ParallelGraphics, a leader in the field of Web-based 3D technologies has joined forces with the Web3D Consortium and a number of leading browser companies including Blaxxun, OpenWorlds and Nexternet to develop the X3D open standard as a new-generation successor to VRML, bringing visually rich, real-time 3D graphics to the Web and broadcast applications. The Web3D Consortium is a non-profit organization with a mandate to develop and promote open standards to enable 3D Web and broadcast applications. X3D is being developed under its standardization process which provides full and open access to the specification to all interested companies, and eventual submission to the International Standards Organisation for ratification to provide long-term stability for Web3D content and applications. The X3D standard will allow for the creation and deployment of visually rich 3D graphics, including small, lightweight Web clients with advanced 3D capabilities, and the integration of high-performance 3D into broadcast and embedded devices. Featuring a component-based architecture that provides for compact 3D Clients, X3D has a lightweight ‘core" X3D component fully compatible with VRML97. Extensions are being added to the core to further enhance the functionality of X3D and meet the demands of sophisticated vertical applications. The first demonstrations of commercial X3D browsers will be showcased at at Siggraph, including the ‘VRML 97’ profile which provides complete compatibility with existing VRML content. The Web3D Consortium is also working with the MPEG-4 group to ensure that X3D standard forms the core of MPEG-4’s ongoing 3D integration activities, and with the W3C to tightly integrate X3D with XML. "The Web3D Consortium has been developing the technology behind X3D for some time – but it is the broad support of multiple commercial browser companies that will make X3D a significant force in the marketplace. The Consortium exists to promote the role that open standards can play in enabling Web3D and we encourage any interested companies to get involved and discover how open standards can increase their own business momentum," said Neil Trevett, senior vice president of 3Dlabs and president of the Web3D Consortium.