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3D-commerce Breaks Out of The Box
Metastream version 3.0 puts the reality back into virtual storefront
by Stephen Jones (April 4, 2000)

The latest browser plug-in and real-time rendering technology from Metastream makes fully-interactive, photorealistic product models appear to float in front of your browser window as you manipulate them. Improvements include realistic rendering of reflective or translucent surfaces. The technology gives Metastream models nearly a hyper-real or better-than-video quality.

In addition, the customer can freely "handle" the merchandise, turning and zooming in for a closer look at even tiny details. Or, the product can animate or transform itself at a click of the mouse. For instance, Metastream's site offers an example page that lets you pick the color of a VW Beetle or click a latch to open a laptop.

All this flash and dazzle would be academic except that Metastream also paid attention to your average Joe's limited bandwidth. The file format employs wavelet texture compression and progressively streamed geometric detail so that objects appear quickly then become more detailed.

Copyright 2006 Stephen Jones All rights reserved.

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