Google and Mozilla Are Leveraging WebM and More for 3D Online Video

by Ostatic Staff - Jun. 06, 2011

Is 3D the future of web video? A few months ago, when Google announced its WebM video format, based on technology it acquired from On2, with its VP8 video codec, many people interpreted the move as an effort to undercut entrenched video standards, such as H.264. Could 3D video have been the actual brass ring that Google had its eyes on, though? Both Mozilla and Google are making moves to support 3D video in browsers, and Google's YouTube web video juggernaut is increasingly supporting 3D videos. This blog post from Mozilla illustrates the focus that it has on 3D and Google's efforts to make YouTube a haven for 3D videos. You can also find a good discussion of WebM and 3D video here.

Nvidia, Mozilla, Google and others are all working to standardize technology that allows for 3D video online, and open source WebM technology is a big part of the effort. YouTube has more than a thousand 3D video clips available, and there are glasses and other technologies designed to work with Mozilla's and Google's 3D technology. 

Ars Technica notes that a big part of this trend is coming from the impending arrival of a wave of 3D video cameras:

"YouTube has had experimental stereoscopic 3D support since 2009, with support for a number of different output options including side-by-side playback and legacy anaglyph viewing. The arrival this year of consumer-oriented 3D video cameras could significantly increase the amount of 3D video content on the video site."

One has to ask whether users really want 3D video online. After all, 3D televisions have attracted much drumbeating but little adoption in the market, and there are significant questions about how much 3D content is even available. Key features in HTML5, WebM and other technologies are allowing Google and Mozilla to pursue 3D video goals, but users will end up deciding whether 3D video is a novelty, or is headed for general acceptance.