VRML2.0 3D Internet Browser and Multi-User Server Software
Tokyo, Japan -- Sony Corporation today announced that "Community Place," the VRML 2.0 version software that creates a multi-user, three-dimensional (3D) environment over the Internet or Intranet, is now being offered in the United States on an OEM basis to Internet/Intranet system integrators, service providers, 3D graphics vendors, PC companies and others. The product announced today comprises browser software and multi-user server software. The Information Technology Company (ITC), a division of Sony Corporation (headquarters: Tokyo, Japan), will receive orders directly from interested U.S. companies. ITC introduced Community Place products to the Japanese market in September 1996.
With server-client, Community Place enables users to interact in the same 3D space, complete with 3D object behavior, sound and moving video images. Communication is primarily text-based using "chat" functions. Sounds and gestures to the avatar can be added for more life-like communication. The browser can currently be downloaded from the World Wide Web at the following address: http://vs.spiw.com/vs *this link is no longer active and a revised page does not exist.
Community Place Browser -- Main characteristics
The client software that supports interactive communication in a 3D environment, complete with sound, images and motion, on Windows 95 and Windows NT platforms.
Community Place Bureau -- Main characteristics
Community Place Bureau World Location Server (WLS) -- Main characteristics
Product Development History
In October 1995, Sony announced the development of its VRML 1.0 and Sony extended version multimedia browser software, "Cyber Passage," at Telecom '95, held in Geneva, Switzerland. While testing the Beta version of Cyber Passage, Sony co-authored with Silicon Graphics Inc. and World Maker the "Moving Worlds" proposal in an effort to contribute to further refinements of the VRML 2.0 specifications. In May 1996, Sony released free of charge the Beta version of the world's first VRML 2.0 browser. Final specifications of VRML 2.0, with full reflection of refinements made on Moving Worlds, were announced in August 1996 in the United States at SIGGRAPH 96. The Community Place system represents the first product in United States from Sony that builds upon previous Beta releases and provides a VRML 2.0 compliant browser with Java language support. (Note: Cyber Passage was officially renamed Community Place in September 1996.)
Sony's Efforts in VRML Arena
Sony, in working toward the standardization of VRML 3.0 specifications, plans to propose "Living Worlds" with Blacksun Interactive and ParaGraph International. The company hopes to work with VRML content makers, Internet/Intranet service providers and system integrators to contribute to the development of new communications methods.