SeaDragon In Silverlight: The Coolest Bit From Mix Keynote One
Hard Rock Cafe Memorabilia Site with Deep Zoom

Announced in the first Microsoft Mix keynote this morning was advanced zooming capabilities in Silverlight 2. The functionality comes from SeaDragon, a product first shown by Microsoft at TED last year.

The demonstration featured the Hard Rock Memorabilia site. It started with what looked like some basic memorabilia shots, then zoomed out to a button on a suit. The seamless image was 2 billion pixels created from many separate images with Silverlight natively providing the stitching.

The crux of the functionality is to provide the ability to zoom in and out quickly without the need to download an entire picture; Silverlight only loads what’s required as the user goes to that part of the overall image, saving on bandwidth and in theory providing a quicker and more pleasurable end user experience.

The video above is an interview the Mix crew did with the Hard Rock team that includes a demonstration of the site in action.

To see it live, install Silverlight 2 then visit the Hard Rock Memorabilia site here.