Intel guru says 3D Internet will arrive within five years

Tech evangelist says 3D capabilities will change look and function of the Internet

A technology guru at Intel Corp. predicts that the internet will look significantly different in five to 10 years, when much of it will be three dimensional, or 3D.

Sean Koehl, a technology evangelist with Intel Labs, said technology is emerging that will one day change the way we interact with electronic devices and with each other. That could come as soon as five years from now when, he predicted, there will be realistic-looking three-dimensional applications.

"I think our lives will be a lot different," said Koehl. "Look at the trends of the last decade or two. Think about computers becoming widespread, and the Internet and these mobile devices. With the availability of all this computing power, we're only beginning to exploit it. Now we're adding more intelligence and more capability. Add that to 3-D worlds and it could be very different than the sort of experiences that we have today."

"When we get to the point where suddenly it becomes easy to do something that seemed hard before, then it will be a dramatic change," he added.

Of all the emerging technology projects underway at Intel Labs, Koehl said he's most excited about its work on 3-D technology and how it will change the way we interact with online information.

He said an initial push to develop three-dimensional online applications was slowed to do more work on 3-D quality and application functionality.

"The Internet may never go fully 3-D, but making 3-D environments broadly accessible is probably capable within five years," noted Koehl. "I think it remains to be seen but there are certain kinds of interactions people will want in two dimensions, like reading text. The things we'll do in three dimensions may be things that we don't do at all on the Internet today because it isn't feasible."

He explained that speeches at large conferences certainly aren't personal experiences to attendees. Creating a 3-D virtual world, ont he other hand, could let an audience member feel like he or she is sitting at a table with the speaker.

"I think it's going to give flexibility to let people really take advantage of virtual realities. The power to shape your environment would be dramatic," said Koehl.

"If you look at virtual worlds today, the graphics are a little behind," he added. "Once we get to a certain level of performance, the realism of the 3-D world will change by leaps and bounds. The realism could be like a Hollywood CGI (Computer-generated Imagery) movie in maybe 10 years."

Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group, said a three-dimensional Internet would cause a big shift in the way we use the network.

"The introduction of a 3-D Internet, with the ultra-realistic representations of people and places, will definitely change things," he added. "We're going to be attending a lot more virtual meetings and fewer physical ones. This also will revolutionize entertainment. Why go to a sporting event, like a football game, when you can watch it in 3-D on the Net and position yourself anywhere in the stadium?"

Olds added that this kind of technology, if it works well and is widely adopted, could wreak havoc on industries that depend on people who must travel to various venues, say a football game, a Nascar race or a dog show. If someone can get a better view of of the action on a 3-D Internet, then why deal with the hassles of airline travel, gas prices and crowds?

"As the technology gets better, users are going to have a lot more choices," Olds said. "Any game, anywhere, at any time. People are going to be able to do a lot more remotely. Companies could use this technology as a competitive weapon to give customers better service. A lot could shift because of this."

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags 3dintel

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?