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WireFusion aims to address the limitations of static images

May 31, 20042 mins
Enterprise Applications

* Going 3D with WireFusion

In the quest to sell people on your physical product through an online service, you have the not inconsiderable problem that the touchy-feely part of the equation is missing. Even more profound than that is the problem of how to show the visual aspects of the product – if you are selling the “sizzle” of a product, a static photo is usually not the ideal medium.

I have just come across a product that I think is really cool that gets around the limitations of static images: WireFusion 4 from Demicron (see links below). WireFusion allows you to show a 3-D representation of a photorealistic object so that not only can a user spin it around, zoom in and out, and pan around it, it can also play scripts that manipulate the object and its components.

And even more compelling is the fact that WireFusion doesn’t require any proprietary plugins or external executable – its rendering engine is written in Java.

WireFusion supports VRML models, Macromedia Flash (SWF) animations, MPEG video and MP3 audio. Scripts can be created using the supplied visual authoring tool or through Java with JavaScript support for external communication. There’s also a 3-D API for advanced 3-D programming and 2-D authoring support. The feature list for WireFusion is huge and includes the ability to create off-line presentations as Java Applications and components as Java Beans.

Check out the gallery for some impressive models and presentations all generated with WireFusion. Where it is really impressive is, for example, in the Bang & Olufsen site where you can not only examine its new BeoSound 2 MP3 player but click on accessories that are animated and interact with the main model. The animation, for example, shows how the memory card is inserted. My only complaint with the B&O presentation is that two out of the three accessories require you to click on the accessory after it has been animated so that you can get back to the main model – not an intuitive interface choice.

There are four versions of WireFusion that differ in the range of features and whether commercial use is allowed. WireFusion pricing starts at $99 for the Standard and Educational versions, $995 for the Professional version, and $1,995 for the Enterprise version.


Mark Gibbs is an author, journalist, and man of mystery. His writing for Network World is widely considered to be vastly underpaid. For more than 30 years, Gibbs has consulted, lectured, and authored numerous articles and books about networking, information technology, and the social and political issues surrounding them. His complete bio can be found at

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