Mozilla has added virtual reality support for their nightly and developer releases of Firefox.
Last year, an experimental build of Mozilla’s Firefox browser included support for web-based virtual reality apps using the Oculus Rift VR headset. Now, support has been included in the nightly and developer editions of the browser as well.
Mozilla’s Josh Carpented explained in a talk last summer that virtual reality is becoming a big deal also presents a great challange, and those are reasons enough to invest time developing virtual reality support. He stated that the challenge of making an immersive virtual world is to minimize latency between head movement and the screen reacting, and that this challenge exemplifies one reason why in the end, the work will not just be beneficial for virtual reality experiences, but for the web as a whole.
Mozilla has thrown a lot of effort into developing WebVR, an experimental API that makes it easy to link the browser to a virtual reality headset. Google too, has begun experimenting with this, and while there’s still no standard protocol, there is some cross-browser compatibility.
You may soon look like this while reading VR-Zone
For now, the Rift compatible builds only work in windows, but Mozilla hopes to add Linux support and Android support in the future, and Google’s cardboard – literally a cardboard VR headset you can use together with mobile devices.
Whether virtual reality is really the best way to experience the net remains to be seen, but there is no doubt that some parts of the web could greatly benefit from it. Last year, I tested an app which added Rift support to Google Streetview, and the experience was one of the best I’ve had with the headset so far.