Over the past year there have been several developments with regards to using virtual reality (VR) through web browsers, primarily involving the WebVR standard. Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox browser, now wish to extend this further into augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR).
Mozilla are hoping to develop standards and systems that will allow devices, headsets, frameworks and toolsets to work together and give web developers tools and publishing platforms to bring immersive content online in a way that is easily accessible by any user.
The company notes that at present there is no method to unify AR and VR experiences. VR experiences are increasingly becoming cross-compatible through platforms such as Steam, but the same is not true of the AR space. Even AR devices that fulfil similar functions such as the HoloLens and other AR headsets such as the Meta 2 use entirely different standards that are not cross-compatible, despite looking very similar and working in a roughly equivalent way.
Mozilla is seeking to change this, and has created a draft WebXR API proposal that will provide access to both AR and VR devices. The WebXR API would formalise and standardise the ways the various technologies display views of reality and unify concepts common to ARKit, HoloLens and ARCore.
Also being worked on is a proof-of-concept open-source WebXR viewer for iOS which will soon be available on the App App Store, with plans to add compatibility for other devices and browsers soon. Mozilla are also experimenting with semi-transparent browser windows for the Meta 2 headset.
Full details on the WebXR API proposal and the opportunity to contribute can be found on GitHub.
VRFocus will continue to report on developments in the mixed reality area.