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Learning Sites, Inc.   |   151 Bridges Road   |   Williamstown MA 01267-2232 USA   |   413-458-2828   |   info@learningsites.com   |   www.learningsites.com

Learning Sites FAQs

Technical Information

page updated December 27, 2019

 Will your virtual worlds work on a Mac?

The answer has become more straightforward in recent years. The reason is that there are now more universal standards for how virtual worlds are to be displayed on desktop and laptop computers.

LEARNING SITES virtual worlds coded using HTML 5 (using the WebGL standard) can be viewed natively in any fully enabled HTML 5 browser without special plugins or add-ons, no matter the operating system. Note that different browsers are coming on board with relative compliance to the new HTML 5 standard at different rates; be sure to check your browser first before launching an HTML 5-based virtual world.

LEARNING SITES virtual ancient worlds created using game engines (e.g., Unity or Unreal) can no longer be viewed online with browsers due to perceived security risks with that software, according to the WC3 Consortium, which now only supports WebGL worlds natively in browsers. LEARNING SITES worlds built using game engines can, however, be configured for viewing and navigating on hand-held devices. Game engine-built worlds can also be output to VR headsets for personalized immersive viewing. Please contact LEARNING SITES to have your data visualized in real-time.

Until a several ago, no VRML-based virtual worlds, indeed no true virtual reality re-creations, could run on any Macintosh or Apple computers, due to inherent internal architecture incompatibilities. However, since the advent of OSX and even the more recent Intel-based Apple computers, things have improved slightly. Some of the problem resides with the way Apple computers handle graphics memory, some of the problem lies with the general lack of virtual reality viewers created for the Mac (generally because software programmers do not see any market there). There are very few VRML viewers out there now for Apple computers, It seems Apple no longer has native support for VRML, nor actively seeks developers for VRML viewers (they are moving toward the OpenGL standard as the only way to view embedded virtual worlds). As of 2015, the FreeWRL open source VRML viewer was still available for Apple computers. LEARNING SITES makes no recommendations for nor guarantees about any VRML viewer alternatives. If your computer can emulate or run Windows software, you may have better luck.

Currently, social media virtual worlds (such as SecondLife) or proprietary VR software environments (such as those by EON Reality or Dessault Systemes) are not now used by LEARNING SITES.

Note that Apple QuickTimeVRTM (QTVR) does not present the viewer with a true 3D space that can be navigated freely, as in authentic virtual environments.

 Will your virtual worlds work with Internet Explorer and Firefox?


LEARNING SITES virtual worlds coded in HTML 5 / OpenGL will run on any browser that fully complies with the new standard (Firefox leads in that regard currently).

 Do I need special equipment?


LEARNING SITES HTML 5 / WebGL-compliant virtual worlds can be viewed directly on your computer's monitor; you do no need any peripheral equipment (such as head mounted displays or data gloves) to appreciate or navigate our virtual ancient worlds.

We are actively converting some of our virtual worlds for viewing using the OculusRiftTM VR headset (and are expanding our capabilities so that worlds to be viewable directly on smartphones). If you have a VR headset and would like to view one of our worlds, please let us know.

Our virtual worlds will also run on a number of third-party VR display units ideal for museums, on-site interpretation centers, or other venues where the visiting public would like to experience the past dynamically and immersively. Contact us and we will be glad to describe those options in more detail. We have experience programming for a number of headset types, magnetic and infrared motion trackers, and video display alternatives.

 Can I use my VR headset to view your virtual reality materials?

Most likely (please see the above discussion).