In the future interactive 3D content may play an increasingly important role in the internet and also in offline applications. The biggest obstacle has been the missing of a commonly accepted standards with contemporary technology which also has an adequate distribution. Through the establishment of WebGL in HTML5, a non-proprietary 3D standard is introduced that can be used without any plugins in any modern browser.
To use WebGL there are a number of tools and engines available. Some time ago we dealt with the possibilities of Sketchfab, a web service that allows a simple way to visualize 3D data in WebGL. Sketchfab is mainly a pure data viewer, interaktion is somehow limited. Also the models are attached to a web service and can not me used stand-alone or offline.
With the liberalization of their license conditions and the integration of WebGL/html5 Unity3D was becoming a very interesting tool. Unity is actually a game engine, a development environment for games. Through it´s possibilities two write own code and scripts and then export the application for different devices (PC, Mac, web, consoles, mobile) the possibilities are virtually unlimited. Also Unity is not a web service, therefore you have full control over the created application.
As a simple test object for an interactive, medical application, we chose a human heart, which should be freely explorable in the app. In addition, we built a simple functionality to emphasize anatomical structures - in this particular case there is an option to remove the coronary vessels and to open a part of the heart to look into the ventricles. This is a simple example of the possibilities of interactivity 3D Models.
The application was exported for the web in two formats. Version 1 uses the Unity plugin, which is available for all major browsers. Version2 uses WebGL / Html5 and can be used without any plugin on every modern browser.