Earlier this year Mozilla introduced a new standard called WebXR that could be used to deliver mixed reality (MR) content directly to web browsers. This API was an advancement of the existing WebVR technology. Google have embraced this idea and are bringing it to its Chrome browser.
At Google I/O during a session titled The Future of the Web Is Immersive’ speakers Brandon Jones and John Pallett demonstrated some of the new features of WebXR.
WebVR was well received for the most part, but did come with its own set of challenges and problems. As a result of extensive feedback, WebXR was developed to address those problems and also to bring augmented reality (AR) and MR content to the browser without need for a headset.
Speaker Brandon Jones indicated that WebXR offered many advantages over the older WebVR standard, including more optimisations for the browser and cleaner, more consistent and predictable operations, which makes development easier for coders. The new API is also compatible with a wider range of devices, opening up new audiences for the content on offer.
In the optimisation area, and example as offered regarding the rendering of VR content on a Google Pixel XL smartphone. Using WebVR, a resolution of 1145 x 1807 is possible, with 2 million pixels. Under the new WebXR standard, the same content can be rendered at 1603 x 2529, with 4 million pixels. This doubles the number of pixels, whilst maintaining the same high framerate.
This new technology means that developers can make immersive web-based content look better and run more smoothly simply by switching to the new API. Google have made WebXR Chrome support available as an Origin Trial starting in Chrome 67, which is currently in Beta. For developers who wish to explore the features without deploying it, WebXR can be abled by using the About Flags in Chrome.
For further news about WebXR and other updates from Google I/O will continue to be covered here on VRFocus.