As of Tuesday, Mozilla (creator of the Firefox browser) has announced that it’s changing the whole browser game. Although, the downside is that it won’t run on your computer in the traditional way. Instead, they will be introducing us to the future, which might include us interacting with computers using goofy headwear.
Internet tech giants like Google and Facebook are trying up their game in the emerging industry.
Collectively, they’ve spent an incredible amount of money just to create a range of headsets and technology that will enhance the experience of all computer users. Many enthusiasts have been wondering why VR has not yet taken off, but we’re assuming that it’s just too pricey for people to afford right now.
However, the most compelling argument against virtual reality is its lack of compelling content. “The biggest issue holding VR back is the games or lack thereof,” CNET’s Dan Ackerman wrote this week. “The vast majority are simple low-budget indie projects that range from pure dreck to forgettable filler, with just a handful of gems along the way.”
The VR web to the rescue?
Mozilla thinks its new Firefox Reality browser can help bring the VR idea to life and start to encourage people to use it more. However, Mozilla helped a VR technology called WebVR and let web developers build content with the help of A-frame project that will only be used on a VR device.
“WebVR content continues to grow, though is limited by the general lack of headset use outside the VR gaming community,” said Sean White, Mozilla’s chief research, and development officer. Mozilla likes the Within site to explore WebVR sites, but it’s working on its own, too, including “a social platform for 3D content experiences on the web,” he said.
Mozilla believes that WebVR will prevent teenagers from playing heavy shoot-em-up games, which is a great start to preventing future violence.
“Walking among the dinosaurs at a virtual natural history museum is a good example, as is e-commerce like walking through your dream kitchen,” White said. “Social games and online meetings are also a natural fit.”
For now, though, it sounds like it will simply be like browsing the web with an ordinary browser – except that the screen is hovering in a 3D world and you’re in control of the virtual pointer.
Not all VR devices supported
Here’s the downside: not all devices will support this feature, which means it is only designed to work with headsets. They will be offering a “Preview” version of the software Tuesday, but there won’t be any support on Oculus’s Facebook yet.
Although Mozilla promises that the new Firefox Reality will be faster than the PC browser launched in November. This time it will be competing with browsers that are used with the VR headsets: For example, Google’s Chrome browser that supports Google Daydream devices.
It’s still not clear enough if VR will be a big deal. Although, it’s mentioned that in the 1990s, a technology called VRML — short for Virtual Reality Markup Language and pronounced “vermal” — was supposed to democratize that decade’s VR technology. VRML didn’t pan out, but the goal is to make Virtual Reality today the backwater of VRML, not the big thing.