Mozilla has announced a new version of its Firefox browser for standalone virtual and augmented reality headsets. It’s called Firefox Reality, and Mozilla describes it as a cross-platform, open source, and privacy-friendly browser whose interface will be specialized for headsets.
You can see an early demo of it working on the HTC Vive Focus, but it’s not available publicly yet, and Mozilla hasn’t specified which headsets will support it. The Firefox Reality demo makes it looks a lot like a traditional browser, albeit one that’s streamlined and floating in a virtual void.
The video demonstrates someone navigating through pages and smoothly scrolling with a simple VR controller, but they seem to have a little trouble hitting small buttons with its pointer. Mozilla’s vision sounds pretty broad and potentially ambitious, though: Headset makers have already developed browsers for individual platforms. Oculus released one for the Gear VR, Google has an experimental version of Chrome for Daydream, and Microsoft put its Edge browser into Windows Mixed Reality’s home space.
(These are all basically browsers for virtual reality, but they could translate easily to consumer augmented reality headsets, and Windows Mixed Reality also includes devices like the HoloLens.) You can also access traditional browsers through VR desktop apps. But Mozilla wants people to use Firefox Reality for the same reasons they’d use Firefox on a computer.
It’s not specific to any one headset brand, and it’s not run by a company known for harvesting user data, like Google or Facebook. Firefox Reality is also supposed to reflect performance advances that Firefox made with its speedy Quantum browser. Read more from theverge.com…
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