Firefox Reality – Mozilla’s New Browser for VR and AR Headsets

Virtual reality with hololens
Mozilla launched Firefox Reality, a new browser for virtual reality and augmented reality headsets to make it easier to browse the web using HMDs.

Mozilla, the company behind the popular Firefox browser, has announced that they are working on a new browser named Firefox Reality. While the product is still in its nascent stages, the developer build for the browser has been released online this month.

Interested developers who want to get onboard as soon as possible should definitely grab those developer kits and start working on apps, content which will be optimized for the future.

As the name hints, Reality is a browser geared towards virtual reality and augmented reality. Mozilla strongly believes that the future lies in AR and VR even though the technology still has a lot of practical issues to overcome.

While it is a fact that head-mounted displays like HTC Vive Pro and Oculus Rift had changed the world of games and movie consumption as we know it, it has yet to reach a mainstream audience.

Besides being very expensive as headsets cost close to $1,000, they require a mammoth gaming PC to provide you an immersive experience. Most average people are put off, but Mozilla believes it is the future.

What You Should Know About Firefox Reality?

According to Mozilla’s official announcement, there are several capabilities offered by the new Firefox Reality platform, as listed below.

  1. Cross-Platform Support for the First Time

Firefox Reality is going to usher in a series of first-time efforts by Mozilla unlike never before. In order to stay relevant in the future, the company has decided to make their VR and AR browser a cross-platform product. You should be able to communicate with friends inside the web browser while wearing a headset and they can be using any device, be it an Android, iOS, desktop or any operating system of their choice.

The developers claim that Firefox Reality will be the first-ever open-source browser for virtual reality, allowing people to create their own content and post them for others to use. It provides transparency and is not owned by a single entity as how the current Firefox Quantum browser works.

  1. A Speedy Experience Inside a Virtual World

Privacy and speed will be given utmost importance. In recent times, companies using customer data have come under criticism, especially after the recent Facebook fiasco.

Mozilla points it out duly and confirms that their new browser will adhere to all rules and will never share any customer data with third parties. It is also designed in such a way that third-party apps won’t have access to your data without your explicit permission.

Firefox Quantum is the latest browser in the lot which is known for its highly responsive design and fast loading times, but it takes an altogether different engine to make Firefox Reality as fast.

The team that worked on Servo engine, along with Gecko engine developers, are working together to build this new software program on a completely experimental platform.

Supported VR Headsets

Business, augmented reality and future technology concept
Mozilla strongly believes that the future lies in AR and VR even though the technology still has a lot of practical issues to overcome.

Firefox Reality is in developer mode and will work only with a handful of devices at the moment.

The company promised that they will release it on other major virtual reality headsets and augmented or mixed reality products such as the ones released by Microsoft. It works on Samsung’s Gear VR and Google’s Daydream now.

In the past, Mozilla has tried their hands on a lot of experimental projects including an operating system for smartphones which didn’t take off as expected.

Web browsers is where the company has a stronghold for years now, and this is something they are known for.

It is expected that Reality will take off when the time comes, as virtual reality and augmented reality witness mass adoption by a majority of the population.

Mozilla, in their official blog statement, further confirmed that they will provide the support developers need to come up with new apps and content to further enhance the virtual reality experience.

The Reality browser already works seamlessly on the HTC Vive Focus VR headset, according to their test results, but creating programs that work seamlessly for mass consumption might take months before they could gain a substantial market.

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