Taodyne delivers Tao, a 3D dynamic document description language which is quite a departure from HTML + WebGL for building 3D contents.
Based on our experience, here are some of the key attributes you need for good 3D to take off on the web:
* Device independence, like PDF or HTML. 3D does not just mean 3D models, but also depth, stereoscopy. You don't want to have to care about the many 3D technologies out there, active, passive, auto-stereoscopic, holographic, whatever. Tao contents adapts transparently, and will look exactly the same on a 2D or 3D display, including 3D without glasses from Alioscopy, Tridelity or Dimenco/Philips. Of course, it degrades gracefully on a 2D screen just like PDF degrades gracefully on a black-and-white printer.
* Integration of text, 2D graphics, images, movies and 3D objects in the same 3D scene. We are very far from that in HTML + WebGL, where there is practically zero integration between 2D and 3D contents. In Tao, 2D graphics and text obey the same rotations, translation or scaling as 3D objects.
* Being able to mix pre-rendered / filmed 3D movies with real-time 3D contents. In Tao, you can have 3D movie appear on the screen of 3D model of a TV, with text on top of it, all rendered in real-time. And that scene will show correctly even on an Alioscopy screen in glasses-free 3D...
* The ability to directly read 3D assets and not just 2D assets. This is almost there for WebGL with Three.js, but still very far from the ease of use of the video tag. By contrast, in Tao, displaying a model that moves with my mouse is nothing more than:
light_position 1000, 1000, 1000
rotatey 0.1 * mouse_x
While the Taodyne 3D dynamic document description language is not available in browsers yet, we clearly see what we did as something that could be part of HTML6. We built it with that in mind. It's text based, and you can reference an URL in images, movies, etc. Actually, we would like nothing better than open-source the whole thing and integrate it with the WebKit, we just don't have the resources to do that at the moment. But if a good soul at Google or Apple is reading this, we can talk.