Virtual reality browsing: Firefox web browser breaks cover
Is the future of the web a virtual reality one? Mozilla certainly seems to think that VR is going to play a far more significant role in our web browsing as it has finally launched its VR browser Firefox Reality.
Reality is a browser specifically designed to be used with VR headsets and version 1.0 is now available to download for free in Viveport, Oculus, and the Daydream app stores.
If you happen to have any of those VR headsets, then we urge you to give it a whirl!
Mozilla has been working on 3D and VR web browsers for years already, as it strongly believes that the current 2D experience of the web has its own in-built limitations, both in terms of technology and UX design.
Voice-search the web in VR
This project is baby-steps, of course, as it is still only a way of experiencing much of the web’s current 2D content using a VR headset.
That’s why it supports voice-search (so no need for typing!) using the microphone on your VR headset.
Usefully Mozilla’s Reality VR browser also highlights VR games and content that are already available online that you might not yet have become aware of.
Mozilla’s vision is all about what it calls “the immersive web” which is why it originally created the WebVR standard back in 2014 to help developers create virtual reality experiences on the web.
In addition to that, WebXR is its new standard that it hopes will support augmented reality content in browsers.
Mozilla plans to add plenty of new features to Firefox Reality soon, including support for bookmarks, 360-degree videos, and multiple user accounts.
“We had to rethink everything, including navigation, text-input, environments, search and more,” Mozilla’s Andre Vrignaud writes in a post on the Mozilla blog. Vrignaud is Head of Mixed Reality Platform Strategy at the organization. “This required years of research, and countless conversations with users, content creators, and hardware partners. The result is a browser that is built for the medium it serves.
The browser is available from the Viveport, Oculus and Daydream app stores.
You can see a short promo video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06jyMtB3qIE