Courtesy PLATINUM Technologies

Dateline: 9/16/98

Well it finally became official PLATINUM Technologies bought CosmoSoftware. I suspect they can run around saying "and such a deal!" Now that PLATINUM owns the technology and quite a few people from Intervista and Cosmo I would expect to see great things springing from what is now clearly the corporate leader of VRML.

The big announcement was apparantly held off until they could make a big splash a Comdex. While this left the community teatering on the edge of curiosity and angst, it's good to see a company led by sound business practices. Speaking of which the aside from the actual purchase PLATINUM unveiled their Business Visualization Center (3dbiz.platinum.com) web site. This stuff is great!

The best part of the 3dbiz site is the focus on REAL applications that will make money and solve problems for customers. It's not another hand waving gee whiz 3D is so cool ya gotta buy it site, it represents clear examples of useful, and I emphasize the word useful, solutions to business problems. Until VRML and 3D on the Web is placed into useful applications it will remain a novel sideshow.

The three visualization examples on the site, Data Visualization, Process/Systems Visualization, and Product Visualization demonstrate a coherent approach to business and enterprise use of 3D. The most exciting aspect IMHO is the start of placing 3D graphics into many aspects of business operations.

As I looked thought the examples on the site some had a stylistic familarity from the old Construct virtual architecture examples. It turns out that the Construct folks did produce some of these examples! Good to see some of the old timers making a buck :-)

Only time will tell if the consolodation of the two primary VRML browsers under the control of a single corporate entity is beneficial for VRML. Company representatives claim to support "open standards" and systems. While control, at first glance, by a single entity does not seem desirable, this is not always true. Most technologies have a corporate leader and PLATINUM's entry strikes me as simply passing the VRML baton.

Finally I really have to commend Andrew "Flip" Filipowski for having a open-for-all conference call on Friday Sept. 11 to discuss plans and answer questions from the general VRML community. I can't recall any real CEO doing that before and this guy has long hair too! Given a strong corporate commitment to 3D and VRML and people like Tony Parisi now part of this mix, I for one am more optimistic about VRML than I have been for quite some time...see you in cyberspace!

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