What ever happened to the virtual reality, 3D world of the web? Back in the late 90s, all the hype was about VRML—Virtual Reality Markup Language—which would turn the web into an immersive environment that you’d maneuver around to get to the information you wanted. We’re here to tell you that the reports of the 3D web’s death are greatly exaggerated. As evidence, we present three 3D browsers that will use that graphics card for something other than gaming: 3B, Browse3D, and SphereXPlorer.
As further proof that the 3D web isn’t dead, an XML format called X3D—a free run-time architecture that can “represent and communicate 3D scenes and objects using XML”— is starting to take hold. You can find more info about it from The Web3D Consortium which is very active in its efforts to add one more dimension to the web as we know it. There’s even a mobile browser for X3D, so that you could, for example, navigate around a city you’re visiting on your handheld PC.
And of course, as with everything to do with PCs these days, there’s the Vista factor. Vista’s DirectX 10 will change the landscape for 3D browsers. The Windows Presentation Foundation (formerly codenamed “Avalon”) and XAML (eXtensible Application Markup Language) will allow 3D apps such as browsers to be programmed more easily than ever. For more on the Windows presentation foundation and its relationship with DirectX, check out Windows Presentation Foundation (Avalon) FAQ.
While X3D and Vista technologies may be the future of the 3D web, today we’ll tackle a more modest goal—evaluating browsers that use some aspect of 3D right here and now. In a future article, we’ll look at some VRML and X3D browser plug-ins that let you do cool things like enter virtual chat worlds such as 3D Planets. Meanwhile, join us in doing what you do all the time—browse the web—but this time in three glorious dimensions.
I have used 3B before. I wasn’t too impressed, it was like you were being prevented from viewing what you wanted to, and viewing a whole load of sites you didn’t want to look at, not to mention wasting your pc’s graphics power on something completely unnecessary, therefore wasting power and heating up the planet.
Just stick to firefox or flock, they do whats needed, don’t crash, won’t use up all your graphics mem etc.
As for 3D Planets.com,which was mentioned in this article, I have been there for a long time now, (about a year). It needs some life being injected into it, maybe this article will work but I’m guessing it probably won’t. The Blaxxun model is outdated, Windows only (great) and generally no fun for a lot of people. I can understand why people come in and leave.
I really want the place to succeed, but to do this they need to make some changes. The whole 3D aspect is cool, but Blaxxun don’t really get it. I mean virtual jobs, whats the point? Why not make the emphesis on the 3D and that cool stuff rather than message boards and pointless tasks that could be done easily by admin, or not done at all.
A change is needed to make people think of it as something other than lame and uncool as they come in. From experience, an young person a little younger than me might come in and just have no idea what the site is about. Then you have to go through how to install blaxxun contact to get 3d to work, often resulting in firewall problems and browser issues stopping things from going to plan. Then they will leave, making the whole thing pointless. Your back to square one.
Firewall advnaces and firefox have hit Blaxxun really hard, making it a bit of a long process to even get started in sites like 3DP.
No disrespect since I’ve always tried to get it busier but thats how I see things.