3D on the Web – Where is it?

In 1994, Tony Parisi and team invented VRML to bring 3D graphics to the web. The demise of VRML has been well documented. Eventually, it evolved into a second standard called X3D that is currently under development. Unfortunately, X3D hasn’t taken off either. In a recent blog entry, Parisi suggests now is the time for the web to embrace 3D graphics.

The required hardware and network connection speeds are rapidly improving but don’t expect the web to morph into a virtual 3D world any time soon. There is little practical use for 3D graphics on the web today, but early in the 2010s, expect haptic technology (tactile manipulation of digital items) to become the killer application that brings 3D interfaces to the masses. Prior to that, Microsoft, Apple and other companies will slowly start bringing the desktop operating system interface into the third dimension.

Voice recognition interfaces will have a much more immediate and profound affect on society over the next ten years. Hand-free operation of all of our devices, using commands to navigate the Internet, and the rapid replacement of human customer service representatives with automated systems all exist today and are rapidly improving.

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Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a writer and poet. His first published poem, "Roadside Freak Show," arrives on August 21, 2017 in Impossible Archetype.  His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (richardleis.com), on Goodreads (richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr).