Here is a fun browser for you. It is called, 3B, which stands for Broad Band Browser. 3B a free “window shopping” browser that allows you to move around in a 3D environment to find websites matching your interests in what they call Cities, Malls, and Airports. The screenshot to the right is a small shot of what you will see when browsing. When first opening the application, let the program load all the way through until you are placed into the default City. When in the City, to the immediate left and right will be yellow and black walls. The yellow walls being links to other Cities, the black walls being the help guide for 3B. I do not feel that you really need to look at anything in this area… just go have fun. Start pressing the arrow keys like you would a game (up, right, bottom, and left). You will begin to “stroll” around the area. Walk around and you will see signs in yellow saying what direction to walk for a specific category. In this case, to the right is Entertainment. That’s where I went. Stroll around and get the feel for it, find the area you are most interested in. If you want to get tricky, you can click on the arrows in the bottom center of the window and navigate by using the cursor and moving allong the white arrows. This will give you a smoothing feeling exploration.

When you get to an area of interest, you will see that as you move around, the walls (websites or B3 Locations) will highlight. Go up to one and press the spacebar or click on the wall. This will move you towards the wall to give you a better look. When in focus and if you are still interested, press space or click again to enter the page. Depending on the wall clicked, you will either end up to another location to select walls from, or it will show the website selected in the built in Firefox browser. I now suggest that you just walk around and get the feel for it on your own, explore a little. When you get lost or want to go back somewhere, go to the top of the window and click on the map.

What you see above is a picture of the map when selected and with a red line that says, “Take Taxi.” The red line appears when you select the areas on the map that you wish to take a taxi to. When the line comes up and the destination is right, click on the start button. You will then be taken on a joy ride to the location. Very neat.

3B is a very interesting system and it surprises me to see such technology these days that can make browsing feel as if you are playing a 3-Dimensional game. It makes it very enjoyable. I can see kids using this in school systems moving around in Cities meant only for kids that would have only educational locations. Maybe some Steve Irwin in there too! But, seriously, this is a great application and it is amazing on what has been accomplished. I was definitely pleased to see that Firefox was the browser of choice for this project.

3B is available for Windows only as of right now. The company is in the process of making versions for Macintosh and Unix. If you would like more information on navigating the system, the Getting Started page is a good place to start.

View 3B – Broad Band Browser with Firefox.


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