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These surreal motion-activated images created by Microsoft technology during America's biggest bike race are beautiful

Microsoft Motion-Driven Art Installation at Amgen Tour of CaliforniaMicrosoftA motion-activated image created by Microsoft’s Kinect technology shows cyclists racing during a stage of the Amgen Tour of California, May 2017.

Cycling is a great-looking sport. The scenery alone draws millions of television viewers during the Tour de France. Sixty-one per cent of people in a French survey said the gorgeous images shown were a major reason for tuning in to watch the Tour, whereas just 32% said it was the actual racing, as reported in “The Economics of Professional Road Cycling.”

The folks at Microsoft and Volvox Labs have taken the beauty of cycling to the next level. In May they teamed up with North America’s biggest bicycle race, the Amgen Tour of California, and used Microsoft’s Kinect technology to photograph cyclists while they were racing. The results? Amazingly cool motion-activated images.

“A custom rig was made for the Kinect cameras, specifically for outdoor use to photograph and capture the 3D motion of the cyclists,” Microsoft said. “Together with laser scans, the Kinect output was used to give the final images a surprising and beautiful perspective.”

“The goal was to give fans a new, artistic, perspective of the race. Rendered prints will be accessible for the fans as high-resolution posters, as a desktop, mobile device wallpaper and to save and share with friends.”

Learn more about the tech here, and check out some of the images below, along with a related video:

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