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Mapping a Path For the 3D Web 156

An anonymous reader writes to mention C|Net coverage of the Metaverse Roadmap Summit, an event designed to look at the future of 3D Web environments. From the article: "While many took issue with the basic premise that an overriding 3D Web will be in place within 10 years, it was clear that most in attendance relished mixing it up as part of an august group that included Microsoft's Robert Scoble, former Sony Online Entertainment chief creative officer Raph Koster, PARC researcher Bob Moore, online game pioneer Randy Farmer, There.com founder and currently IMVU CEO Will Harvey, and CNET Networks editor at large Esther Dyson."
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Mapping a Path For the 3D Web

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  • Ten years huh? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @12:19PM (#15293931)
    Ten years ago i was working in the virtual reality field. People swore we would have a 3D web in ten years ten years ago. Anyone remember VRML?
    • I was thinking the same thing. Potential for some neat things, but it didn't live up to the public's lawnmower man fantasy.

      I mean the movie.

      No, really!
    • Additionally, VRML is **NOT** 3D. I realize that the term "3D" is used to represent anything that simulates depth, but frankly I get tired of people tacking "3D" onto something just because it doesn't have a distinctly flat appearance. VRML or any other modeling tool is not inherently 3D unless there is a way to get different light signals to each eye in order to make the brain bring the images together as true depth. Otherwise, it's nothing more than a 2D surface using shading and form to make you see a
      • It was 3D because you could interact in 3D. You could walk into/around/through the scene. In 1997. That's the point.

        You will never have perfect (or good, even) pop-out-of-the-screen 3D with a 2D screen. Polarization is faking it. Red-Blue glasses are faking it. (These two are also noted for not working on some people with depth/color perception issues, and causing migraine headaches in a good portion of the population with extended use) HUD's are good but an expensive piece of hardware.
      • Actually, as you said, VRML is/was a modelling language. How it gets rendered (and whether or not that rendering supports stereoscopic devices) is completely up to the 'player'. So VRML (or X3D) can be real 3D by your standards, and in fact back when I worked with VRML there was support for viewing it in stereo on the usual suspect's hardware (Crystal Eyes or whatever it's called, it's been a while).
      • I used VRML with a bank of SGI reality engines and a full stereoscopic head mounted display and data gloves. Was as 3D as your going to get. In fact, most 3D games can support a stereoscopic viewing mode, the days of so called 2.5D rendering (think doom) are long gone.
      • 2*2D != 3D! (Score:2, Informative)

        by gkhan1 ( 886823 )
        Boy, oh, boy are you wrong. First of all, two 2D images projected onto your eyes to simulate depth, are no more 3D than just one 2D image. I might look more 3D, but since you seem to be a stickler for naming things correctly, it's in no way true 3D. The point is that VRML, just like 3D animated movies and FPSs are modeled inside the computer as three dimensional objects. You translate, shear, scale and rotate in three dimensions. Then it is projected on a 2D surface, that is true, but it still 3D inside th
        • Re:2*2D != 3D! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by DragonWriter ( 970822 ) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @01:37PM (#15294676)
          Boy, oh, boy are you wrong. First of all, two 2D images projected onto your eyes to simulate depth, are no more 3D than just one 2D image.
          Two 2-D images captured your eyes and interpreted by your brain is how you see "3-D" in the first place, so two 2-D images projected to your eyes make pretty much as real a 3-D image as you see naturally.
          • two 2-D images projected to your eyes make pretty much as real a 3-D image as you see naturally.
            You're forgetting about focus.
            One can fairly quickly tell the difference when one tries to focus on the out-of-focus objects in the scene, and they never come into focus, or everything is always in focus.
        • No, I'm not wrong and the perception of stereoscopic images is most certainly 3D.

          The brain perceives depth primarily by taking the information that is provided by the two 2D images and creating depth. (I say "primarily" out of respect to the poster below you.) Our eyes are only 2D objects in and of themselves but they get two different perspectives of a 3D object, and our brain does the rest.

          When looking at a monitor we are not looking at a 3D object that gives our eyes different images. We are loo
          • Look at this image crosseyed: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/6a/3d_s tereograph_couch.jpg [wikimedia.org]. Is this 3D? It's obviously not, since it is simply a 2D image, just like any other 2D image. It has only x and y, no z. Yet, when we look at it we percieve it as being 3D. But it's not. It's still just the same old x and y.

            Key word here is percieve. The brain percieves these two images as if they were 3D. But they're not. They're 2D. The distinction between 2D and 3D is not in how we percieve it, but wh

      • by spun ( 1352 ) <loverevolutionary@@@yahoo...com> on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @01:16PM (#15294497) Journal
        You're not just being pedantic, you are wrong. I lost an eye in a mugging and I can see in 3D just fine, for anything further than about 4 feet. I can't thread a needle to save my life, but I can drive a car and play darts pretty well. The brain has many, many circuits for determining distance besides stereo vision. Color fading, occlusion, parallax, change of focal length, all provide depth perception cues. Seeing something in 3D does not require stereo vision, I can attest to that.
        • An additional thing your brain is good at doing is remembering the location of objects whilst you move.
          I'm guessing you find it easier to play darts after familiarising yourself by just moving your head around slightly?
          it may be subconcious now (and even be part of your normal routine as your walking to the podium) but it should be there.

          Its like the flicker images we have seen around (like these [well.com])
          There is enough information in these images for your brain (and mine) to reconstruct the scene and get depth per
        • Whereas I do believe that the brain can compensate for missing information, I think that all of us would also be able to do that because we have a reference point from the previous fraction of a second. Plus we can also determine the sizes and distances of most objects because we've seen them before and know how to interprect what we see. For example, we know how large tractor trailers are. If we close one eye, look at one that's really small but getting larger, it makes sense that our brain interprets t
          • it's still not the same thing as the interpretation of two 2D images from different angles.

            For distances over four feet, you'd be surprised how close it is to seeing things from two different angles. Try covering one eye and looking at some distant objects, you'll see that aside from the narrower field of view, it isn't that much different.
          • Pick up any good Psychology 101 textbook, they will tell you that depth perception is not dependant on stero viewing. It can be derived from a painting, a monitor, a person with only 1 eye, etc. You do not need motion, time domain, etc.
          • As an interesting side note, a good portion of our visual processing system is devoted to facial recognition. As one might expect, this system has also been integrated into the depth perception system. Your brain is hard wired to know in absolute terms how big a face is. Therefore, one derives distance information in scenes where faces are present from the relative size of those faces.

            The other monocular depth perception cues include motion parallax, color vision, perspective, relative size, distance fog, d
      • Speaking as someone with poor depth perception, I don't see a real difference between "real" 3D and what games call 3D. And if you really want to get pedantic, you could just as easily say that requiring special glasses to see the 3D effect isn't really 3D either. I mean, it is still just "tricking" the brain into seeing 3D. Just like adding shading and perspective to a rendering "tricks" the brain into thinking it is 3D. What is the essential difference? The only thing that would be truely 3D would be a ho
    • Surprised it does not mention The Croquet Project AKA Open Croquet http://www.opencroquet.org/ [opencroquet.org]
    • Yeah I was working with VRML too. Neat stuff. SGI was behind it in a big way. Sony was there too, but SGI was the corporate drive force. Man it could do neat things. Creating 3D objects was pretty easy for geeks, and could have been made easier for others w/ time. Geez, there were sites for 3D "clip art" objects. Anyone remember Floops, SGI's twice a week animation?

      Then SGI dropped VRML support. VRML was dead; long live VRML. I walked immediately, not waiting to smell the rotting corpse.

    • I still do VRML coding just for fun on my SGI Octane since this workstation has an ideal VRML development setup.

      However, I'm aware that VRML is nearly dead although I find it easy to code. There was a bit of an hype between 1996 and 2000, but today no one cares about VRML anymore.

      In my opinion, VRML is brilliant to produce interactive 3D content but it simply came too early. Back in the mid nineties most people only had modem and isdn access to the internet and the amount of VRML 3D data - especially of com
    • We do have a 3D web now so they were right, in fact we've had if for like 5 years with Everquest being one of the earliest incarnations :) It just isn't in the form of lame VRML objects on a web page you spin around.

      It comes in the form of persistent worlds like World of Warcraft, EQ the Sims or not so persistent ones like Battlefield 2 and Halo. This is the infancy of the 3D web envisioned in works like Snowcrash with people adopting persistent online persona, avatars if you like. You couple it with ven
      • It just isn't in the form of lame VRML objects on a web page you spin around.

        You must have missed some of the better VRML "demos" - I remember one such demo (IIRC) that MIT made - a virtual museum. Using a 14.4Kb modem on a 486 didn't help things, but I remember bringing the site up, and seeing a wireframe that filled in (oh so horribly slowly) with colors, then textures, and shapes - as I "walked" through it. As a wireframe, it wasn't too bad - but with colors, textures, etc - the thing just crawled.


      • Re:Ten years huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DJCF ( 805487 )

        One thing that is missing is you have a very limited ability to introduce your own 3D content in to these worlds, being mostly confined to picking wardrobe and hair styles from a predefined set. If I recall the world in Snowcrash was a lot more dynamic, complex and interesting.

        Two words: Second Life.

        The problem, as I see it, is that these are all proprietary technologies. We are seeing some incredible things, and have seen some incredible things, emerge on the WWW precisely because even though it is hor

  • Let's hope it doesn't turn out like the Lawnmower Man. Why did that movie need a sequel anyway?
    • Yes, and it sucked!
    • Why did that movie need a sequel anyway?

      Because it made money, of course! The rule is every movie that makes money get a sequel. You do that until you get a movie that doesn't make money, or until sequels become untenable. For many movies, one character is inherently tied to the movie. If that actor refuses to do a sequel, you're done.

      If, on the other hand, you make a movie where the special effects are the movie, or -- like Batman or James Bond -- where the character transcends the actor, you ca

    • Did you ever read the Stephen King short story? They used King's name in promoting the movie. I've never seen the movie, but from what I heard, it's nothing like the story. In the story, a guy calls up a lawn service company and this guy comes over (a "lawn mower man") who mowes his yard. But it's this demon, possessed lawn mower that runs by itself and hunts down rodents and the home owner's cat and what not (and eventually the home owner). And the lawn mower man's naked, crawling behind the mower, eating
  • Web 3.0? Anyone? ...Bueller?
  • by WeAzElMaN ( 667859 ) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @12:23PM (#15293981)
    Hard to fathom. How, exactly, can a 3D Web be useful in any way? What benefits will it offer that we don't have currently? Sounds like more hype regarding a useless technology (read: VR).
    • It's a tool, just like so many slashdotters, but in a different way. I guess what I'm trying to say is that some applications lend themselves to 3d. Why not view maps in 3d? Why not offer a 3d interface to merchandise that people might want to see from all sides. In short, why not browse and sort things using a 3d representation if that is an intuitive or useful interface, and you have the technology available to accomplish the feat smoothly.

      If you don't want to use the 3d interface, maybe you can ju
    • Wow, you took my post. This is what 3D Web makes me think of. 1) 3D Slashdot - Headache, useless, also imagine turning a corner and seeing the next version of Slashdot shock-troll picture. Yech! 2) CNN3D.Com News - Irritating, I prefer text to download a video clip. 3) Amazon3D.com - I just want a list of products that match my search, not a VR Mall. I don't like the real mall, and I don't want it on my computer. 4) Google 3D - Ticks me off, makes things hard to scan.
      • Mod parent up my thoughts exactly. More fast loading text and less v.r. hype please. When the the INFORMATION supper highway, become the entertainment stupid roadway? Give me Shakespear as text over Porky III 3D any day of the week.
    • How, exactly, can a 3D Web be useful in any way?

      I agree, it's ridiculous. The web already has many more dimensions than three; compressing it down to a VR representation seems to be coming from people with a shiny GPU hammer looking for nails to pound. And this meme keeps cropping up; it was circa 1990 when somebody did the first 3D browser for the Gopher space [wikipedia.org]. As now, the coolness of the idea carried you through about the first 15 seconds of use before you realized it was idiotic.

      The 3D web guys are makin
    • The same thing was said about GUIs. 3D can be a very useful way of displaying information, there is an automatic, intuitive zoom in/out by moving yourself or objects. many operations that now require key combinations or multiple click/drag/wheel operations become simple 3-d drag operations.

      People like Apple and (I hate to say it) Microsoft were pushing the GUI before anyone in the business world thought it could ever be useful. It helped.

      I suppose there were a lot of people saying that GUIs couldn't offe
    • This post is the /opposite/ of insightful. Potential benefits of good 3D are easy to think of, weazelman has just chosen not to engage his brain. Viewing product models in 3D on Amazon springs readily to mind. 3D Social networking sites are the other obvious answer, since so many people already use them (Sims, ).
    • by Saxerman ( 253676 ) * on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @01:30PM (#15294620) Homepage
      Hard to fathom. How, exactly, can a 3D Web be useful in any way? What benefits will it offer that we don't have currently? Sounds like more hype regarding a useless technology (read: VR).

      In the same way that 2D icons can be used to represent intangibles that the more mundane computer users might have trouble comprehending, a 3D interface would take this a step further and allow you to not only render concepts and ideas as objects, but allow you to establish a 'distance' between them. As you can move to anywhere within a virtual landscape nigh-instantly this distance doesn't serve as an obstacle to travel so much as a spacial representation of virtual surroundings. Consider a google search in which the most 'relevant' search results are displayed near you, and as you 'move' in a given 'direction' you refine your search.

      The more pedantic might decry this as a pointless effort to build abstraction where none is needed, but consider that our younger computer users are probably already moving towards thinking in this direction. (Or, at least, their corporate masters hope so.) For instance, the concept of MySpace might be thought of as a virtual 'room' which a user can decorate and furnish in whatever gaudy fashion they believe might render them hip and trendy to their peers. Currently these 'rooms' don't have any tangible distance between one another, and you might not see value in a the creation of a virtual landscape in which to place these rooms.

      However, the important thing to remember, is that this virtual landscape instantly becomes a semi-limited commodity. While it could extend to virtual infinity in all directions, the important thing to the hip and trendy users (travelers, inhabitants) of this user space, is their virtual relation to the rooms of their friends, and whatever cultural icons they seek to identify with. And suddenly the plot of virtual real estate in the shadow of the latest boy band's corporate sponsored virtual shrine shoots up in 'value' as the teeny boppers pledge the credit card numbers of their parents to establish their virtual 'room' there.

  • Just leave it alone (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) * <{akaimbatman} {at} {gmail.com}> on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @12:24PM (#15293993) Homepage Journal
    The craze of making everything 3D is over. Just leave well enough alone. If a 3D web becomes necessary at some point, then the technology will be developed. Until then, however, we're just taking shots in the dark at what people *might* want.

    That being said, if a 3D web is going to come out of anywhere, it will probably stem from the MMOGs. These virtual worlds have become so popular that in some cases they manage to displace the idea of meeting in real life.
    • The craze of making everything 3D is over

      Tell that to James Cameron.
    • this brings out a good point. people have been using MMOs as social hubs. I don't know what the possibilities are for virtual avatars in a streamlined interface, but imagine going to website and meeting up with a pal. It could change the way we use bulletin boards.
      • Not just bulletin boards. Think Instant Messenger in 3D.
      • The first thing I though of when I read the article is why did these people travel to Palo Alto? Why not meet in a virtual 3D space? Its like Bell sending a letter saying "Watson, come here, I want you".
        • Again, making a reference to MMOs as social hubs. It'd be useless to have a 3D instant messenger when you can have pop up windows while you surf in 3D. Think of it this way. You're a college student(web user) on Campus(3D intarweb) who stops by the message board(duh) to see if there are any interesting events or books on sell when you get a text message(Instant Message) from a pal.
    • I couldn't agree with you more. I don't see the problem they're trying to solve... unless the problem is 2D porn. I doubt "the world-famous futures think tank, SRI International" would own up to it though. Well, maybe Phillip Torrone might. Check him out down at the bottom [metaverseroadmap.org], he looks like a /.'er.

      When they get our current "2D" internet right, I'd be okay with them moving on.

    • That being said, if a 3D web is going to come out of anywhere, it will probably stem from the MMOGs. These virtual worlds have become so popular that in some cases they manage to displace the idea of meeting in real life.

    • How, exactly, is the craze "over?" Pretty much every game released today is 3D. Every console game, every PC game, every handheld game (PSP and DS)... I've even seen a few crappy 3D games available for download on my crusty old phone. And you can be sure that new phones are integrating much more powerful 3D chips. Just about every sci-fi or fantasy movie made today uses 3D rendering extensively. Hospitals have machines devoted to rendering 3D versions of MRI scans, etc... It just matches the way the
    • That being said, if a 3D web is going to come out of anywhere, it will probably stem from the MMOGs. These virtual worlds have become so popular that in some cases they manage to displace the idea of meeting in real life.

      Agreed. Just look at the recent (real) funeral/memorial (and unfortunate resulting rampage) that occurred in WoW.

      And, as others have said, IM/irc is another use. One of the TV episodes of Ghost in the Shell had a "virtual chatroom", which gave you an idea of what a 3D IM/irc cou

  • Web 3D (Score:1, Funny)

    by DanHibiki ( 961690 )
    A new and exciting Pop-Up delivery system
  • Because every resource can be "next to" hundreds of other resources with are all "next to" hundreds of non-overlapping resources of their own. ...and all of those relationships can be changes instantly.
    • I don't mean to be smug about it, but that is similar to saying that 3D is a terrible interface for a shopping mall, grocery, library, park, theater, restaurant, etc. Beyond the written word (books, news, advertisements), all of those existing 3D interfaces have been "ported" to 2D.

      And frankly (though I don't like them), any local Walmart is a better walk in experience in 3D than their site is in 2D. I've yet to see any Wikipedia article anywhere as interesting as an equivalent museum exhibit.

      In the way t
  • Never Fly (Score:1, Insightful)

    by pkcs11 ( 529230 )
    This will never fly.
    People don't want to 'walk' around a store to shop, thats Why they go online.
    My biggest beef with MMOGs is that I have to spend time going to and from missions. The market won't want to commute to and from stores in a virtual strip mall.
    • This will never fly. People don't want to 'walk' around a store to shop, thats Why they go online. My biggest beef with MMOGs is that I have to spend time going to and from missions. The market won't want to commute to and from stores in a virtual strip mall.

      You're thinking like a troll rather than a futurist. People do, in fact, 'walk around' when shopping online, and the 'real estate' they tend to walk though is their search engine(s) of choice. Just because you're comfortable walking down isles of

      • So now you've Microsoft Bob-ized the Web. If you want to transfer money to PayPal, you have to click on the ATM. Cute. But I think people have adapted to computers. They know, "I need to transfer money to my PayPal account", and they can pop open a new tab and do it. Adding an ATM just makes it take more time and effort, and forces them to make another new association because right now they don't associate ATMs with PayPal. PayPal doesn't actually give you cash.

        Something like that only works if the us
        • An immersive environment where they have to fight with and try to understand an additional metaphorical level on top of that whose only purpose in the end is to flash more ads in their face by forcing them to spend more time at the site. It won't work because it breaks what people like about the Internet: information that's easily, quickly, plainly available.

          I completely agree with you in the sense that I'm terrified of the unfortunate new user interfaces that are waiting in the wings to be unleased. How

  • One of the questions asked most frequently throughout the event was whether an overriding metaverse of 2016 will be commercially owned or open source. There was little agreement about that, but it was clear that the companies seen as most likely to provide the tools for a single metaverse upon which many 3D, social applications could be built are Microsoft and Google.

    Somehow I don't think it'll be open source, if it ever gets built.

  • and controllers.

    Immersive VR is doomed to failure until the interface to it improves and gets cheaper. HMDs are nice and all, but without a more efficient way to move through the scene, 2D will continue to be a more productive way to interact with data and 3D will continue to be eye candy.
  • by DebianDog ( 472284 ) <danNO@SPAMdanslagle.com> on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @12:33PM (#15294082) Homepage
    "3D Web - For those that miss the slow old days"
    "3D Web - Bringing your 5 year old PC to a stop today"
    "3D Web - We make 100% use of your available bandwidth"
    "3D Web - With the virtual girls we have, there is not even a reason to bother with a real one"
    "3D Web - You thought pop-ups were annoying? Wait till you see 3D billboards go by!"
  • Bang, Zoom! (Score:3, Funny)

    by FrankieBoy ( 452356 ) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @12:33PM (#15294088)
    3D Web!?! I'm still waiting for 3D television!
  • Let's go for the Garbage File! I'm gonna hack the gibson! [imdb.com]
  • I believe a huge reason why we don't see 3D web pages today is that nobody wants to see a 3D page on a 2D display. I'm pretty certain that a great majority of people out there want things as simple as possible, thus why 3D games have such a small following when compared to the number of people that browse the web. Its also possible that we just aren't ready to get this kind of information in 3 dimensions, we're still used to paper!
  • When it comes to me and the limit of my senses and the limits of the output devices today 2d is the way to go. Infact 2d may be the logical way to go even if we did have better 3d functions. 3d is great in games because games are there to simulate rela life (in most cases) but when it comes down to research or buying something online it's much easier for me to goto a fairly simple search engine and look down a list instead of going into a virtual library or whatever.

    Unless there is real need for a 3d envir
    • If it was actually organised in 3D it could be very useful. Have links appear just below the page, so you can see them without following them completely. Categorise wikipedia in 3D. However, I suspect it will just be used for gimmicky eyecandy, in which case, yes, it will suck.
      • If it was actually organised in 3D it could be very useful. Have links appear just below the page, so you can see them without following them completely. Categorise wikipedia in 3D. However, I suspect it will just be used for gimmicky eyecandy, in which case, yes, it will suck.

        No different, really, from the plain-old-2D-mostly-text web, where lots of potentially useful visual style capabilities that could be used to convey useful information are all-too-often used as information-free (or worse, informati

  • Why does the web have to be (pseudo-)3D? What advantage is there to browsing Wikipedia in 3D? I've tried a few 3D file browsers, and they're just a gimmick, nothing I'd ever think of using on a daily basis. Screens are usually two-dimensionally oriented, and 3D messes it all up.
    Moving vertices around in 3DS Max in a complex model is already complicated enough, gathering data online shouldn't be.
    What advantage does this bring to me? I don't usually shop online, but I don't want to "walk" through a "3D virt
    • "What advantage is there to browsing [site x] in 3D?"

      The 3D environment is visually richer. Relative positioning of objects can convey meaning, and there's more options in 3D than 2D, obviously. You could simply look at all the files on your disk at once.

      In practice, of course, no one has figured out a decent way to do this. As I mentioned above, it's my opinion that until better hardware interfaces show up, 3D cannot succeed as a standard interface. But just because the technology isn't here yet doesn'
    • 3D web content makes sense when presented on the right display:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volumetric_display [wikipedia.org]

  • Hey cool! (Score:2, Funny)

    by iknowcss ( 937215 )
    Now web pages can suck in three dimensions!
  • The screen is flat! End of discussion.
  • hm.. (Score:2, Funny)

    by DoctorDyna ( 828525 )
    Wait, does this mean Google will have to pay triple for my browsing habits?
  • You CAN do 3D content based web, 3D navigation and 3D styles in latest Macromedia Flash already.
    But, no one really cares, major decisition makers at big media stick to 2D and for a bunch of good reasons.

    Only some retarded geeks from Sony's media department may think that 3D is inevitable "next step" but it isnt, 3D has its uses here and there in the pages, some web content is already in 3D (if needed), but general 2D page layout will not be abandoned simply because it works so well, is understandable, si
  • Sure, pure 3D is pretty useless for browsing the web today, but it's one component of an evolving and emerging technology that blends the real world and virtual world.

    One could readily imagine many uses for immersive 3D environments from remote medical procedures to collaborative architecture to interior design to automobile sales to video games to many other things.

    3D digital cameras and such aren't that far away and would be way cool. I'd certainly like to enter a map address into google and get a virtual
  • News Flash: We already have 3D web pages -- 'D!gg Spy' (can I say that on Slashdot?) and the "In The News" VOX visualizer both include that important 3rd Dimension: time. Of course Wikipedia has an important time element too.

    This to me is a MUCH more useful dimension to add to Web content.
  • As much as this seems like a cool idea, the article fails to back it up with any rational explanation for a 3D web. The only feasible use of 3D would be interactivity, therefore drastically limiting the consumer base. To most, the internet is a tool; A means of communication. Adding a third dimension to many aspects would only serve to exponentially increase the amount of information transferred and stored to maintain such an environment, while adding a new depth (pun intended) to already interactive app
  • I remember VRML. It was very much ahead of its time. It needed high bandwidth, lots of RAM, real 3D acceleration, and a purpose. It would work great on todays Internet with todays PCs. But, what is its purpose?

    The main purpose for the 3D web is advertising, passive entertainment, and interactive entertainment. The idea of a 3D google interface is a bit silly, the 2D document like interface works too well to be replaced by a 3D interface. A simple 3Dish interface is coming (already here?) to the desktop in t
  • Although the 3D worlds like Second Life are very exciting I'm not certain that they really offer a place for peoples interactions outside of entertainment. I adore the way the system works and can be user programmed, and I'm certain that there are markets that will flourish with these metaverse systems. But in the end they are still disconnected from the real world in a major way. Why go to a conference in a 3D world with an avatar (other than for kicks) when you could just have a video conference call j
  • walking around in a 3d version of the net?
    This keeps on poping up ervery once in a while and we been doing experiments with realtime-interactive webpages mapped onto arbitratry 3d object in a themeable/scriptable environment (adding mulit-user stuff using irc-channels) back in the days when we had to transfer the stuff into the OpenGL pixel buffer by hand (nowadays you even have functions like this build into Higher Level scenegraph APIs (and - heaven forbid - Direct3D). ( description [spatialknowledge.com] and videos [spatialknowledge.com] and some
  • On behalf of everyone who ever read "Snow Crash" and wanted to play in that world: what's wrong with you? Many of us find this inherently cool, regardless of whether it's found to be useful. And drop the stupid "but we can't have 3D without 3D monitors!" meme; it's no more impossible than the 3D games like Doom and Unreal that we're playing today.

    It might be a long time before we can achieve fully immersive environments, but I'd settle for an open protocol-driven explorable world on today's monitors. H

    • Snow Crash is something that should have been stamped on. Not the book, all the wannabe 3D interactive environment fans that came out of it. On the 2D web, I can get from Google to anywhere in 1 click. In Snow Crash, I have to schlep about on a virtual motorbike. No thanks.

      This was always a big problem with the 3D environments, that it's so easy to mimic the real world, including all the spatial problems of the real world. I am not saying that 3D will not replace 2D at some point, but that point will not be
  • Well, 2.5D if you count tabs.
  • Correct me if I'm wrong but don't bookshops sell a damn site more "black print on white page" books than they do 3D pop-up books? And isn't the reason for that because most people quite like the format of the boring, standard book?

    Or can I expect a "plastic web" sometime in the future such that if I accidentally drop it in the bath, it doesn't get ruined?

You know, Callahan's is a peaceable bar, but if you ask that dog what his favorite formatter is, and he says "roff! roff!", well, I'll just have to...