Apple Computer Inc. and Silicon Graphics Inc. launched a VRML initiative at Internet World today, vowing support for each other's three-dimensional Internet applications and promising to collaborate on cross-platform standards for the development language.
The pact calls for Apple to bundle SGI's Cosmo Player VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) 2.0 World Wide Web browser with Apple's Internet Connection Kit. A Macintosh-compliant version of Cosmo Player is expected to ship early next year, SGI officials said. In exchange, SGI will support Apple's QuickDraw 3D rendering engine for the Windows NT and Windows 95-compliant versions of Cosmo Player.
"Apple has a great technology in QuickDraw 3D that will speed the cross-platform deployment of our VRML browser for PCs," said Kai-Fu Lee, vice president and general manager of SGI's Web Products Division, at the trade show in New York.
The recently announced VRML 2.0 standard is based on the "Moving Worlds" proposal initiated by SGI and endorsed by more than 50 Internet and multimedia companies. Apple, IBM and ParaGraph International Inc. are now collaborating on a VRML binary file format in compliance with the standard.
SGI's Cosmo Player was the first VRML 2.0 browser to support Windows 95, Windows NT, Mac OS and Unix. The Windows and Unix versions are available for download at http://vrml.sgi.com/.
Apple's QuickDraw 3D real-time architecture for multiplatform deployment of 3-D authoring tools is available for download at www.quickdraw3d.apple.com/.