One of the new features in Windows Vista that you hear a lot
about is the Aero Glass UI and how its supposed to add 3D elements to the
desktop experience. Because the Vista machine in the TechRepublic test lab doesnt
have a video card with Vista drivers yet, I havent had the chance to fully
check it out yet.
3D graphics have been making inroads into everyday aspects of
peoples 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
Whats uBrowser good for? Well, thats 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 doesnt do that.
The author admits that the browser is only for experimental
purposes. Its still kind of cool though and may yet point the direction to
where well be browsing in a few years.