After Khronos group’s initiative that we commented recently, and after premature retirement of Lively (browser-based, but requiring a client installation), here’s a new initiative from Google towards “web 3D for all”, that we are glad to notice. But let’s see what is it all about:
What is O3D ?
Similar to Canvas 3D JS Library from Mozilla, and many other plug-in-requiring web 3D platforms (Active-X based or client based), O3D is shader-oriented, which means that experimented 3D developers will be able to achieve advanced rendering effects.
Is this a new web 3D platform ? No it’s not a platform at the same level as 3DXplorer, as it’s not offering the full 3D engine, although offering an excellent rendering engine. Moreover, there are no avatars, no multi-user session, nor chat or even a synchronous networking environment.
Which companies or technologies is this announcement aiming at:
Not only Adobe’s Flash and Microsoft’s Silverlight are concerned by this initiative, but even upper layer development platforms requiring plug-ins are clearly aimed at, including all 3D web platforms with client installations and active-X, especially those targeting developers (Unity, 3Dvia,…)
What are other pros and cons of O3D:
• A great rendering engine.
• Another initiative supporting the trend towards browser-based web3D
• Still requires a plug-in to be installed for the player. The market will most likely refuse it unless for very motivated users (gamers?)
Google’s intention is a belief that web3D is going to be browser-based, open and thin. Google actually recognizes that it would be even great without a plug-in, hoping that the plug-in will be adopted (3DXplorer is already plug-in-less). In all cases, O3D is only going to accelerate the emergence of the web 3D applications for all computers. Looking forward to seeing it in action.