Top 10 Excuses to Avoid the 3D Web

I’m first going to make an assumption that many of you have probably heard before: 

The next generation will not know the difference between the television, the telephone, the computer, and the game console.

You may disagree, that’s fine, but I am looking forward to the day when I can stop paying  for all four of these services/items.  One bill will be nice!

We are starting to see more people watching television/video on their computers, as well as playing online games.  Many gaming companies still believe that the visual quality of games will always (or at least in the near future) be better on the console than on the Web.

I disagree.  I think we are at the “sweet spot” for the convergence of advancements in 3D technology and the Internet to see real value in 3D for the Web. Here is why . . .

I discussed this recently in a presentation at the Web 2.0 conference (seen below).

In my presentation I used this analogy:

  • Digital video production has been around for over 15 years, but YouTube is only 6 years old.
  • Communicating online (email mainly) has been in wide use since the early 80’s, but Facebook is also only 6 years old.
  • Facebook and YouTube could have been created earlier, but would not have seen the success they have had recently.

Why are these sites only recently becoming popular?

Answer:  Wide use of faster Internet access.  Basically, there were not enough people who had access to a high-speed Internet connections.  And with more access, we have seen great new Web tools.

So, why hasn’t “3D” become as popular for the Web?

Answer:  It actually has.

Second Life and World of Warcraft are great examples, but that’s just the beginning.  I believe we will start to see a surge in 3D Communication/Gaming/Apps for the Web, and especially more true stereoscopic 3D as it engages you more than 2D does.

For example:  3D Television has been a big hit this year, along with movies like AVATAR, and you can now see the same quality of true stereoscopic 3D for web games and apps.  Also, today it is much easier to create 3D apps for the web.

For example: this week the 3DVIA team announced “Drag and Drop stereoscopic 3D” for our Web app middleware, 3DVIA Studio (yes, that’s the plug for 3DVIA Studio, but not the point of this article).  Dassault Systèmes has also partnered with a consumer goods company to bring realistic 3D to online games from a cereal box (If you haven’t seen this, it’s very cool!).

So then WHY isn’t everyone using 3D on their websites?

Here are The Top 10 Possible Excuses:

  1. My mother told me if I watch 3D too long I will go cross-eyed.
  2. I’m allowed to use the remote control, but not the computer at home.
  3. I cannot coordinate 3D Glasses with my designer clothes.
  4. I work at Dunder Mifflin, we are in the (flat) paper business.
  5. I had a bad Second Life experience once.
  6. I’m afraid of the future.
  7. After I saw AVATAR, the movie in 3D, for 2 weeks, I believed I was living on Pandora.
  8. I have a 128mb processor computer.
  9. I still have a black & white television.
  10. Let’s hear yours…Submit your best reason in this post’s comment section . . . The person who replies with the best reason, I’ll send you a 3dvia t-shirt!

Seriously:  I believe it’s just a short matter of time before we see wide adoption of 3D for the web.  You agree? With the marketing behind the 3D television/3D TV, more and more individuals see the benefit of realistic 3D as a way to engage customers and users (online).

So, jump on board the 3D Web bandwagon…we’re heading out.  YEE-HAA!



  • Yul

    I only have on eye…

  • Anaons

    * cause i won’t known anymore where is the limit between reality and virtual reality… is my girlfriend true? o.O

  • Hao

    10. Cliffaphobia – fear of being on Cliff’s clips.

  • Hao

    10. Cliffaphobia – fear of being on Cliff\’s clips.

  • I don’t have a 3(r)d eye to watch and with just two eyes I keep falling of the couch.. 😉

  • Good ones…keep them coming!

  • R2A2

    Because Life is in 4D where the 4th dimension is Time! and Tempus Fugit…

  • Ydea

    Men come from Mars, Women from Venus and we’re all on Earth!

  • dwarfpower

    Why 3D has not emerged on the web, and on the desktop for that matter

    computer screen is a very low bandwidth communication channel. For that reason it is very symbolic, because the use of a set of symbol to communicate is a very powerfull compression mechanism.
    Everybody knows what the save button looks like, and everybody konws where to find it in an app frame ( except for CATIA which desided to place it elsewhere – huge thought to you François ). This with only 256 pixels.
    3D consumes a lot of bandwidth to convey information that has no significance to the final user. This is great in situation where bandwidth is huge compared to what is requested, because in that case you can use the extra bandwidth to set things up. But as I said desktop is low bandwidth.

    3D requires very expensive material. Cheapest solution is nvidia 3DVision as of today, and this solution must be something like 2 years old* this is $200 for one pair of shutter glasses and synchro box ( $150 extra pair ), and it requires a new $250 display for a 22″. On top of that you need a compatible graphic card, that is an additional $100. Result ? $700 for an installation for two viewers, more expensive than the desktop itself.

    Given the investment, you need desperately content to justify it. Games could be a reason to invest, 3D blu rays another one. But there is no content today. Even Avatar was released in only a 2D blu ray edition ! And even if 3D blu rays were available, given the $700 investment, you’d rather invest in a good 3DTV rather than giving your desktop a stereo 3D capacity.

    Finally your desktop is 2D only ( see reason one for explanation ); As 3D content is introduce, it will still be a small proportion of the content you consume. You cannot ask people to wear 3D goggles for so little. If you add that people are more and more people are flickering before there desktop. They cannot constantly put their shutters on and off. As long a purely passive 3D screens are not a reality ( which I don’t think will come to pass tomorrow ) it will be difficult to impose 3D content on computers.

    *: before that you needed crystal eyes. Crystal eyes require $300 shutter glasses, $200 synchronisation box, and a $1000 graphic card. And compatibility with standard LCD panels is uncertain

  • Thanks for all the insight Dwarfpower. You bring up a good point that the cost of entry for Stereoscopic 3D can be very high.

    I wanted to note, that I was not just referring to stereoscopic, but current 3D technologies for the web. Stereoscopic is next, and there are inexpensive solutions, as the cereal box video shows.

    I am interested to see how quickly the adoption of 3D TV will be.

  • Cliff, I’m dying to know . . . who wins the t-shirt?

  • Thanks to all of those who responded…I will give each of you a t-shirt.

    …if you gave me a “real” email address. :^)

  • Cool.. Thanks Cliff 🙂

  • R2A2

    That’s nice!! Thank You Cliff!!! I’m eager to wear this 3DVIA T-shirt!!