Photosynth is a great, free application that makes it easy to create interactive and immersive panoramic images. There are 2 versions of photosynth that I have been looking at recently which do slightly different things;
Photosynth for iPhone.
Once you have installed this free app, you can use it to take a 360 degree panoramic shot. It is very easy to use, just stand still and take your first picture, after that just slowly move the camera around slightly and it should automaticly take the required photos. Once compleated the app will stich the images together to view on the iPhone or uploaded to the photosynth website. Click the link below to see one I created earlier.
The other version involves taking as many photos as you can of an area and uploading the images to the website. The website will then do it’s best to stitch them all together. The results are more ‘blocky’ than with the iphone app, but you can use any camera and it allows you to take photos of small parts of the larger image, which viewers can zoom into.
So what can you do with this? As well as creating fun holiday photos, this can provide a safe, immersive simulation of a real life area. One of my examples is of a dangerous kitchen ,where learners can have fun moving around the image to find the hidden dangers, without having to be there. It could also be used to put someone at ease if they are nervous about going somewhere new.