To make the best use of VRML, start thinking in 3D

To make the best use of VRML, start thinking in 3D

Have you ever gone to a Web site and drove a car around a racetrack or walked into a room that you could explore from all angles?

If you have, you were most likely enjoying the benefits of Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML), used to create interactive, three-dimensional World Wide Web sites.

VRML allows 3D images to be distributed over a network. VRML files are smaller than 1MB, and most range from 100 to 200KB. Their petite size means they use much less bandwidth, making them easy to transmit.

Although VRML seems like a great idea, the world may not be ready for it. "People don't think in 3D," says Mark Hardie, an analyst at Forrester Research in the US.

Most people use their PCs to look at flat or two-dimensional images; users just don't see 3D PC images very often in their daily lives.

Another reason people have been slow to adopt VRML is because most Web designers haven't begun to use it yet. Only about 100,000 people use VRML, according to Hardie, and that number isn't expected to grow until at least the year 2000.

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