Researchers develop 3D graphics capability for Firefox
The technique relies on software that performs real-time ray tracing
IDG News Service - 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.
- Workarounds to purge search bar from Firefox's new tab page are available
- Mozilla ships Firefox 31, adds search to new tab page
- Microsoft's IE steps back from the brink of irrelevance
- Firefox falters, falls to record low in overall browser share
- Firefox risks user backlash by adding search box to new tab page
- Google unseats Microsoft as the U.S. browser powerhouse
- Safari, Chrome push to mask URLs
- Chrome on Windows champs at the 64-bit
- Google pulls trigger, cripples some Chrome add-ons
- Microsoft shoots to shorten Internet Explorer's long tail
- Capabilities You Need in an IP Address Management Solution A mismanaged IP space can cripple an otherwise healthy network. Take a moment to understand what you need in an enterprise-ready IPAM solution.
- IPv6 Fundamentals IPv6 is needed to sustain the growth of the Internet. The transition from IPv4 will require planning and likely some degree of support...
- 3G/4G Digital Signage Guide Today, the widespread availability of 3G and 4G cellular or wireless broadband networks enables digital signage to be deployed virtually anywhere.
- Enterprises in Motion: In-Vehicle Networks In a world where traditional tethers to the central office have all but vanished, enterprises that operate vehicle fleets require constant and dependable...
- Cloud BI in Action: Recorded Webinar of Customer, Kony, Inc. See how Kony, Inc., a leading enterprise mobility company, is using TIBCO Jaspersoft for Amazon Web Services and Redshift to achieve embedded analytics...
- Cloud BI Overview: Jaspersoft for AWS Check out this overview of Jaspersoft for AWS, to easily and affordably build business intelligence solutions as well as embed visualizations and analytics... All Internet White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!