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Now Available: Innovators Under 35 2013 See The 2013 List »

Credit: Blaise Agüera y Arcas

Blaise Agüera y Arcas, 33

Building immersive 3-D environments

Microsoft Live Labs

Imagine taking hundreds of photos in the Rockies and being able to piece the images into a virtual re-creation of the peaks. With Microsoft's Photosynth, you can. Created by Blaise Agüera y Arcas, the software uses digital photos to construct 3-D environments called "synths." Agüera y Arcas created the first version in 2006, drawing on Seadragon--a data navigation technology he'd developed previously--and computer-vision research from Microsoft and the University of Washington.

In August, Agüera y Arcas and his team released a version of Photosynth that allows users to construct their own synths for the first time. The software runs on users' computers and includes algorithms that let them more easily pivot in 3-D space. It also allows them to post their synths online and discover other synths of the same or similar places. As users add synths of cities, stores, and homes, Agüera y Arcas says, the Photosynth site will be able to "enrich online 3-D mapping, shopping, real estate, and other immersive Web applications that involve real objects and places." --Brittany Sauser

2008 TR35 Winners

Blaise Agüera y Arcas

Building immersive 3-D environments

Dries Buytaert (video)

Simple, flexible Web publishing

Jenova Chen (video)

Gaming with the flow

Tanzeem Choudhury (video)

Inferring social networks automatically

Jack Dorsey (video)

Personal updates made simple

Stefanus Du Toit (video)

Programming for parallel processors

Seth Hallem

Deconstructing software to find bugs

Xian-Sheng Hua

Enhancing video search

Sundar Iyer

Making memory at Internet speed

Farinaz Koushanfar

Locking microchips to prevent piracy

Johnny Lee (video)

Streamlining human-computer interactions

Meredith Ringel Morris (video)

Searching websites jointly

Andrew Ng

Building household robots

Adam Smith (video)

Making sense of e-mail madness

JB Straubel (video)

Engineering electric sports cars

Eric Wilhelm (video)

Putting DIY projects online

Robert Wood (video)

Building robotic flies

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