X3D and Open Standards


by Sandy Ressler

co-Vice President Web3D Consortium

National Institute of Standards and Technology


March 25, Virginia Tech



Any mention of commercial products within this presentation or NIST web pages is for information only; it does not imply recommendation or endorsement by NIST.

The views expressed in this presentation are solely those of the author and do not represent any official views of NIST or the US Government.

Follow Along!




  • Why Bother with Standards
  • The Standards Process
  • Web Browser as Universal Publishing Medium
  • WebGL for Universal 3D Content
  • Future

Big Picture - Why Standards?

  • Standards contribute more to economic growth than patents and licenses
  • Standards play a strategic significance to companies
  • Companies that participate actively in standards work have a head start on their competitors in adapting to market demands
  • Research risks and development costs are reduced for companies contributing to the standardization process
  • Business that are actively involved in standards work more frequency reap short and long term benefits with regard to costs and competitive status than those who do not participate
  • Participating in standards development enables one to anticipate technology standardization thereby facilitating one’s products progress simultaneously with technology
  • Standards are a positive stimulus for innovation

Source: Highlights of a study by DIN (German Standards Institute) and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Technology (IEEE Think Standards)


Standards Boost Business Campaign 

  • more about standards and conformity assessment
  • tools and studies from the standardization community
  • Elevator Pitch to aid you in communicating the need for a robust standards and conformance program to the executives in your:
    • Company
    • Government Agency
    • Organization

Time is Relative 

  • 5 years in software is 10 generations
  • 5 years in a museum setting is just getting warmed up

Your Archival Content should be stored in a Standard format


  • your content is "archival"
  • your content is very expensive to create
  • care about interoperability

Not so good

  • you have a unique user interface need
  • want the latest and greatest technology



Takes (a long) time

Excuse me but there are some 3D objects in my web pages!!!


X3D the Standard

  • ISO/IEC IS 19775-1:2013
  • REAL formal standard - not defacto
  • Big win - content longevity
  • Downside - agonizingly long to formalize (sometimes market bypasses)

Web Browser as Universal Publishing Medium

  • If you want the widest possible audience..put it on the Web
  • If you want exposure via mobile devices..put it on the Web, and make sure the site is responsive

WebGL for Universal 3D Content

  • WebGL is GL with web wrappers
  • WebGL supported by most browsers and most mobile devices
  • WebGL led by Khronos Group (standardization/conformance is good thing)
  • ALL platforms..mobile,desktop,immersive


JSBIN demos/examples

NOT a special graphics editor!!



Continued Standards Improvements

More Ubiquity

Support for Archival Content

VR -> WebVR

exciting times! (again)



I'vd upped by standards. Now, up yours. - Pat Paulson

When I helped to develop the open standards that computers use to communicate with one another across the Net, I hoped for but could not predict how it would blossom and how much human ingenuity it would unleash.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/v/vintcerf645432.html#ldh36veMC7jG6y34.99