Best of Bing Maps Summer Xbox & Kinect Contest


Capture the sights of summer and share them with friends using the updated Photosynth app, available in iTunes today ( )! We listened to the 3,500,000 people who downloaded the first version of the app and added some of the most requested features: email, simplified sharing, and exploration of great panoramas by other users. To celebrate the launch of these new features, we’re even awarding Xbox360 with Kinect prize packages for the very best panoramas shared with Bing Maps!


The Photosynth app captures full 360° panoramas with a fun, interactive experience and makes it simple to share with friends and family. Today’s update adds email sharing and image cropping capabilities when you save a panorama to the Camera Roll, which means you can more easily bring your panoramas into other apps. We’ve also made sharing to Facebook and Bing Maps easier than before, allowing you to share to both at the same time.

The new “Best of Bing Maps” feature lets you explore great panoramas created by others and shared on Bing Maps directly within the app. View stunning full-sphere panoramas from people around the world and get inspired by the creative possibilities of Photosynth.

We’re excited about “Best of Bing Maps,” and we want you to get excited too! Which is why this summer, we’re giving away an Xbox 360 with Kinect prize package every week to the best panoramas shared to Bing Maps.* In the app, go to the library and click “Best of Bing Maps” to learn more and enter the contest. We can’t wait to see the amazing and creative panoramas you share!


With the Photosynth App, you can:

  • See your panoramas take shape with each picture you take.
  • Get sharp, seamless, and high-resolution results looking in all directions.
  • See most panoramas within seconds of taking your last picture.
  • Explore the world’s best panoramas on Bing Maps through the “Best of Bing Maps.”
  • Zoom, pan, stretch, and view your panorama in landscape or portrait mode.
  • Save and view your panoramas on your device and view them online at
  • Share your panoramas to Bing Maps and see them throughout Bing.
  • Share your images or interactive panoramas with friends on Facebook
  • Send email panoramas directly from the app or save them to the Camera Roll.

The new and improved Photosynth app is available on a variety of iOS devices (iPhone 4, iPhone 3Gs, iPod Touch fourth generation, and iPad 2) and will be coming next to a Windows Phone near you. You can download the app for free from the iTunes App Store today.



Google Code-in Check-in

We wanted to do a quick check-in on Google Code-in to let you know how the contest is going. We are just over four weeks into the contest – more than halfway. We’re quite excited about the participation thus far and hope more of you are planning to get involved in the coming days.
As of today we have more than 290 participants who have completed at least one task. There have been 813 tasks completed by all our student participants so far for a combined point total of 1,605. Points are calculated according to difficulty of the task: “Hard” tasks are worth 4 points, “Medium” tasks are worth 2 points, and “Easy” tasks are worth 1 point.
We’re also quite impressed with the international representation we’ve gotten from the contest – over 75% of our participants are from outside the United States. Our top 10 participating countries in order are: United States, Romania, Bulgaria, Russian Federation, Poland, Canada, Germany, India, Italy, and Belarus.
We would love to have more students participate! There are currently over 400 tasks that are unclaimed and need someone to work on them.
Remember, the contest ends on January 10, 2011. Don’t delay, claim a task today!

Bring your models to life with iClone

For the next month, Reallusion (the makers of the excellent iClone rendering system) is running a contest to see who can do the best job of bringing their SketchUp models to life. Prizes include an Apple iPad and a Sony Cyber-shot camera.

So what is iClone? Their site says: “Real-time animation evolves with 3D Video FX, motion paths, HDR and rapid drag & drop creation inside iClone4. iClone4 combines real-time filmmaking & video production inside one powerful engine. The result is a streamlined production tool for motion graphics, 3D animation, video compositing and 3D stereo creation.

To explain a bit better, they’ve created this video that shows off some of the great stuff that you can do with it:

If you’re interested in entering the contest, you have to produce a handful of items (YouTube video, images, etc) — full details are on the Reallusion site. The deadline is December 15, so get to work!

(via Google SketchUp Blog)