Mozilla has launched Firefox Reality, a mixed reality (MR) browser compatible with Viveport, Oculus and Daydream, to be designed from the ground up for standalone virtual and augmented reality.
Features of the browser include voice-activated search, built-in private browsing, and resize capabilities. Users can also move between 2D and 3D, as well as activate a movie-speicifc mode. The browser also feature Mozilla's new Quantum engine for smooth and fast performance.
The browser is designed not only for being standalone VR and AR, but also fits in with Mozilla's open philosophy. "We had to rethink everything, including navigation, text-input, environments, search and more," said Andre Vrignaud, head of mixed reality platform strategy at Mozilla. "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," Vrignaud added. "It makes a big difference, and we think you will love all of the features and details that we've created specifically for a MR browser."
Its not just about the fun and games. Other than providing action-packed, fun-filled entertainment for the entire family, VR plays a big role to help humanity as developers use it to help those in need in ways that were unimaginable 20 years ago. Some use it to cure phantom pain among amputee victims, while others rely on VR to provide therapy for soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. VR has also been proven to help children with autism by teaching them social cues and real world lessons. It is being used as a practice board for surgical students before they make the first cut. There is even a VR content targeted at young adults that simulates their physical condition when they get to their 60s, and thus encourages them to save for the future.
Mozilla has been interested in the technology for some time, with a previous browser release featuring WebVR support. As this publication put it at the time, the WebVR-compatible browser was 'an important part of Mozilla's attempt to reply to the growing dominance of Chrome in recent years' - as well as noting how the company was interested in a mix of VR and AR.
Version 1.0 is now avaialble for free in Viveport, with the company saying 1.1 is not too far away. You can find out more about Firefox Reality here.