A year ago, at a biggest-ever, record-breaking HTML5 Meetup in San Francisco all about WebGL, I predicted we were a tipping point; I think I was right. Let’s take a look at 2014, a banner year for 3D on the web!
A Year of Great Content
John Cale and Liam Young’s City of Drones brought together experiments in music and architecture; Isaac Cohen continued to blow minds with visualizations like Weird Kids and Webby; Google’s A Spacecraft for All chronicled the 36-year journey of the ISEE-3 space probe; and SKAZKA showed us an alternate world created by The Mill and powered by Goo.
A Year of Killer Apps
A Year of Pro Tools
Goo, Verold, Turbulenz and PlayCanvas all made great strides with their WebGL engines and development environments. PlayCanvas even release their code as open source! Meanwhile, Epic Games and Unity3D both announced Emscripten-based support for WebGL in their awesome game engines.
A Year of Gaming
WebGL is definitely up to the challenge of creating high-quality MMOs. Oort Online and Adventure Box are both making steady progress; Urban Galaxy Online actually launched and it’s awesome; and Artillery continues to grind away at its first title, ATLAS.
A Year of Virtual Reality
The Oculus-Facebook deal upstaged everything that happened with WebGL in 2014, but it’s ok: VR and Web are two great tastes that go great together! There are now builds of Mozilla and Chromium that support Web VR APIs to full-screen render and head-track for Oculus Rift; and for the DIYVR-inclined, Google Cardboard support doesn’t even require a new browser, just side-by-side rendering and device orientation tracking, which you can just drop in using pre-built Three.js objects.
A Year of Ubiquity
And last, but certainly not least: with support now in iOS8, WebGL is EVERYWHERE: every computer, phone and tablet on the planet. We have arrived.
Here’s to a great 2014, and looking forward to 2015 and WebGL 2!