General Software

Group seeks standard format for 3D on the Web

26 Apr, 2004 By: Cadalyst Staff

More than 30 companies, including Adobe, Boeing, and Intel, have formed the 3D Industry Forum to promote the adoption of a common standard for interactive 3D content. The group will work with ECMA (European Computer Manufacturers' Assocation) International, a standards organization, on a universal 3D format proposal for an ISO standard.

Such a format would foster the repurposing 3D content, such as product designs, for use in interactive simulations, online catalogs, and maintenance guides. The first version of the Universal 3D open format will be released later this year with a sample player and runtime libraries. Key features will include streaming and compression, animation, and the capability for end users to begin interacting with the content before the entire file is downloaded to its destination.

"Each time a new media standard has been enabled in computing and communications, it has led to an explosion of new uses and new markets," said Pat Gelsinger, Intel senior vice president and chief technology officer. "This collaboration between different industries marks a significant step toward turning 3D graphics into the next ubiquitous media, the same way the JPG file format brought pictures to our PCs, the Internet and even cell phones." The 3DIF initiative is spearheaded by Intel . Citing its years of 3D experience on both the hardware and software side, Intel believes its unbiased perspective regarding the preferred format will help the initiative succeed where previous efforts spearheaded by software vendors have failed. The member roster includes several vendors with products designed to post 3D content on the Internet: NGRAIN, Lattice, and Tech Soft America, proponent of the OpenHSF open format.

Intel says existing formats can handle some part of what the common format proposed to do, but that "none address the key issue of providing a universal format that each software platform could utilize as well as providing access to the data by the consumer."

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

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