Thursday, November 17, 2011

Upcoming Multi-touch Input

We've been hard at work and thoroughly enjoying bringing you GermaniumWeb's next big feature: multi-touch support. Here's a sneak peek to whet your appetite:

Note that the feature is still under development, and will likely have some differences when it's released.

Ian Loh

Friday, September 23, 2011

GermaniumWeb Call-for-Collaboration 2011

Calling 3D Building App Developers and 3D Building Creators !

If you have developed your 3D in-building application using our GermaniumWeb API or have created 3D in-building models using our Germanium Building Composer/KML Building Importer, we will like to invite you to participate in our GermaniumWeb Call-for-Collaboration 2011.

  About GermaniumWeb Call-for-Collaboration 2011  
We are interested to collaborate with you as follows:
1. Apps Gallery Feature - Feature your GermaniumWeb application URL in our Apps Gallery,
2. GermaniumWeb API Agent trial - Provide you with our GermaniumWeb API Agent license to enable you to offer standalone, offline GermaniumWeb apps to your clients,
3. Conveno Platform Application - Work with you to adapt your apps to our Conveno 3D Visitor Guide platform ( and co-offer your apps to our existing Conveno building clients ( e.g. )
4. Conveno Editor Trial - Work with you to adapt your 3D in-building model for a trial demo using our Conveno Editor, so that you can offer 3D visitor guide solutions to your clients.

Our Call-for-Collaboration is launched officially from 23 Sep 2011 until 23 Oct 2011.

  Submission Method  
The submission will be by email. Please email us at outreach @, with the following:
a. your name
b. designation, organization and organization website (if you are submitting on behalf of your organization)
c. your GermaniumWeb App URL or 3D Building URL (if any)
d. how you will like to collaborate with us, based on approaches (1)-(4) above.

Thank you for your interest and we look forward to hear from you soon!

GermaniumWeb Outreach Team

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Textured Billboard utility released

Now that polygon placemarks can be filled with a texture image, they can be used to simulate TV screens and other textured surfaces. Furthermore, the textures can be dynamically changed through a simple API call.

However, positioning the PolygonGeometry in the right place can be rather tedious. That's why we're providing a billboard utility to do most of the legwork for you. Simply provide it with the 3D coordinates of the two bottom corners, the height (or a point along the top), and the image to be used, and it will automatically generate a placemark like the one in the picture to the right.

For more advanced uses, the utility can also create curved surfaces. Check it out.

Ian Loh

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Developer Network updated with API 1.5 features

We hope you've been having fun with API 1.5 with its hot new features such as model placemarks, textured polygon placemarks and HTMLBoxes.

It's now even easier than ever to pick up these new features with the updates to the Developer Network:

Have fun reading these guides and playing with the samples. As always, don't hesitate to ask questions on the forum.

Ian Loh

Minor update to API 1.5

Several weeks ago, Google released Chrome 12, which changed how the browser handles strings passed from JavaScript to plugins. This change unfortunately broke GermaniumWeb applications - they would successfully initialize but fail to load buildings.

We are pleased to announce that your applications are now automatically fixed through an API update which rolled out earlier today. This fix does not require a new plugin.

OcclusionMode: "Fade"
OcclusionMode: "None"

Along with the fix, we've also added a minor feature to icon placemarks which allows you to make them "always on top", i.e. they will be visible even when they're behind a wall. This feature also does not require a new plugin.

Ian Loh

Monday, April 25, 2011

API 1.5 and GermaniumWeb 1.33 released

API 1.5 has arrived with a bunch of new features, including the often requested model placemarks! Read on for the highlights of this release.

Model placemarks. These allow you to use any 3D model as the geometry of your placemark. For example, you can programmatically change the furniture in your buildings:

Furniture as model placemarks

Textured polygon placemarks. You can now apply an image to the polygon's surface. This can be used to simulate a TV screen for example.

To further improve this illusion, you can also make the polygon use the image's pure colors. This makes the TV screen look self-illuminated.

HTMLBoxes. These are boxes you can position over GermaniumWeb and fill with HTML content. They are useful for associating 2D content with the 3D view, for example showing a 2D map or a YouTube video of the building. Placemark callouts automatically avoid HTMLBoxes too, so you don't have to worry about them overlapping.

Note that this feature is still experimental, so we do not recommend it for production systems. Do play with it and let us know what you think!

All the above features are powered by the newly released plugin 1.33.

Plugin 1.33 also brings these improvements to existing web applications:

Support for all your favorite browsers. As announced earlier, changes in Google Chrome 10 caused GermaniumWeb to stop working. This has now been fixed (Yay!). We've also added support for Internet Explorer 9 and Mozilla Firefox 4.

Configurable mouse sensitivity and walk speed. You can now adjust these to your liking through the Settings panel (Right click > Settings > User Interface). Note that the walk speed will only be used in applications which use the first-person navigation mode.

Old: Label clutter, hidden icons

New: Readable labels, visible icons
Clearer labels and icons. The new plugin makes overlapping labels and icons clearer. Compare the old view above with the new view below - the foreground labels are now readable, and the unoccluded icons fully visible.

You can read the full list of changes here:
Have fun with the new API and plugin!

Ian Loh

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

GermaniumWeb temporarily broken on Google Chrome 10

Google has made a change in the newly-released Chrome version 10, which resulted in GermaniumWeb no longer working on this browser.


Be assured that the Germanium team is working hard to fix this and the next version of GermaniumWeb (coming soon!) will once again work on Google Chrome.

Ian Loh

Update: This issue has now been fixed.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Retirement of API 1.1

To all GermaniumWeb API users

As announced previously, API 1.1 is now retired. Apps targeting API 1.1 will now be automatically redirected to API 1.2, and will very likely continue working as before.

Ian Loh

Friday, January 28, 2011

Pending retirement of API 1.1

To all GermaniumWeb API users

As API 1.1 is no longer actively used, it will be retired in 30 days, on 28 Feb 2011. After that date, applications targeting API 1.1 will be redirected to API 1.2 instead, and will very likely continue working as before.

Ian Loh

Monday, January 10, 2011

SoC Multitouch Directory - The Making Of

You may have noticed that GermaniumWeb does not natively support multitouch yet. Today, Kent and Torin Nguyen, the two School of Computing students who brought you the SoC Multitouch Directory share with us how they managed to enable multitouch in their web application.

TUIO (Tangible User Interface Objects) was used as the core of the touch processing, as it is "a common protocol and API for tangible multitouch surfaces" ( Essentially, TUIO is a set of XML-based messages broadcast through UDP socket connections, which gives a clean separation between the touchscreen hardware and the user interface application.

This allowed them to develop their application once and be able to integrate with a wide variety of touchscreens. For screens which support Windows 7 Touch like the 3M M2256PW, PQ Labs and NextWindow touchscreens, bridges like Touch2Tuio and WM_TOUCH to TUIO were used to convert Windows Touch messages to TUIO messages. These were then sent to the Firefox web browser, where the npTuioClient plugin received them, converted them to JavaScript callbacks and allowed their web application to convert them to GermaniumWeb Eye calls.

For touchscreens which support TUIO directly like some PQ Labs touchscreens and DIY screens based on the Community Core Vision (CCV) or Touchlib libraries, the bridge was unnecessary and the touchscreen directly sent TUIO messages to the npTuioClient plugin.

I hope you found this information useful. Thanks to Kent and Torin for sharing it with us!

Ian Loh