Firefox maker Mozilla announced the launch of Firefox Reality, a new browser for augmented and virtual reality headsets Tuesday. The browser will make use of emerging mixed reality web standards to allow users to experience immersive games and experiences without the need to install apps custom-built for their specific headset.
“We believe that the future of the web will be heavily intertwined with virtual and augmented reality, and that future will live through browsers,” explained Mozilla’s chief R&D officer Sean White in a blog post. “The future of mixed reality is about delivering experiences, not about building applications. There shouldn’t be friction moving from one experience to another.”
White didn’t specify when Firefox Reality is going to be available to consumers. White promised support across a wide variety of devices, and a Mozilla spokesperson added that the browser will be available on the HTC Vive Focus and other headsets supported by HTC’s Vive Wave VR platform at launch, with developer support being added for other Qualcomm-based devices, including Daydream and Gear VR. The team is also working on an implementation for ODG’s AR glasses, and is part of Magic Leap’s early access program.
“Other solutions for browsing and accessing the web on stand-alone headsets exist, but they are closed, and platform specific,” he wrote. “Firefox Reality will be independent and will work on a wide variety of devices and platforms.”
Firefox Reality is being developed as an open source project, and White said Tuesday that the browser would be built to respect its users’ privacy.
Mozilla has been working on VR and AR technologies for some time. Last fall, key employees of the social VR startup AltspaceVR joined the non-profit to build web-based social experiences for AR and VR headsets.
Update: 8:40 a.m. PT: This post was updated with additional information about the VR headsets targeted by Mozilla.