinburgh Castle, less than a mile from the TEDGlobal 2013 theater. With a swipe of his finger, we fly through the 15th-century castle — people and objects dissolving as we go — as if we were in a scene from a movie orchestrated by […]Continue reading
If you sped up the scene at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre today, it would look like blurs of red and green streaks — the red from the TED logos on the T-shirts of the crew who are busily setting up for TEDGlobal 2013, and the green from the name badges worn by staff members […]Continue reading