Desktop Virtual Reality & Web 3D

Web 3D: promise, hype, and failure

"In February 1997, Gap announced that it was building a prototype online 3D store that would allow users to walk around a virtual Gap shop, pick up clothes and then buy them. Other retail chains were reportedly harbouring similar ambitions. Meanwhile, in March that year, Icelandic firm OZ Interactive signed a deal with Atlantic Records to build a VR concert arena online. Bands would play 'gigs' by slipping into motion-sensing body suits that would translate their movements to their avatars in the virtual arena, performing to crowds of equally virtual fans. ...

"Later on that year, Ticketmaster announced that it would shortly be offering 3D seating previews and fly-bys on its website."

Readings:
Dredge, S. (2002). Web 3D. London: Lawrence King Publishing.

Web 3D: futures

The Metaverse Roadmap
[consider this site an essential resource]
"What happens when video games meet Web 2.0? When virtual worlds meet geospatial maps of the planet? When simulations get real and life and business go virtual? When you use a virtual Earth to navigate the physical Earth, and your avatar becomes your online agent? What happens is the metaverse.
Taking its name from the immersive virtual world imagined by Neal Stephenson in his visionary novel, Snow Crash, the Metaverse Roadmap (MVR) is the first public ten-year forecast and visioning survey of 3D Web technologies, applications, markets, and potential social impacts. Areas of exploration include the convergence of Web applications with networked computer games and virtual worlds, the use of 3D creation and animation tools in virtual environments, digital mapping, artificial life, and the underlying trends in hardware, software, connectivity, business innovation and social adoption that will drive the transformation of the World Wide Web in the coming decade.
The MVR explores multiple pathways to the 3D enhanced web, not a single path to a "3D-only" web. An array of 3D web enhancements are emerging, visual extensions to the participatory web technologies now sweeping the online world. "
» http://metaverseroadmap.org
and the Metaverse Roadmap wiki:
» http://www.eu.socialtext.net/futuresalon/index.cgi?metaverse_roadmap_inputs_wiki

3pointD.com
"3pointD.com reports on emerging 3D connectivity — a phenomenon sometimes called the metaverse — in all its manifestations. From virtual worlds like Second Life to applications like Google Earth, from cool mapping hacks that link up real-world locations to new ways of creating virtual ones, from concepts like folksonomy to the culture of online worlds, find news and feature articles about all that and much more at 3pointD.com, every day."
» http://3pedia.com

3pedia (wiki)
"3pedia is intended to be an editable encyclopedia whose articles describe technologies and applications that connect people in space, whether that space be real or virtual, as well as related subjects. Of particular interest are technologies that enhance the functionality of multi-user 3D online spaces"
» http://www.3pointd.com

VirtualWorldlets.net
"The Virtual Worldlets Network is an organisation dedicated to improving virtual environments and virtual realities of any and all descriptions. We firmly believe that there is no fundamental difference between chat worlds, gameworlds, educational worlds, academic and research simulations, military worlds or training simulations, and endeavour to prove this, by taking resources used for the creation of each, and pooling them in a single, accessible place."
» http://www.virtualworldlets.net