W3C new Berlin office

Just a week ago, Matthias and I went to the “Grand Opening of the W3C German-Austrian Office at DFKI“, the new office of theirs based in Berlin. Many people with different backgrounds were there, there was a series of inspiring keynotes as well as live demos of the brand new applications based on W3C standards.


The introduction keynote explained how and why W3C standards are to be used in the enterprise world, which was kind of a good introduction in the topic. Dr. Orestis Terzidis of SAP went on presenting the standard they are developing for a Universal Service Description Language (USDL) for use especially in business (slides).

An incredibly inspiring and highly interesting speech was this of Prof. Philipp Slusallek, who presented XML3D, a new generation description language for 3D environments. But the live demo was even more incredible (read hereunder).

W3C CEO Jeffrey Jaffe then gave a nice overview of what an Open Web Platform should look like. He was also followed by a talk on the Ubiquitous Web and another one about Social Media Analysis by the company Attensity.

Live demonstrations

After the talks, I spent some time discussing with two DFKI projects that were presented live. The first one was based on a “second life” game, and implemented discussions with a non-player character, who could answer your questions about anything (celebrities, movies…), or guide you through the process of choosing and buying a piece of furniture in an in-game shop showing 3D models of real products. All their knowledge is “static” ad extracted from the internet (Wikipedia, imdb.com, a furniture shop…). Projects: KomParse and TAKE.

The second project was based on XML3D, and shows very good results! In a standard browser (modified Chromium or Firefox 4), there is a space showing interactive 3D graphics, all described within an XML file! It includes possibly any 3D graphics you describe, with e.g. export function from Blender. The demo showed a 3D strategy game in the browser, a 3D chess game or even physics-aware scenes with e.g. falling cubes!

Definitely looking forward for news from the W3C German-Austrian office, great job!