Other VR/AR solutions for browsing and accessing the web on stand-alone headsets exist, but they are closed, and platform specific. Firefox Reality will be independent and will work on a wide variety of devices and platforms
Firefox’s developer, the Mozilla Foundation has announced that they are currently developing a new version of its internet browser, for users wanting to explore the internet using a standalone virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) headset.
Sean White, Mozilla’s chief research and development officer says that ‘Firefox Reality’ is an open-source, highly secure, and fast browser which would be platform and device-agnostic.
Mozilla, known for its work in virtual and augmented reality with WebVR, WebAR, and A-Frame, says that the new mixed reality browser has been built tackle “new opportunities and challenges of browsing the immersive Web.”
Current platforms, for VR/AR are limited to emerging media formats which only allow users to browse the internet on specific stand alone headsets. For example, Facebooks’ Oculus browser is used for Gear VR, whereas, Daydream ecosystem uses a Google Chrome version.
Being open-source, Firefox’s Reality browser has been released on GitHub and this should be an attractive platform for existing VR and AR manufactures. With access to the source code and developer builds for a variety of platforms, the hardware manufactures will be able to take advantage of the native function of the code.
But nothing is as simple as we would like it to be, and Mozilla is reviewing its approach and handling of both 2D and 3D content when surfing the web, and is looking at its previously projects where the company dealt with connected devices and voice recognition technologies.
Mozilla has promised to stick to its ethos, of a permission based model, currently used by the company’s PC browser which respects a higher level of privacy protection when compared to others.
Firefox does support WebVR, an open specification that makes it possible to experience VR in a browser. The goal of WebVR is to make it easier for everyone to get into VR experiences, no matter what device you have.