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Category Archives: News

Multi million dollar assignment for Photoweb

InterContinental The Grand hotel, New Delhi. T...
Image via Wikipedia

InterContinental Hotels Group


As part of the most ambitious global photographic assignment ever undertaken within
the hotel industry, international photography company PhotoWeb has been commissioned by IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) to photograph 3,500 of its hotels across the Americas. The multi-million dollar contract will create a bank of over 100,000 still images and virtual tours, enabling guests to get the best ever picture of hotel rooms and facilities when they book online.

IHG is the world’s largest hotel group by number of guest rooms: 650,000 in over 4,500 hotels. The eighteen month project which will be completed by the end of 2010 involves a fifty-strong team of PhotoWeb photographers in the US, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America working across IHG’s well recognised and respected brands: InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites®.

With hotel research and booking now done almost entirely on the web, the impetus for this unprecedented investment came from research carried out by IHG which showed that high quality photography had a strong positive impact on booking levels.
“Our research has shown that professional, high quality images improve our brand
perception and online sales, especially if the images are consistent across all of the
properties” said Steve Sickel, IHG Senior Vice President of Distribution and Relationship Marketing. “People expect to be able to make informed comparisons and decisions online, so the most important thing for our potential guests is to be able to see accurate, realistic and high quality photographs of our rooms and facilities, including virtual tours.”

Each of the 3,500 participating IHG hotels will receive a package of 33 images, including both still photos, and 360 degree virtual tours images which rotate slowly on their own, together with a zoom facility. These are ideal for providing a panoramic view, allowing guests to explore every area from floor to ceiling.

PhotoWeb is using Canon 5D mark II 21 megapixel camera systems, selected for their ability to enlarge up to 40 foot billboard size, and custom made rotators chosen to ensure the highest degree of virtual tour precision. All project photographers participated in an intensive three day seminar where they were trained in how to achieve the high standards and levels of consistency required by IHG.

David Firestone, Project Director for PhotoWeb, said: “We were thrilled to be chosen and trusted with a bold project like this. In a very competitive market where customers make their decisions online, it’s surprising that many hotels haven’t yet made the investment in the right level of photography that will make their offer stand out.

“We’re shooting exclusively in raw format due to the higher quality and additional
flexibility compared with the compressed jpeg format. And in line with IHG’s standards we’re not propping the shots or using models, because people want to see what their room – and the hotel – will actually be like when they arrive. We are keeping it real.”

source PhotoWeb

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A virtual tour guide in a pair of glasses

Docomo’s AR Walker is a virtual tour guide in a pair of glasses

At this year’s CEATEC conference in Chiba, Japan, Docomo previewed the AR Walker augmented reality application that uses a tiny display screen mounted on a pair of glasses, rather than on a mobile phone screen like Layar or other AR apps. While the AR Walker application is not by itself anything new, being able to see annotations of the world around you without having to view it through a mobile phone’s camera display is. Docomo has come one step closer to the fictional augmented reality glasses that anime fans might remember from the TV series Dennou Coil, where children wore glasses to view virtual objects superimposed over the real world.

The glasses don’t come without some inconvenience however, because they must be connected to your mobile phone upon which the AR application in running. The result is a cumbersome mess of wires, though I should clarify the project is still in the experimental stages.

For the company’s walking tour demonstration at CEATEC, the application was operating on Docomo’s Windows Mobile based HTC phone, which was then connected to a pair of glasses. I had to stand in a sort of “mock Kyoto” for the demo, comprised of three big screens displaying the street view: one to the front, and one on each side of me.

Through your right eye on the glasses’ QVGA display (320×240) you can see an animated mushroom, Docomo’s mascot Docomo-Dake, who guides you on your way. Our demo took us through the streets of Kyoto, and the AR annotations explaining the environment were prompted according to which direction you faced. When you look up in the sky, the eye display shows you weather information. Look to the right and you see details of the restaurant on the right-hand side. Off to the left you’ll see an annotated view of the inn on the left.

Docomo told us that application will also work with a regular GPS-enabled phone, much like existing mobile AR apps. But the glasses display lends AR Walker a little bit of a futuristic feel that’s so much cooler than any mobile phone view.

It’s interesting to ponder what this application might be like if it were implemented using a technology like TDK’s film OLED screen, which was also unveiled at CEATEC this week. If the whole system could ever be built into a standalone pair of glasses, then it would certainly be something to get very excited about.

article and source by By Rick Martin of gizmag.com

Google Street View Trike

Google Street View Trike captures RIT campus

Posted at: 10/11/2010 9:43 AM | Updated at: 10/11/2010 2:35 PM
By: Lynette Adams | WHEC.com

Google TrikeStudents may have noticed some unusual visitors on the RIT campus today. The search engine Google sent a specially equipped tricycle to Henrietta.

The tricycle is equipped with nine directional cameras. it cruised around campus today taking street level pictures of rit. the photos will provide a continuous 360 degree view of the campus and will be featured in Google’s prestigious street view gallery.

RIT won a Google contest for the honor. It received 30,000 votes.

Soon, people interested in the university will be able to click on Google or RIT’s website and get a virtual tour of the campus.

Bob Finnerty of the Rochester Institute of Technology said, “The fact that we’ll have this on our website when its all finished, and the fact that they’ll be able to do a virtual tour of RIT whether they’re in California which is where we have a high number of applications from high school students, Texas and of course when they come to visit campus it will all make sense for them.”

This is an honor for RIT, a technological university, to partner with Google.

Only a few other campuses like Boston University and San Diego State University are featured in the street view gallery.

Some of the other winners in Google’s spring contest: Boston’s Faneuil Hall Marketplace and the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

For more Rochester, N.Y. news go to website www.whec.com.

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Beautiful Panoramas Brings Gorgeous, High Resolution, 360 Degree Panoramas to your iPad

Beautiful Panoramas Brings Gorgeous, High Resolution, 360 Degree Panoramas to your iPad
Beautiful Panoramas transforms your iPad into the most compelling panorama display device you have ever used. Beautiful Panoramas on iPad introduces a new level of deeply immersive panoramic viewing that makes panoramas on the desktop Web look and feel clunky and outdated by comparison.
Read more on PRWeb via Yahoo! News