Google Releases O3D: A 3D API for Web Browsers

Google has just released a new open source web API that allows developers to create interactive 3D applications in the browser. O3D, which runs on both Windows and Mac (and even Linux with some tweaking), is provided as a plugin that will run on most popular browsers such as Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer (more details at our Google O3D API Profile).

The Google Code Blog announced the release of O3D:

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.

The Javascript-based API, even in its early stages, provides access to a rich set of methods, and O3D includes the ability to import existing content in several formats, including Google Sketchup. Developers eager to start working with O3D should check out the Technical Overview, API Reference, FAQs, and samples that showcase much of the current functionality and features available with O3D.

This is certainly an interesting new API for developers interested in engaging users with a rich way of visualizing content and data. We're looking forward to seeing how O3D will evolve, given its status as an open source project, and we're excited to see the creative and meaningful ways in which developers will leverage this API. Note that a new O3D blog has also launched as well.

Be sure to read the next Plugins article: How FastestFox Used Superfish to Monetize its Browser Add-On


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