Google’s Open Source 3D Browser Plugin

27 Apr

Google just released an open source browser plugin that provides a JavaScript API for displaying 3D graphics in web content. Google’s plugin offers its own retained-mode graphics API, called O3D. While real time 3D in browsers isn’t anything new, doing it well is. Both Google and Microsoft have some advanced 3D offerings, neither of them are download-free technologies. Creating a cross platform, browser plugin is a pretty big step in the right direction.

Google's Open Source 3D Browser Plugin

Google's Open Source 3D Browser Plugin

The technology, while it requires users to download and install a plugin, it’s an alternative to Papervision. While both have their strong points, and both technologies are in their infancy, I think it’s great to have a non flash (I’m looking at you Android, iPhone), browser based engine out there.

Google hopes to bring their own programs like SketchUp and Google Earth to the browser space, but because it’s an open source API there are already some cool examples of people porting it over.

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