Known as Accelerated 3D on Web, the working group was announced on Tuesday at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. The goal is to create an open, royalty-free standard that will 3D-ify what is now a flat, essentially rectangular web.
An established, open set of 3D APIs (application programming interfaces, which are essentially agreed-upon sets of commands that software developers use to communicate with hardware) that's agreed upon by all browser developers could not only provide the web with a new visual dimension, but could also support applications not yet imagined.
During the announcement at GDC, Mozilla's Vladimir Vukićević - who holds the sublime title of Infrastructuralist - cited three reasons that "now is the right time to look at adding 3D to the web."
Vukićević is upbeat about the competition among browser developers. "We coexist in a kind of an interesting environment," he said. "We certainly compete - there's a lot of competition going on, especially in performance and user experience - but at the same time we often cooperate and collaborate in making sure that new capabilities are exposed across browsers in a uniform fashion."
The goal for the new working group, Vukićević said, is "to make sure that current web applications can be enhanced with improved user experience and an improved visual experience, but at the same time to also enable new innovations and new classes of web applications."
Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group said that the announcement was a "call to participation," adding that "Anyone is welcome with open arms to make sure we get a quorum of the industry to bring 3D to the web."
And Trevett had a favor to ask: "If you know anyone who's interested in the web, let them know that this is ongoing." So, Reg readers, call your chums at Apple, Opera, and Microsoft - the developers of Firefox and Chrome already being on board - and point them to the Khronos Group's member-info page.
Apple, by the way, is already a major Khronos Group member, being the initiator of the group's OpenCL standard, but no mention was made at the announcement of its possible participation in the Accelerated 3D on Web working group.
The Accelerated 3D on Web working group will start up next month. ®