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Pittsburgh Innovates: Fotowoosh Transforms Web Site to 3-D Experience

Imagine getting inside a two-dimensional picture, moving around in the space and seeing it from a different angle. That is the idea behind Fotowoosh, a revolutionary new digital tool that converts flat images to three dimensional web pictures, developed by Derek Hoiem, a Carnegie Mellon University robotics doctoral candidate.

While the technology is still in a working state, Freewebs, a Silver Spring, Maryland, company has bought licensing rights to Fotowoosh and plans to unleash it free to the general public in the coming month. Freewebs is a private, creative website company that provides web tools to those interested in developing a multimedia website, blog, or forum.

"What makes Fotowoosh possible is the computer's recognition of the geometry of a scene," explains Hoiem, who collaborated on the invention with advisors Alexei Efros and Martial Hebert, both faculty members at CMU. "In the future, this could lead to giving the computer an image of a busy street scene and, as we watch, the computer predicts what could happen in the future, like a Harry Potter scene where an image comes to life."

The potential for Fotowoosh is endless, adds Shervin Pishevar, Freewebs president. "We really want people to transform their idea of what a picture is. Fotowoosh will be widgetized to allow anyone-local businesses, real estate companies, everyday people-- to publish and virtually share user-generated 3-D images. We are getting lots of feedback from around the world and people are really inspired by it."

To see Fotowoosh in action, check out YouTube.

Original Article URL: http://www.popcitymedia.com/timnews/6007fotowoosh.aspx