Tell us about your role and the team/technology you handle at NVIDIA.
I am VP Developer Ecosystems at NVIDIA, where I help drive and develop the technology and relationships that enable application developers to take advantage of advanced GPU acceleration. I am also the elected President of The Khronos Group, where I initiated the OpenGL ES standard that’s now used by billions worldwide every day, helped catalyze the WebGL and glTF projects to bring interactive 3D graphics to the Web and helped establish and launch the new-generation Vulkan API. NVIDIA is very supportive of the 3D Commerce initiative at Khronos as it could significantly broaden the use of 3D content, driving demand for 3D tools, platforms, and technologies.
Tell us about the recent and futuristic application of 3D Digital Content across various online platforms?
With the growth and adoption in mobile, web, and immersive platforms, 3D is poised to grow as a new shopping medium. Product manufacturers, retailers, marketing, and advertising platforms can use 3D to show virtual products to end-users to help them better understand a product online prior to purchasing and to help build brand loyalty after purchase. With 3D product representations on the Web and using virtual and augmented reality (which together we call XR), users will be able to view and interact with products in virtual showrooms or placed virtually in their own homes. By deploying 3D Digital Content at industrial scales across multiple online retail platforms, we can expect the very nature of online shopping will be changed.
Which platforms are the most-responsive in delivering a meaningful 3D experience to customers?
To deliver widespread 3D experiences to customers, mobile and web will likely be the most accessible platforms—and the aim of these new standards is to enable retailers to showcase their products realistically and consistently across a variety of endpoints; including search results, social feeds, ad units, apps, and e-commerce website. Customers would be able to engage in these 3D immersive experiences on everything from their phone to more sophisticated XR devices, and on in-store displays.
How does 3D Commerce unlock opportunities in Mobile growth?
3D commerce promises to unlock new opportunities in the mobile market by changing the very online experience of online shopping—becoming a new shopping medium—transforming retail as we have known it and adding a whole new dimension to how people use their phones. By being able to engage with 3D products on their mobile devices, customers will be able to gain a better understanding of the product before they buy it. They’ll no longer be making purchasing decisions just from looking at a static image but, rather, will be able to fully interact with the products. 3D commerce is also going to unlock benefits for retailers.
For example, these new immersive experiences will help customers to build brand loyalty after their initial purchase; retailers will be able to leverage AR as an extension of their brand experiences to further engage customers and drive revenue.
Which technologies form the 3D Commerce ecosystem? How can Marketing and Sales teams leverage Khronos for their operations?
One of Khronos’ proven core competencies is creating successful and commercially relevant open standards in the domain of 3D graphics. The technological aspect of building a vibrant Virtual Product ecosystem will benefit significantly from the collective expertise of the Khronos membership. Organizationally, Khronos has a track record of openness and responsiveness, with a well-proven IP Framework and multi-company governance model. Additionally, the 3D Commerce Working Group could directly leverage the work of several existing Khronos Working Groups, including: glTF for transmission of photorealistic 3D assets, WebGL for interactive 3D applications on the Web, Vulkan for driving high-performance interactive 3D graphics, and OpenXR for enabling AR and VR applications that are portable across multiple vendor platforms.
A lot of the individual ingredients for 3D Commerce are in place: sufficient bandwidth, capable 3D devices, emerging VR/AR devices and standards, 3D asset formats such as glTF. We believe that enabling discussions between the Retail and Technical communities can now provide the missing piece—industry-wide coordination and action to identifying and fill any remaining gaps left blocking the widespread, scalable deployment of 3D virtual products. With enough industry support, this Exploratory Group will evolve into a Working Group to work on the development of such standards.
Do you think Retail will transform itself with better 3D applications in the coming years? How?
Streamlining the creation and deployment of photorealistic 3D Virtual Products as a fundamental part of the design, Manufacturing and Marketing process has the potential to radically reduce costs while increasing efficiency, Customer Engagement, and Sales. For example, product design reviews can be easily held online by geographically diverse teams, manufacturers can provide 3D product files as part of their deliverables – making product scanning unnecessary, promotional materials can be produced digitally – eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming physical photo shoots.
Eventually, consumers could be enabled to scan any physical product with their phones to search and locate that product for online purchases. The barriers between the physical and virtual worlds are about to get a lot lower – bringing many opportunities to those willing to explore the possibilities.
Neil has spent over thirty years in the 3D graphics industry – and by day drives the advanced apps ecosystem on NVIDIA Tegra mobile and embedded devices. By night, Neil is the elected President of the Khronos Group industry standards consortium where he initiated the OpenGL ES standard now used by billions worldwide every day, helped catalyze the WebGL project to bring interactive 3D graphics to the Web, chairs the OpenCL working group defining the open standard for heterogeneous parallel computation and has helped create and launch the new generation Vulkan API.
NVIDIA’s invention of the GPU in 1999 sparked the growth of the PC gaming market, redefined modern computer graphics, and revolutionized parallel computing. More recently, GPU deep learning ignited modern AI — the next era of computing — with the GPU acting as the brain of computers, robots, and self-driving cars that can perceive and understand the world.
Today, NVIDIA is increasingly known as “the AI computing company.”