Web Interactive: VRML consortium to be launched

A Virtual Reality Modeling Language consortium will be launched next week, to spur standards, specifications, research and development on the language used to define three dimensional spaces on the Web.

A Virtual Reality Modeling Language consortium will be launched next week, to spur standards, specifications, research and development on the language used to define three dimensional spaces on the Web.

"To produce the infrastructure for global collaboration in cyberspace, we must collaborate," says Mark Pesce, co-creator of VRML, during his keynote address at the Web Interactive show in New York this week.

Pesce is declining to name the companies that will sign on to the consortium, which will be launched on Monday at the Siggraph conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. They include the top 20 companies in VRML, as well as companies that are interested in developing VRML applications but want there to be an infrastructure in place before they take the plunge, he says.

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology has already agreed to oversee standards conformance and compliance, Pesce says. Pesce reminded his audience Web Interactive that content -- not technology for its own sake -- is king. The future of the Web lies in interactively linking together information from different sites and sources, rather than just putting up static content, he says.

He uses one of his own projects, WebEarth, as an example. WebEarth stitches together live weather satellite photographs to form a three-dimensional picture of the Earth, updated hourly. "This is the Earth from space as it is right this minute," said Pesce, during a Web Interactive demonstration. He says he wants the site to become the locus of information visualisation about the planet. "This is where VRML is going. This is real-time VRML."

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