3D coming to Adobe's Flash

A future version of 3D Flash will be on display at the Adobe Max conference in October

Adobe Systems has started work to bring 3D to its Flash platform, and will preview the technology at the company's upcoming developer conference in October.

A session titled "Flash Player 3D Future" will outline a future version of Flash that will be capable of playing 3D content, according to a program listing for the Adobe Max 2010 trade show, which will be held in Los Angeles Oct. 23-27.

The session will take "a deep dive into the next-generation 3D API coming in a future version of Flash Player," according to the listing. The Flash Player is available as a browser plug-in that allows users to play games or view multimedia content. Google's YouTube uses Flash for video distribution on its Web site.

The session is "going to be big," said Thibault Imbert, a Flash product manager at Adobe in a blog entry.

"If you are into 3D development for games, augmented reality or just interactive stuff like Web sites, you just can't miss the session," Imbert wrote.

Adobe officials were unavailable for comment Friday on a release date for a 3D Flash Player. The company had closed for the day, according to a spokeswoman for A&R Edelman, Adobe's public relations agency.

Adobe already offers tools for 3D animation in Flash, but the new platform could bring richer 3D experiences. This could be an important development as games and videos are increasingly produced in 3D.

At the Computex trade show last month, graphics chip company Nvidia demonstrated 3D video streaming live over the Internet using a video player based on Microsoft's Silverlight platform.

Adobe has also engaged in a public spat with Apple, which does not support playback of Flash content on its iPhone and iPad devices. Apple prefers distributing video and multimedia content through the HTML5 standard, and Apple CEO Steve Jobs has publicly derided Flash for being buggy, slow and power hungry.

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