Activeworlds Offers 3D Internet Software
Activeworlds Corp, provider of three-dimensional technology on the Internet, has released Active Worlds' version 3.2, the most sophisticated addition to its 3D software. Version 3.2 will offer users many significant improvements including OpenGL support, software-rendering support, simplified modes for new users, skyboxes, cell grids, increased visibility ranges and additional firewall support. The new version is available for consumers to download free at http://www.activeworlds.com. The upgraded 3.2 technology solves many of the problems and limitations encountered with Versions 2.2 and 3.1. Two-dimensional backdrops have been replaced by skyboxes, or centered 3D objects that offer more sophisticated world surroundings. Using textured 3D shapes for skyboxes has the potential to create very realistic horizon and sky effects not available before version 3.2. New users can begin using Activeworlds' technologies in a "simple mode." Simple mode is designed to give the entry-level consumer a more user-friendly initial experience, allowing them more time to get accustomed to 3D environments. While this mode eliminates many of the standard controls and windows of the browser, the advanced mode is available for the more experienced user. Simply clicking the "advanced mode button on the menu bar enables all controls. Through the instant Active Worlds plug-in, version 3.2 permits users to enter 3D environments through an ActiveX control by clicking a Web link, regardless of whether Active Worlds is already installed. The new version also offers increased visibility range. While previous maximum visibility was 120 meters, with 3.2 it is now possible to see up to 200 meters -- providing users with almost three times as many objects. Active Worlds' 3.2 makes it easier to alternate between different visibility preferences, providing a new visibility menu to easily change the current range without having to adjust any of the performance settings. Finally, corporations will find the new "tunnel server" capabilities useful, allowing user access to Active Worlds from behind various popular firewalls. Previous Internet restrictions including firewalls and proxy servers prevented the use of Active Worlds. Version 3.2 works to eliminate these limitations.