At Microsoft’s Mix08 conference, they announced Silverlight 2. A significant addition in Silverlight 2 is what’s being called DeepZoom. I first seen this technology in the PhotoSynth demo, while that product is still in the labs, users will now get to see DeepZoom online.
Originally called SeaDragon this technology is a game changer for viewing images online. It takes the approach that regardless of the size of images, there’s only a specific number of pixels on the screen at any one time. So by only loading the displayed pixels and not the total images, they’ve been able to create a fantastic experience.
This experience involves a large collection of images (even up to gigabytes of photographs) the user can very quickly zoom into the images and have them instantly displayed. For this sort of experience, we’re used to having long pre-load or download times before being able to view this level of detail.
Microsoft have made a very important decision to include this technology into Silverlight 2. As distribution of the Silverlight 2 player becomes more widespread, I see more and more developers implementing this technology into their sites. Expect a large majority of Photo Galleries to adopt this display method and add Silverlight / DeepZoom.
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