3d framework turns Web sites into virtual worlds

Press release: XR SDK: 3D Player Framework that can turn any website into a Virtual World

PHILADELPHIA — After over two years of development, Extreme Reality Inc. is announcing the release of XR SDK, a framework for building multi-user, multi-platform 3D players with dynamically downloaded content based on Unity3D and Photon.

A3D Player works like a video player but instead of downloading a video, it can download Unity asset bundles from any URL. This lets customers easily turn any website into a virtual world.

A sample garden scene. (Image courtesy Reality.)

A sample garden scene created with the XR SDK. (Image courtesy Extreme Reality.)

The XR SDK comes with source code and examples to do the following:

  • Create a list of characters and dynamically download the specific character as an asset bundle asynchronously from your website or any place on the internet.
  • Create a list of scenes and dynamically download the specific scene as an asset bundle asynchronously from your website or any place on the internet.
  • Create or join a Photon room and asynchronously manage the download sequence of the asset bundles for the scene and all the various characters players have selected.  Also show how to network instantiate a world locator object that Photon uses to synchronize the player and as a child has the actually character model.  This let’s Photon create the network object while the asset bundle is being downloaded.
  • Examples on how to create character and scene asset bundles.  The company is adding asset bundles for objects in the next release.
  • Character examples include showing setting up Mecanim.
  • The demo scene includes a multi-user picture viewer
  • Client side web service call examples which include fill Add, Edit and Delete functionality for characters and scenes as well as an example of how to upload an asset bundle to a web server.
  • The user interface can be configured to show a main dashboard screen with ‘select character’, ‘scene’ as well as a list of ‘running rooms’, or you can auto select and go right into viewing the scene.
  • XR SDK includes examples for access asset bundles on a local drive or from a web server.   When using web servers, customers can access asset bundles as file-based URLs or as web services.
Kevin Tweedy

Kevin Tweedy

“What this means is that you can work locally in Unity on your local drive and test your asset bundles builds,” said Extreme Reality’s founder and executive partner Kevin Tweedy. “Then, when ready, you can simply ftp your files to a web server and access them as through a URL.”

For those that want to get started fast or do not have the technical skills to build their own 3D Player, the company offers in-beta XR 3D Player and XR 3D Community Server as a fully working 3D Player and a Server for managing users and asset bundle content that customers or their users can upload.

“We see this being used by gamers and virtual world developers to visualize how to implement asynchronously downloaded asset bundle content into their projects,” said Tweedy. “We also see this being used in many business and educational applications.  For instance, it would be possible for an e-commerce site to have 3D models of their items that can be viewed on their web page and at any time, if you need to add a new product or change an element, you would not have to build a new 3D Player.”

Customers can also build their  own content.  To add multi-user support to a website, they can easily implement the Photon Cloud in minutes or install their own Photon server on their dedicated server. To build a 3D Player, content and scripts are available at the Unity Asset Store.

“We believe Photon and Unity3D is a solid foundation for any project, business, education or entertainment and we look forward to showing people how they can develop their own 3D Player and how they can turn their website into a virtual world,” Tweedy said.

Press Release

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  • When I saw the title, I thought, “Oh no, not another one of those awful things that puts the pages of a website on multiple 2D panels inside a 3D exhibition space.”

    But it’s not that at all. Their service sounds like it might actually be useful for Unity developers. Unity already has things called “Asset Bundles” and “Asset Streaming.” I guess this is an alternative. They should compare their system to Unity’s offering and explain why theirs is better, if it is.

    The second- and third-last paragraphs of the press release repeat the same information. It seems they need better quality control.

    • So do I, as a copy editor! 🙂 Just fixed it – thanks for the heads up.

      • Kevin Tweedy

        The XR SDK and XR 3D Player are using asset bundles as one of the ways to separate content from the viewer and allowing for dynamically downloaded content. Scene stream is when you have compiled the scene into your web player build. We can do that too but that content isn’t compiled separately.