Home Microsoft Introduces Social Lightbox Zoom.it from Live Labs and Silverlight

Microsoft Introduces Social Lightbox Zoom.it from Live Labs and Silverlight

Microsoft Live Labs has released an early version of a free tool for easy sharing of high-resolution Web- images. Enter a URL at http://zoom.it and it will spit out a short link and embed code for a basic but sleek image viewer that lets you zoom around an image or image of a website.

The tool is usable and it looks great, reminding us of the fun and zoomy Street Slide feature Microsoft recently introduced in Bing Maps.

The tool converts any image to Silverlight’s Deep Zoom format and is ideal for bloggers, photo galleries and any situation in which people would want to share high-quality images on the internet. It holds promise for e-magazines and social readers like the blockbuster iPad app Flipboard.

One of the nifty uses for the app is zooming around one long, single page of a website. Here is an example, using the homepage of the Discovery Channel (in honor of Shark Week).

Zoom.it was created with Seadragon, the zooming technology acquired by Microsoft in 2006 that also contributed to discovery tool Pivot and 3D photo stitcher Photosynth.

Zoom.it’s creators have added several features to make this tool easy, quick to use and imminently sharable. A bookmarklet lets users grab images from the Web and dump them into zoom.it without leaving their browsers, and users can use a shortcut with the address of the image, as in http://zoom.it/?url=http://readwriteweb.com, to quickly add an image. Crucially, there is a mobile version that works with touch.

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