The popular desktop browser becomes the first to support immersive WebVR content.
WebVR is a hot word within the VR community that’s been thrown around quite a bit as of late. But what exactly does it mean? Simply put, WebVR allows you to explore common web apps in VR by translating the movement and position of information from the display into a 3D environment. So instead of having to download an app each time you’d like to access it, as is the case with mobile apps on mobile devices, WebVR would allow VR users to access experiences immediately, much like visiting a standard webpage.
Imagine an e-commerce site that had users walk down a virtual aisle instead of just scroll down a page. Or perhaps a medical student using motion controllers to control and inspect an anatomically correct 3D model of the human body instead of just rotating it with a mouse. All of these possibilities are just a web browser and headset away.
This is the world Mozilla Firefox envisions, beginning today with the launch of WebVR 1.1 support for their open-source web browser.
The brand new Firefox 54 with E10s is one of Mozilla’s biggest updates to date. The browser is seeing a plethora of upgrades to its already popular system, all in support of its new super-fast multi-process foundation. However one of the most influential upgrades came in the form of WebVR functionality, allowing you to experience supported websites in virtual reality.
According to Mozilla, WebVR sites will include a VR goggle icon on their pages that users can click to activate VR using their Oculus Rift or HTC Vive headset. Both headsets and their respective motion controllers are supported, as well as Vive Tracker. For a taste you can visit vr.mozilla.org to see some shining examples from the already-active community.
Think you may have what it takes to help build the next level of immersive information? Mozilla is here to help you with their easy-to-use WebVR content creation framework, A-Frame. The open-ended software is already being used by many talented creators within the community to help expand the current digital landscape.
Other changes in this browser update include an increase to four processes, various security fixes, faster startup and better search functionality just to name a few.
Mozilla has entered the game at a perfect time in terms of adopting WebVR support. As users and business owners begin to see the benefits in immersive and captivating VR web experiences, you can be sure to see other major providers start implementing WebVR into their browsers as well. We could very well be witnessing the birth of a brand new form of online content. Stay tuned, things are just starting to get interesting.