Internet

Apple lends support to Moving Worlds

Apple Computer has thrown its weight behind the Moving Worlds initiative sprung last month for creating 3D environments on the Net and is working with the effort's main sponsors to contribute its own technology.

Apple Computer has thrown its weight behind the Moving Worlds initiative sprung last month for creating 3D environments on the Net and is working with the effort's main sponsors to contribute its own technology.

Apple is joining a pack of 56 companies, led by Silicon Graphics and Netscape, which have agreed to support the Moving Worlds cross-platform specification that uses Java and JavaScript to add behaviors, motion, and interaction to 3D environments. Supporters are proposing that Moving Worlds be adopted as the specification for VRML 2.0 (Virtual Reality Modeling Language).

Apple said today it would support Moving Worlds and help Netscape and SGI create a binary file format based on Apple's 3DMF (3D metafile format) for storing Moving Worlds files on Macintosh, Unix, and PC systems.

The 3DMF format can contain any kind of 3D information, and Apple officials say that using the format for saving Moving Worlds environments will enable higher compression and faster performance. SGI will use 3DMF as the file format for Moving Worlds, and Netscape will do the same for its Live3D framework.

Most of the other vendors now gathered behind Moving Worlds, including Adobe Systems, IBM, and Sony, announced their support a month ago. An Apple spokesperson said today that the company waited to join the group because of "technical difficulties."