I found this interesting video by Radiohead today. It was shot without cameras or lights, and simply uses a new technology based on a high-end scanner rotating on an axis. It captures data, and then uses computers to recreate the scene by placing pixels in a 3D space, and attributing a basic amount of color and light information to each pixel.
The result is actually highly fragmented, and looks like what it is: grainy data. But I can see that once the digital horsepower is available – data capture, data transfer, and finally, the ability to render the data on the user end – this could be a very interesting technology. This is only a few thousand pixels with a few colors, but imagine millions of pixels at full 16-bit color depth. It could conceivably enable real-time map displays, or allow video games to be played within real environments… virtual golf-cart race through the Vatican, anyone?
Anyway, the song of the video is gently reflective and a little sad, which I must admit appeals to the emo kid in me.
Check it out.
Oh, and you can actually play with the data at Google’s Data site.