Mozilla Firefox arrives on standalone VR & AR headsets as an open-source, cross-platform browser tailor built for immersive content.
*Updated to better clarify compatible headsets* (9.19.18):
Earlier this year the Mozilla Corporation announced plans for a powerful new version of their popular Firefox browser tailored specifically for web-based mixed reality content on standalone VR & AR headsets including the Lenovo Mirage, Oculus Go, Vive Focus, as well as other standalone devices capable of running on the Vive Wave Platform. We’ve since been waiting five grueling months for any news surrounding what Mozilla described as, “..a browser that is built for the future.”
That future became a reality yesterday as Mozilla announced the immediate launch of the MR web browser on the Viveport, Oculus, and Daydream platforms. Officially titled ‘Firefox Reality’, is a powerful browser option capable of supporting both immersive 3D and conventional 2D web-based content on various VR, AR, and MR headsets. Running all this content requires some serious power under the hood, which is why Firefox Reality employs Mozilla’s new “quantum engine for mobile browsers.”
The intuitive browser provides a simple, yet in-depth user interface which Mozilla hopes will make navigation between 3D VR and standard 2D a breeze. A number of tools have been introduced to allow for easy browsing, searching, and viewing.
“We had to rethink everything, including navigation, text-input, environments, search and more,” spoke Andre Vrignaud, Mozilla’s Head of Mixed Reality Platform Strategy, in an official release. “This required years of research, and countless conversations with users, content creators, and hardware partners. The result is a browser that is built for the medium it serves. It makes a big difference, and we think you will love all of the features and details that we’ve created specifically for a MR browser.”
Of course like with many other platforms, all these exciting features mean very little without attractive content.
“We spent a lot of time talking to early VR headset owners,” continues Vrignaud. “We asked questions like: “What is missing?” “Do you love your device?” And “If not, why?” The feedback we heard the most was that users were having a hard time finding new games and experiences. This is why we built a feed of amazing content into the home screen of Firefox Reality.”
Mozilla will continue supporting Firefox Reality with a regular stream of updates and features, such as 360-degree videos, bookmarks, and accounts. The company is also making a point to reach out to creators to help develop new mixed reality experiences in direct conjunction with the browser.
With WebVR poised to become the next evolution of web browsing, Mozilla is taking crucial steps into ensure they’re at the forefront of this new format.
Image Credit: Mozilla Corporation / The Mozilla Foundation