×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Mozilla Releases Firefox Reality VR Browser for Oculus Go, Daydream Headsets

Firefox browser maker Mozilla is making the jump to virtual reality (VR) headsets: The non-profit released a new browser dubbed Firefox Reality for Oculus Go, Google Daydream and other mobile VR headsets Tuesday. Users of the browser will be able to access both traditional websites as well as web-based virtual reality experiences.

The browser is part of a push to bring virtual and mixed reality applications to the web, according to Mozilla’s Chief R&D officer Sean White. “VR and AR need to be about experiences, not applications,” he told Variety during a recent interview.

White argued that web-based VR wasn’t just better for developers looking to bring their games and experiences to multiple headsets, but that the technology also offered a better user experience. When users don’t have to download and install an app before accessing it, they’d be able to more easily discover and try out new experiences. “The web will matter more and more” for VR, he said.

At launch, Firefox Reality will run on Oculus Go, Google Daydream and HTC Vive Focus as well as other mobile headsets making use of HTC’s mobile VR platform. Users will be able to download the browser app directly from the Oculus, Google Play and Viveport app stores on these respective devices.

Firefox Reality promises users a VR-optimized web experience thanks to a focus on performance and usability, White said. This includes voice search, which takes away the need to use a virtual keyboard to navigate the web in VR. At launch, voice search is being powered by Google’s speech recognition technology, but Mozilla has plans to eventually rely on its own Deep Speech technology.

In future releases, Mozilla wants to also align Firefox Reality more closely with its other products, and for instance give people access to their Pocket bookmarks and the websites they have visited with Firefox on their desktop PC.

Mozilla has plans to ultimately expand the reach of the browser to other devices, including augmented and mixed reality headsets. It previously announced a partnership with Magic Leap, but White declined to comment on a potential release of Firefox Reality on Magic Leap’s AR headset.

This isn’t the first time Mozilla has tried to expand the reach of Firefox beyond desktop and mobile devices. A few years ago, Mozilla tried to build its own operating system for phones and smart TVs dubbed Firefox OS. The non-profit ultimately ditched those efforts, and White argued that it had focused too much on the needs of its device partners and not enough on those of the user.

That’s why in VR and AR, Mozilla is now striking its own path, and building technology designed to run on multiple devices. In addition to Firefox Reality, this also includes the development of Hubs, a social VR platform designed to run in the browser. Hubs has been developed by former employees of the social VR startup AltspaceVR, who joined Mozilla around a year ago.

More Digital

  • Vidcon Sarah Tortoreti

    VidCon Has a New Marketing Chief: Nickelodeon's Sarah Tortoreti

    VidCon tapped Sarah Tortoreti as VP of marketing to head up the digital-creator and video confab’s promotional strategies worldwide. Tortoreti joins VidCon from Viacom’s Nickelodeon, where she was director of marketing and brand strategy since April 2016. In early 2018 Viacom acquired VidCon, founded by veteran YouTube creators Hank Green and John Green. In the newly [...]

  • Julie Henderson - Snap

    Snap Taps 21st Century Fox's Julie Henderson as Communications Chief

    Fox PR veteran Julie Henderson has been named chief communications officer of Snap, parent company of social-messaging and media app Snapchat. Henderson, who is currently EVP and chief communications officer for 21st Century Fox, will report to Snap CEO Evan Spiegel. Henderson is set to start at Snap immediately after the completion of the sale [...]

  • THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY

    'The Umbrella Academy' Superheroes Series Premiere Date Set on Netflix

    The dysfunctional-family superheroes of “The Umbrella Academy” are landing on Netflix worldwide on Feb. 15, 2019. The live-action series is based on the “Umbrella Academy” comic books created and written by Gerard Way and illustrated by Gabriel Bá, published by Dark Horse Comics. The Netflix original series comprises 10 one-hour episodes. “The Umbrella Academy” stars [...]

  • ATF: Hooq Adds Trio of Original

    ATF: Hooq Adds Trio of Original Series, Partnership With Vice Media

    Asian video-on-demand service, Hooq has unveiled three Indonesian-made original series, and a partnership with online content group Vice. The new shows range from a talk show “TL;DR” that will be co-produced with Vice, to a full-length series, “Check Out The Store Next Door” (“Cek Toko Sebelah the Series”) and a short form series. The partnership [...]

  • ATF: Indian Streamer Eros Now Launches

    ATF: Indian Streamer Eros Now Launches 'Flesh' as Original Series

    Eros Now, the video streaming arm of Indian film production and distribution giant Eros International, has begun production of an original web TV series. Its human trafficking drama “Flesh” will air in early 2019. “Flesh” stars Swara Bhaskar (“Raanjhanaa,” “Veera Di Wedding”) as a belligerent female cop who takes matters into her own hands in [...]

  • Avengers End Game Trailer

    'Avengers: Endgame' Trailer Smashes 24-Hour Video Views Record

    With the Marvel fandom’s anticipation leading up to “Avengers: Endgame,” it’s no surprise that the trailer drop set a new record for most views in its first 24 hours. The “Avengers: Endgame” trailer was viewed 289 million times in its first 24 hours, after it was released around 5 a.m. PT Friday, according to Marvel [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content