Microsoft Photosynth Creator Agüera y Arcas Joining Google

Blaise Agüera y ArcasLast night, the NY Times reported that the man primarily responsible for Microsoft’s Photosyth product, Blaise Agüera y Arcas, is joining Google. Agüera y Arcas is not simply an engineer or technician, he offers a rare combination of technical expertise, design and product vision.

Agüera y Arcas joined Microsoft when his 2003 startup, Seadragon, was acquired by Microsoft Research in 2006. The next year, that technology launched as Photosynth, one of the most innovative software tools or products Microsoft had then produced to date. Unfortunately, the Photosynth never caught on among mainstream users and its promise was never fully realized by Microsoft.

One imagines that if it had launched as an app a few years later, in the mobile era, it might have seen greater adoption and usage by “ordinary people.”

In roughly 2008, Photosyth and its image rendering capabilities were integrated into Microsoft’s mapping platform, then Live Maps. A version of Photosynth’s functionality was essentially copied by Google and integrated into Google Maps in 2009.

Agüera y Arcas’ last title at Microsoft was “architect of Bing Mobile and Mapping.” He was also a Microsoft Distinguished Engineer. Agüera y Arcas has also worked on wearable computing, augmented reality and natural user interface design. He was a central figure at Bing Maps.

The NY Times says he “will work on machine learning at Google, according to several people with knowledge of his plans.” I’m sure his role will be more elaborate than that suggests.

I’ve always been quite impressed by Agüera y Arcas when I’ve heard him speak. But it’s unclear to me how much of a practical loss his departure is to Bing Maps and Microsoft. The reason for his departure wasn’t revealed.

Below is the 2007 Ted Talk in which Agüera y Arcas first introduces Photosyth.

Related Topics: Channel: Local | Google: Earth | Google: Maps & Local | Microsoft: Bing Maps & Local | Microsoft: Bing Streetside | Top News

Sponsored


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



SearchCap:

Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  

Share

Other ways to share:
 

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.
  • Brandon Shallenberger

    I’d like to see something similar to Photosynth made into glassware for google glass. One can only hope.

  • Rajesh_magar

    Magnificent achievement and I think these is what gives birth to Google street-view.

  • Mohamed Elkhshab

    great check out my blog and tell me ur opinion
    http://thehighestviewed.blogspot.com

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest

 
 

Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States

Europe

Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech


Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!

 


 

Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide