OnQ Blog

Celebrating Sony Ericsson’s industry first for WebGL

In a previous post, I provided three reasons why developers should adopt WebGL and discussed the importance of enabling the next generation of use cases for “HTML5-related” 3D graphics within mobile web browsers. The complexity and richness of content on the web continues to increase, and there is a renewed focus from web site and web app developers to utilize the latest functionality--from enabling applications that work in off-line mode, to visually adding complex two and three dimensional graphical elements to enrich their sites.

Sony Ericsson’s announcement last week is therefore a watershed moment for mobile devices. In his most recent blog post, Anders Isberg from Sony Ericsson’s Technology Research department writes about the WebGL capabilities that can now be accessed by any HTML5 application across the 2011 Xperia phones. This means that web developers can now incorporate visually stunning 3D graphics into their web pages, and know that this works on the default browser for both their desktop and 2011 Xperia phones.

Qualcomm and Qualcomm Innovation Center, Inc. (QuIC) have been working closely with Sony Ericsson to enable the solution you see here today. At this year’s Game Developers Conference, we also jointly demonstrated a WebGL proof of concept that incorporated an HTML and WebGL-version of the popular Neocore graphics benchmark, on the Xperia PLAY and Arc devices. So, you can imagine, we’re quite pleased to see the core WebGL functionality now deployed across Sony Ericsson’s 2011 Xperia phones, and expect many in the industry to follow.

The capability of the Adreno™ Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) that is part of the Snapdragon™ mobile processor is astounding. Visual effects that were once only found on high end gaming systems are now de facto in every Snapdragon based smartphone. Over the past three years, the Web Technologies and Graphics teams at QuIC have focused on enabling GPU-acceleration of the browser’s rendering and composition capabilities. As shown in this Snapdragon video, this means that HTML5 content developers can now enable more complex and higher performance 2D graphics when using constructs such as the <canvas> tag. With the recent news from Sony Ericsson, web developers will now also be able to do the same for immersive 3D graphics. 

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