Veterans of the Internet Standards Wars, circa 1996, may remember when the first ratification conference for XML 1.0 was gaveled in at the Westin Hotel in Seattle.
The event inaugurated the Internet of Things, almost two decades before the letters IoT became buzzworthy.
A telling example of the partisanship surrounding XML was the vociferous protest by Microsoft when one of the co-editors of the specification, Tim Bray, accepted a consulting assignment at Netscape. The intense dispute in the XML Working Group would only be solved by the eventual appointment of Microsoft’s Jean Paoli as a co-editor of the standard.
Partly because of the divisiveness in various camps around XML, Sun Microsystems found an opening for Java, and the ability to run applications, including applets in Web browsers, securely on any supported platform. Java helped companies like IBM make sense of their diverse range of operating systems. Oracle found Java-stored procedures to be an ideal solution for its cross-platform database.
Probably in response to the prospect of a Java-centric computing universe, Microsoft picked up on XML as an alternative approach to the interoperability puzzle, and, ironically, became XML’s greatest advocate. Through XML, Microsoft’s applications could communicate with those running on other platforms. A Java application can employ the services of a COM object (COM being Microsoft’s Windows-specific object technology), and vice versa. Hence Microsoft has been busy creating XML interfaces to its server products, such as SQL Server and Exchange.
Flash-forward to present day and the precipice of a new generation of computing and multimedia marked by data visualizations in virtual space in which you can immerse yourself.
The proposed standard, called OpenXR, is the latest idea behind an open consortium to allow VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) hardware and software developers to work together and steer these industries into an open, standardized future.
In a pioneering AR article. you can see 3D models of four U.S. Olympians — figure skater Nathan Chen, speedskater J.R. Celski, ice hockey goalie Alex Rigsby, and snowboarder Anna Gasser overlaid on the real world.
They appear as if they are right in front of you — in your home or office — and you can walk around them to study their form from 360°.
“Look, Ma, no hands, no hats, no goggles, or other wearables,” ought to be the rallying cry for the new VR, AR and MR standards. Just a handheld smartphone or tablet, and universal access. The IoVT, Internet of Virtual Things.
Redmond-based startup, Misapplied Sciences, has emerged out of stealth mode with a startling concept they call Parallel Reality, a kind of contextual, multi-view signage system that presents externalized, custom data views to people without the need for googles. Each independent view has to be designed, scripted, created and implemented, but the amazing multi-view pixel technology is already a virtuous reality.
We can only hope that this kind of consortium succeeds where so many others have tried and failed. [24×7]