Mozilla’s mixed reality browser Firefox Reality went live on Facebook’s Oculus Quest VR headset Thursday, offering users an alternative to the built-in Oculus browser. One of the differences touted by Mozilla: a big focus on privacy.
“To protect our users from the pervasive tracking and collection of personal data by ad networks and tech companies, Firefox Reality has Enhanced Tracking Protection enabled by default,” wrote Mozilla staff program manager Janice Von Itter in a blog post. “We strongly believe privacy shouldn’t be relegated to optional settings. As an added bonus, these protections work in the background and actually increase the speed of the browser.”
One of the other features that sets Firefox Reality apart from the Quest’s built-in browser is support for multi-language voice search. Users can switch between languages in the settings, and then request search queries in their native language — something that worked well during a brief test by Variety this week.
In addition, Firefox Reality also supports multi-language keyboards in languages including Japanese and Chinese, which allows users to type and search in their preferred languages.
Much like most desktop browsers, Firefox Reality features a private mode for further privacy protection, and the browser also blocks auto-playing videos by default. The browser does not yet support multiple tabs, or bookmark syncing, but those features are promised for the near future.
Mozilla first announced Firefox Reality for mobile VR headsets like the HTC Vive Focus last April. The non-profit proceeded to release versions for Oculus Go and Google’s Daydream VR platform last September, and announced a partnership with HTC to bring Firefox Reality to high-end VR headsets like the HTC Vive last in January. In February, it followed with a version for Microsoft’s Hololens 2 AR headset.