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Summary

Web3D, a relatively new term introduced by the Web3D Consortium (http://www.web3d.org) to describe all standard forms of Internet 3D endorsed by that organization, currently includes VRML and X3D. These technologies, together with Java 3D and MPEG-4/BIFS, comprise the subject matter of this book. Although the term is new, the practice of delivering interactive 3D content over the Web is not. Introduced in 1994, VRML pioneered the concept of 3D for the Web and is the international ISO standard that ushered in other forms of Web3D.

When it comes to interactive 3D content delivered over the Internet, today is the dawn of a new era. Web3D is prepared to invade the Internet, thanks to tremendous advances in bandwidth availability, platform processing power, and the recent maturation of comprehensive, cost-effective content authoring tools. In the past, each of these obstacles stood in the way of VRML's being deployed to the masses. Today they are fast becoming faded memories as "Web3D" comes of age.


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