Toward an open web standard for 3D graphics (part 2): Introducing O3D

APR 21, 2009
Most content on the web today is in 2D, but a lot of information is more fun and useful in 3D. Projects like Google Earth and SketchUp demonstrate our passion and commitment to enabling users to create and interact with 3D content. We'd like to see the web offering the same type of 3D experiences that can be found on the desktop. That's why, a few weeks ago, we announced our plans to contribute our technology and web development expertise to the discussions about 3D for the web within Khronos and the broader developer community.

Today, we're making our first contribution to this effort by sharing the plugin implementation of O3D: a new, shader-based, low-level graphics API for creating interactive 3D applications in a web browser. When we started working on O3D, we focused on creating a modern 3D API that's optimized for the web. We wanted to build an API that runs on multiple operating systems and browsers, performs well in JavaScript, and offers the capabilities developers need to create a diverse set of rich applications. O3D is still in an early stage, but we're making it available now to help inform the public discussion about 3D graphics in the browser. We've also created a forum to enable developers to submit suggestions on features and functionality they desire from a 3D API for the web.

If you are interested in learning more about O3D, you can visit our site, subscribe to our blog and join our discussion groups. We also invite you to join us at Google I/O (May 27th -28th), where you can see presentations about O3D and meet with the team.

A video of the O3D Beach Demo:

By Matt Papakipos, Director of Engineering and Vangelis Kokkevis, Software Engineer