Anyone who has browsed the web in VR understands that new ideas are needed to update it. Simply moving 2D windows into our headsets creates something functional, but it’s far from optimal. Mozilla hasn’t been sitting around building a WebVR-like browser add-on that turns it into a VR platform for Gear VR, Daydream, Cardboard, and PC-based VR systems.
Now, with Firefox Reality, the browser designed from the ground up for standalone VR headsets like the Oculus Go and HTC Vive Focus is on the way.
What’s new in the Firefox Reality browser?
On April 3, 2018, Mozilla released a news bulletin announcing Firefox Reality, «a new web browser designed from the ground up for standalone VR and AR headsets.»
The roundup contains information about upcoming updates and what we can expect from the team behind this new browser. According to Mozilla, these updates include:
- Details of the design process, from paper sketches to typeface mockups
- Brief information about Firefox Reality on various headset previews
- New opportunities for artists, designers and developers of immersive experiences
- Servo integration along with experimental WebGL graphics API extensions
- Experimental computer vision pipeline using WebAssembly
- Device, gestures, and voice interaction features
How can I use Firefox Reality?
There are no official releases of Firefox Reality yet. However, the developer source code for several VR headsets can be found on GitHub, including Daydream, Gear VR, Oculus Go, and Vive Focus. It’s still a relatively modest experience, but it’s definitely in working order.
Why is Firefox Reality needed?
The way people access the Internet is constantly changing and Mozilla wants to be at the forefront of developing new browsing solutions. 2D and 3D content must coexist, and solutions for currently clumsy features such as simple typing must be implemented to keep people interested.
Firefox Reality is a browser that runs across multiple VR and AR platforms without losing speed — check out the Mozilla Quantum updates — and it should be as future-proof as possible. Like standard Firefox, this is an open source project. This means that when a VR or AR headset developer wants to add them to their creation, it reduces friction and also means more transparency at a time when we don’t really know where our data is going.
What will Firefox Reality end up looking like?
An early look at the reality of Firefox.