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For Immediate Release


Press Contact:
Jonathan Hirshon
Horizaon Communications
408-969-4888 x101

Membership Contact:
Deepak Kamlani
Interprise Ventures


VRML Consortium Expands Charter to Include Multiple 3D Technologies for the Web

Consortium Launches Next-Generation VRML Standard Process
Including Source Code of Sample Implementations

July 21, 1998 – SIGGRAPH 98 (Orlando, FL) – The VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) Consortium – a non-profit organization responsible for the evolution and standardization of the VRML 3D Web standard – today announced a proposed expansion of its charter to include all 3D Web technologies. A key part of this expansion is defining the next generation of VRML which is expected to include the following features:

Under the proposed charter expansion, the 50+ member Consortium (whose members include 3Dlabs, Apple, IBM, Ligos, Microsoft, Oracle, Platinum Technologies, SGI, Sony and Sun [see details at http://www.vrml.org/about/members.html ]) will now provide standardization and technical coordination/evaluation of other 3D technologies beyond VRML. New submissions, which must be from member organizations, will go through the existing Consortium process of peer review and ratification. Submissions must also meet Consortium guidelines for intellectual property and platform-independence.

This new charter mandates an open forum among members to develop optimal 3D graphics solutions for the Internet and Intranet. Through this expansion, the Consortium will better address the needs of markets as diverse as data visualization and advertising. The charter proposal has been approved by the Consortium’s Board of Directors and is pending member ratification in August 1998. Upon member approval, the VRML Consortium will officially change its name to reflect the increased scope of the organization.

Our doors are now open to provide a united forum where Consortium members can spread the adoption of 3D on the Web through cooperation, not conflict.

-- Neil Trevett  
President, VRML Consortium

The VRML Consortium will continue its cooperation with ISO (International Standards Organization) in ratifying 3D Web standards and integrating VRML with other standards such as MPEG-4 (Moving Picture Experts Group). The Consortium will also continue its ongoing efforts to evolve the existing VRML 97 standard to include new features and functionality; a complete summary of current working group activities is available at http://www.vrml.org [WG Status (Pulse Check)].

"The expanded charter builds on the fundamental vision that created the VRML Consortium," said Neil Trevett, President of the VRML Consortium. "Our doors are now open to provide a united forum where Consortium members can spread the adoption of 3D on the Web through cooperation, not conflict."

Open Source Code Drives Innovation

Recognizing the success of open source projects such as Linux™, Mozilla™, and Apache™, the VRML Consortium is also using this process to enable widespread VRML deployment and creation.

The first contribution of open source code for VRML comes from Sun Microsystems, Inc. which is providing the source code for a Java3D™-based VRML 97 view applet free of charge. With the availability of open source code, it is expected that developers will modify the interface and/or parameters of the applet to best suit their individual needs. The applet and source code will be available from http://www.vrml.org

VRML Consortium Information

The VRML Consortium is a non-profit organization with a mandate to develop and promote VRML as the open, ubiquitous standard for 3D content on the Web. The Consortium successfully gained approval for VRML 97 as International Standard ISO/IEC 14772 in December 1997.

The Consortium is composed of over 50 leading organizations include charter members such as 3Dlabs, Apple Computer, Fujitsu, IBM, Intel, Ligos, Microsoft, Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs, Oracle Corporation, Platinum Technology, S3, Samsung Electronics, Silicon Graphics, Sony, Superscape and Template Graphics Software.

VRML Consortium members provide technical and market expertise for the continued evolution of the VRML standard while gaining early access to ongoing technology and commercial opportunities. For more information on the VRML standard and on joining the Consortium, visit the Consortium website at http://www.vrml.org.

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