Much of our daily lives revolve around the internet, whether it’s for your job sending emails or communicating long-distance, doing some shopping for new clothes or consuming vast amounts of entertainment via streaming apps. So it would make sense that with the growth of virtual reality (VR) developers would have embraced the web more. In fact, the web has played a bit of a side note, sure there are plenty of online multiplayer titles out there and apps like Netflix are available, but actually perusing the internet is another matter entirely. Which is why Mozilla created Firefox Reality. So VRFocus sat down with Director of Mixed Reality, Lars Bergstrom, at the recent Oculus Connect 6 (OC6) event to learn how they plan on helping VR users make that leap.
Firefox Reality originally arrived for headsets like HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Google Daydream just over a year ago, offering a web browser specifically built for VR purposes. Since then, support has expanded to include Oculus Quest and Microsoft’s mixed reality (MR) device HoloLens 2, with work still ongoing for a SteamVR compatible version.
The app has a range of features designed to maximise the immersive potential of web-based VR, such as 6 degrees-of-freedom (6DoF) control for anything on the app, Enhanced Tracking Protection which blocks sites from tracking you and collecting personal data for ad networks and tech companies. Firefox Reality also supports 10 different languages, including Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese.
It’s not just Firefox Reality which Mozilla is developing for VR users. Another part of its ecosystem is Hubs, a social platform with Discord integration where users can create their own rooms to invite people to join. Online and open source, Hubs will work with virtually any headset, allowing users to add web content, watch videos, chat, share their screen/webcam feed, and pull in 3D objects from Sketchfab and Google Poly.
Bergstrom details all this and more in the OC6 interview below, so take a look if you’re interested in the future possibilities of WebVR. As always, when Mozilla announces any further updates to either Firefox Reality of Hubs, VRFocus will let you know.