Microsoft is unveiling its latest 3D version of Photosynth today. Launched as a preview to accompany the new Bing Maps app, Microsoft is updating its Photosynth imaging stitching technology to include four new modes: spin, panorama, walk, and wall. All of the modes are designed to create different sets of stitched together-photographs, with the ability to zoom in and pan around. The new modes will be available exclusively to those who join the preview program, and Microsoft is accepting sign-ups on a first-come, first-serve basis.

New modes to combine photos

A new spin mode allows images to be uploaded to the site and compiled with Photosynth to produce an embeddable photo that is 3D and similar to Seene for iPhone. You can spin around an object providing you have taken the relevant images and uploaded them to the service and Microsoft’s example shows off what you can achieve with a steady hand. A panorama mode allows you to take a photo in every direction and stitch them together in the traditional way that Photosynth has always supported, but a new walk mode is almost Street View-like. You can compile photos that follow a path with controls to pull down or up to navigate and the ability to zoom into areas and pan around. A wall mode also supports photos side-by-side that "slide" across a scene.

Microsoft uses its own Photosynth technology to piece together all of the relevant photos in a set, looking for feature points in successive photos that include the same object for identification purposes. Photosynth then determines where in the 3D space each feature point is located and where each photo was taken from and the camera orientation. Photosynth also uses these points to create 3D shapes for each photo, and you can see the 3D models if you type C into the viewer below. The preview is available immediately at www.photosynth.net/preview, but Microsoft isn’t detailing when it plans to integrate this new version into its Windows 8.1 Camera app or any updated apps for iOS and Windows Phone.