Mozilla, the San Francisco based non-profit foundation, has now started letting outside developers use a test version of its Firefox browser with new virtual reality (VR) technology that could make surfing the web more like watching movies or playing videogames.
The company is hoping its new MozVR software can help Firefox better compete against some of its rivals like Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Apple’s Safari browsers. Talking to USA Today, Mozilla CEO Chris Beard said, “If ‘web video’ gets turned into ‘web VR,’ it could be a game-changer.”
Mozilla began working on the project two years ago in secret with a team led by Vlad Vukicevic, a Mozilla engineering director in Toronto who previously led development for WebGL, a tool for rendering complex graphics on the web. Josh Carpenter, a user-experience designer who’s been working with Vukicevic said “VR is too big to be left just to (gamers).”
Having previously confined the project to a small group of engineers, Mozilla is now getting feedback from developers and bolstering the MozVR research team with more people, hoping technology could soon make web-based virtual reality tours more like watching the movie “A Night at the Museum,” in which once-static characters and objects are brought to life.
“We want to lead development of an open VR platform,” Beard says, looking at the future of Firefox.
VRFocus will be keeping up to date on further announcements from Mozilla regarding Firefox.