Using VR in a browser is by no means a new ability, but it’s also not the best experience either – delivering lower-quality experiences that generally fail to immerse in the same way as dedicated VR apps. Mozilla’s hoping to change this with the upcoming launch of Firefox Reality, which the company says is being built from the ground-up for VR and AR (Augmented Reality).
The browser is being built (unsurprisingly for Mozilla) as an open-source project that will work on both standalone VR and AR headsets, but it’ll also run in developer mode on Daydream and GearVR devices during the initial development. As of today, it’s just an announcement of intention – there’s no release to check out yet, just the video of an early build below.
“The future of mixed reality is about delivering experiences, not about building applications. There shouldn’t be friction moving from one experience to another. Firefox was the first browser to implement WebVR – an open standard for sharing and enjoying virtual reality content through a web URL. This lays the groundwork for creating and delivering immersive experiences using a method that is as simple as opening a web page,” the company says.
More interestingly than having another new browser to check out is the knowledge that a longstanding browser company is taking on the challenges posed by interacting with – and in – augmented and virtual reality experiences.
“Mixed reality is the wild west. How do you type? How do you express emotion? How do you view the billions of existing 2D web pages as well as new 3D content? How do you communicate? Who maps the world and who controls what you see? Can we build on our work with voice recognition and connected devices to create a better browsing experience?”
Mozilla says that in the coming weeks, it’ll be releasing “sneek peaks” of Firefox Reality running on pre-release headsets, and a whole load of other behind the scenes and pre-release info, such as how the device, gesture and voice interaction features will work.