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3-D Websites are Coming Soon

Another dimension is coming soon to a website near you.

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This story appears in the October 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

3-D has come a long way since the days of goofy red-and-blue glasses. You can now buy special computer displays that show 3-D images, and the technology is making inroads on the internet. But is web 3-D ready for its close-up? Tony Parisi, president of Media Machines and the developer of early web 3-D technology VRML, thinks so.

What exactly is web 3-D? Parisi, 42, describes it as real-time 3-D graphics that are delivered over a web connection. That's pretty straightforward. Online gaming is usually the first thing that comes to mind, but the potential uses for the technology go far beyond shoot-'em-ups. "This technology is used for visualization across the board," says Parisi. That could include an interactive tour through the human body, a virtual tour of a building, or a product catalog that lets customers look at every angle of a piece of equipment and even virtually place it in their office environment to see how it fits before buying. The potential e-commerce applications could be especially intriguing for entrepreneurs in general.

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