Adobe Opens Atmosphere Community Server to Spur the Immersive 3D Web
Wednesday, August 15, 2001
SAN JOSE, Calif.--Aug. 14, 2001--Adobe Systems Incorporated, the leader in Network Publishing, today announced it plans to open access to the Community Server source code and protocol for Adobe®Atmosphere(TM). With this open access, developers will have a powerful platform for the creation and customization of immersive, interactive 3D communities on the Web. "Developers have been looking for an open server-side solution for years,'' said Bruce Campbell of the University of Washington and chair of the Oworld (www.oworld.org) special interest group of the Contact Consortium (www.ccon.org). Oworld is a developer forum uniting several efforts to share technology in the creation of infrastructure for emerging shared 3D Cyberspace. "Now with an open Atmosphere Community Server, commercial ventures can tie powerful backend databases to virtual worlds and create 3D spaces for e-commerce and collaboration. We envision that many research projects at the university, as well as our work to build large-scale Atmosphere public virtual environments on the Internet, will be powered by this server.'' Adobe Atmosphere is a complete system for the creation and use of interconnected and populated 3D immersive environments. It currently includes Atmosphere Builder, the world authoring tool; Atmosphere Player, the web browser plug-in; and the Atmosphere Community Server, which enables real time interaction with other users in a shared immersive 3D Web environment. The momentum around Adobe Atmosphere has been growing since its public beta release in March 2001. To date, there have been more than 700,000 downloads, and in a period of just two weeks, over 1200 unique Atmosphere worlds were online and community-enabled. By opening up the source code and protocol of the Atmosphere Community Server, developers will be able to create more dynamic and community-enabled 3D worlds on the Web, such as online art galleries and museums, automobile showrooms and space exploration. "In the early days of the World Wide Web, the open release of the source code for the Apache server allowed the 2D web to rapidly grow to include a diversity of sites and services,'' said Michael Kaplan, senior engineering manager for Adobe Atmosphere. "We expect the release of the Atmosphere protocol and availability of the server source code to similarly help expand the size and diversity of the Atmosphere universe of interconnected and populated immersive spaces.'' "I see great potential for what Atmosphere offers users. By removing some of the development and cost barriers, Adobe is enabling a broad set of users -- from web professionals to 3D professionals and hobbyists -- to create new applications for immersive 3D Web environments,'' said Wanda Meloni, a principal analyst of M2 Research. "Aside from gaming, immersive 3D Web environments can be used for a host of other interactive walkthrough applications such as architectural presentations, online trade shows, travel planning, corporate training, customer support, and education. In the past these applications have only been accessible to a finite number of developers.'' Pricing and Availability The Adobe Atmosphere Open Server is expected to be available for download this fall. The Adobe Atmosphere Public Beta is currently available for no charge at www.adobe.com.