Mozilla Announces Open Source AR/VR Web Browser

  • Scott Hayden

Mozilla, the non-profit company behind Firefox web browser, today announced a new cross-platform, open sourced web browser called Firefox Reality, something Mozilla says was built from the ground-up for standalone VR and AR headsets.

Firefox Reality, Mozilla says in a blog post, has a specific focus on serving up the web to “a wide variety of devices and platforms” including standalone headsets such as HTC Vive Focus.

Check out an early preview of Firefox Reality running on HTC Vive Focus.

Most every headset has, or will have, a web browser of its own, although Mozilla is planting a flag in the ground with their upcoming Firefox Reality much the same way they did with the standard version Firefox by providing a solution that’s not only hardware agnostic, but also acts as ground zero for integrating larger AR/VR projects such as WebVR and WebAR.

The idea behind WebAR/VR is to create a whole new way of delivering and interacting with virtual experiences, which would necessarily be web-based and not hosted on dedicated content stores. For now, these have been smaller, lightweight experiences for quick consumption, but Mozilla sees the utility of these web-based experiences growing in potential.

“Mixed reality is the wild west,” writes Mozilla Chief R&D Officer Sean White. “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? We love tackling these questions. Everything is new again, and we are constantly building and experimenting to find the right answers.”

It’s still early days for Firefox Reality, and while the company hasn’t announced a list of supported headsets, the open source nature of the project makes it hypothetically easy for manufacturers to add the browser to their platform. The company says they’ll be providing updates on when Firefox Reality will be available on headsets via their Twitter soon. (source)

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