Mozilla releases Firefox Reality for Virtual Reality scenarios
Mozilla unveiled a new web browser today called Firefox Reality. Firefox Reality has been in development for some time as a web browser for virtual and mixed reality headsets.
Mozilla believes that virtual reality and mixed reality will play a big role in the next five or ten years, and that is why it decided to create a cross-platform open source browser explicitly for virtual reality scenarios.
Mozilla engineers worked on virtual and augmented reality technologies such as WebVR, WebAR and A-Frame in the past. The organization used that knowledge to build a web browser designed for "browsing the immersive web".
Sean White on behalf of Mozilla reveals why Firefox Reality is an important program for the VR Web going forward:
- First cross-platform browser for Mixed Reality; others are closed and platform specific.
- Only open source browser for Mixed Reality.
- Mozilla respects privacy.
- Firefox Reality benefits from Firefox Quantum and other speed enhancements of the past couple of years.
- Built for the future, and browsers are the future of mixed reality.
Mozilla published a short demo video that shows an early version of the web browser in action.
Mozilla released the source code of Firefox Reality on GitHub. Users may download a developer build that is compatible with Daydream, HTC Vive Focus and HTC Vive Wave initially.
The organization plans to release regular updates as development progresses to keep interested users and parties informed.
- Details of the design process, from paper sketches to headset prototyping
- Sneak peeks of Firefox Reality running on a variety of pre-release headsets
- New capabilities for artists, designers, and developers of immersive experiences
- Integration of Servo, along with experimental extensions to the WebGL graphics APIs
- An experimental computer-vision pipeline using WebAssembly
- Device, gesture, and voice-interaction features
How big will Virtual Reality or Mixed Reality be in five or ten years? Will we all be sitting at our computer with VR headsets or will it be one of those new technologies that won't see large adoption outside specific niches?
Now You: What's your take on Virtual and Mixed Reality?
For me absolutely useless, like 3D TVs (remember? and now nobody is selling them anymore)
“We don’t have enough time and resources to maintain ThunderBird or XUL. And such an unfortunate things this is. But we do have enough time and resources to develop a bunch of tosh which nobody has ever asked for, or really wants, and lots of spare to push down FireFox users, what is, borderline malware, and sometimes even integrating it directly into FireFox! Now we will prowdly pester our users and put our begging messages straight into their home page. And trust us, it will all go towards a better FireFox.” <- moz://a
Yeah, that was pretty much my reaction. Support for marginal things like VR/AR is fine and good — but it really highlights the fact that Mozilla has stopped supporting much more useful and important things because they didn’t have the resources to do them.
Hey you need virtual reality, I need virtual reality, everyone needs virtual reality!
Are we going to get 3d websites sometime in future that you browse like you are playing 1st or 3rd person games?
I read years ago that Mozilla intended to do something along the lines
You are severe but I wonder if it is really useful…
More crap from Mozilla !
Time to open FF-like alternatives section.
So… they basically disconnected the mouse and keyboard. Brilliant.
Not for me thanks, I have enough trouble with real reality. However I think Mozilla has to follow the path it’s taking if it is to become a major browser. Had it not made the change it would still be filling the current role of Pale Moon and some others as a niche browser.
“I think Mozilla has to follow the path itâ€™s taking if it is to become a major browser”
You think that VR/AR is going to be a mainstream thing? Well, we’ll see… but it’s hard for me to see how it will be anything but a niche technology. For certain uses (games, industrial, medical, etc.), it can’t be beat. But it’s hard to see it becoming something the average user will be buying.
This looks a whole lot like 3D television — something that has a high “cool” factor, but not something that solves a problem or seriously improves the experience for the ordinary user.
Mixed reality won’t be big unless it can work without a headset or even without glasses. I don’t see virtual reality leave the niche status.
Games, IMs and more professional contexts may make good use of both.
But since I am no expert in either field, I am not very well placed to make an opinion. I don’t think anyone else here is particularly better placed though.
the thought of a person sitting in their office or living-room navigating the internet through a head-mounted display gave me a few laughs ðŸ˜‚
Well, no money to keep customization features but money for tons of useless projects which make not really sense. Hell, this is not even a project which would appeal to simple users at all. So, seen from Mozillas new mind-set which user base is important.. even more a waste of money and effort put into it!
More of a reason to stay with Chrome, while they do also not have customization options, the Chrome team is at least sane and knowing what they are doing. And – most importantly – they have success with it.