Researchers develop 3D graphics capability for Firefox

The software allows for native rendering of 3D graphics using XML3D

A group of researchers plans to release a version of the Firefox browser that includes the built-in ability to view 3D graphics, a capability that could open the door for more interactive Web pages from developers.

Some gaming companies have created plug-ins that allow 3D graphics to be viewed, but the latest method does not require one, which potentially would allow the capability to be used by more people, said Philipp Slusallek, a professor at Saarland University, at the Cebit trade show on Wednesday.

There are two ways to generate a three-dimensional image for a two-dimensional screen: rasterization and real-time ray tracing. What the researchers have done is developed faster software for performing real-time ray tracing, which is also aided by today's faster processors, Slusallek said.

They've integrated that real-time ray tracing technology, called RT Fact, into Firefox and Webkit, the rendering engine for browsers such as Safari and Chrome, Slusallek said. The images are then described using XML3D, part of the HTML Web programming language, and the browser can natively render the 3D scene.

"With the integration of HTML, it means that every Web programmer can directly apply their entire knowledge to 3D," Slusallek said.

During a demo at the Cebit trade show, Slusallek showed how a Wikipedia entry on Venice can be gussied up with a 3D graphic of one of the city's palaces. "You can stand on the balcony and actually look at Venice from the top floor," Slusallek said.

The researchers plan to release a version of Firefox with RT Fact, although they're checking with Mozilla to see if they can call the browser Firefox. They expect to release the modified browser within a week or two.

Slusallek said they would like the technology to be embraced by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which is responsible for creating Web standards, in the hope that other software vendors will integrate the technology in their browsers.

The technology "is ready to go," Slusallek said. "You can see it works."

RT Fact was also developed by the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence and the Intel Visual Computing Institute at Saarland University in Germany.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Firefoxweb browsers

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?