Software

TechRepublic in 3D


 One of the new features in Windows Vista that you hear a lot

about is the Aero Glass UI and how it’s supposed to add 3D elements to the

desktop experience. Because the Vista machine in the TechRepublic test lab doesn’t

have a video card with Vista drivers yet, I haven’t had the chance to fully

check it out yet.

3D graphics have been making inroads into everyday aspects of

people’s computing for some time now. In the world of Computer Aided Design and

gaming, 3D is very 20th Century.  For regular desktop applications however, 3D

is still relatively new.

In the browser world, some Web sites employ VRML and X3D to embed 3D images, but it never

has caught on very well. Recently however, I stumbled across a complete 3D

browser called uBrowser which will render

any Web page in a 3D window. For example you can render TechRepublic as either

a cube, sphere, or a rotated flat page. Appropriately enough, you can also

render it as a flag.  Below are some

samples:

TechRepublic rotated

TechRepublic cubedTechRepublic rotated

Spherical techrepublic

TechRepublic flagged

What’s uBrowser good for? Well, that’s about it really.

Unfortunately, there are no real added benefits in the current version to

viewing a page in 3D versus viewing in a regular browser. It would be cool if

you could spread tabs across different faces of a cube for example and rotate between

them, but this version doesn’t do that.

The author admits that the browser is only for experimental

purposes. It’s still kind of cool though and may yet point the direction to

where we’ll be browsing in a few years.

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