updated 12:35 pm EST, Fri March 11, 2005
Pangea today released , a new, free, Web browser plug-in that brings OpenGL acceleration to Quicktime VR movies. According to Pangea, "interactive panoramic photography" (QTVR) has quietly been making huge leaps in realism. Today's hi-end QTVR movies "are truly mind-blowing." The standard panoramic renderer in Quicktime does its drawing in software, so navigating a large full-screen panorama can be slow. The PangeaVR plug-in solves this problem by rendering Quicktime VR panoramas with OpenGL to achieve smooth animation. This is the first web browser plug-in to use hardware acceleration in this way. The PangeaVR plug-in is entirely free, and is only available for Mac OS X. Pangea plans on releasing the source code to the plug-in very soon, and they are encouraging programmers to port it to other platforms.