Until now, the web doesn’t have any interactive 3D graphics available on it inherently. For instance, the HTML code itself doesn’t support the inclusion of such graphics and as a result, most of the websites have to rely on other tools to display interactive 3D content. This may, however, change soon.
The need for such a change is imminent especially because in today’s world, from PCs to smartphones and tablets, nearly all devices are equipped with advanced graphics hardware to process 3D graphics. That is precisely why a German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence has joined hands with Fraunhofer Institute of Computer Graphics Research. The two stated in a press release that they ‘are working to describe computer scenes in spatial detail directly within the websites’ code.’
This is an intriguing idea since so far, no graphics could be added to HTML within its code. These two institutes intend extend HTML to add such a functionality. Initially, both institutes had their own separate proposals but now, they are collaborating to create common components for highly interactive 3D graphics.
A number of new elements including material properties, 3D geometry, lights and virtual cameras will become a part of HTML if the proposal is accepted. Philipp Slusallek, a professor of computer graphics at Saarland University states, “These elements can be used almost exactly like existing HTML elements. Therefore, millions of Web developers can quickly begin to include interactive 3D visualizations in their Web applications.”
The head of the research group working on this at DFKI/VCI, Kristian Sons, is of the opinion, “The proposed declarative extension to HTML offers a high-level approach for Web developers, extending the low-level procedural approach to talk to graphics hardware now offered by WebGL. Instead of requiring Web developers to become WebGL experts or learn new APIs, we are adding advanced graphics capabilities to HTML, allowing Web developers to reuse their existing skills and directly apply the Web technology they use on a daily basis.”