"There have been numerous attempts to add a third
dimension to the Web over the years. Unfortunately, most have
limitations: Open formats like X3D never gained much popularity,
Flash-based 3D engines are limited by the performance of the Flash
runtime, and commercial offerings can cost several hundred to
several thousand dollars.
"A new project from Google, O3D, aims to overcome these
limitations by providing a free, open source, cross-platform and
cross-browser plug-in that delivers the flexibility and speed of a
low-level graphics API like OpenGL or Direct3D, while addressing
the constraints of running inside a web browser. This plug-in gives
web developers the ability to utilize the underlying graphics
hardware of the host PC directly, allowing detailed 3D scenes to be
displayed directly in a web browser. And because O3D is free to
use, there's no cost barrier."