Mozilla has announced a new version of browser Firefox specifically for Virtual and Augmented (Mixed) Reality headsets.
Firefox Reality is the name of the browser and Mozilla describes it as a cross-platform, open source and privacy-friendly browser whose interface has been specially adapted for headsets. There is a working demo for the HTC Vive Focus, but the browser is not yet available to the general public. When it becomes available to everyone and for which headsets support will be offered is still unknown.
The main reason why Mozilla comes with its own Mixed Reality browser is probably because all other browsers are only made for 1 platform. Oculus has one for the Gear VR, Google has experimental version of Chrome for Daydream, and Microsoft has also made its own Edge browser available in Windows Mixed Reality.
The new Firefox browser does not depend on 1 device, is open source and is thus available for all platforms. Test’s are already being carried out with Samsung’s Gear VR and Google’s Daydream.
It is a smart move by Mozilla. Both Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality continue to gain ground. And the market is still in its infancy. It is expected that by 2023 will handle many tens of billions of dollars. All major players are already busy with it. Which therefore creates a potentially very large and lucrative market. Smart so now to respond to it. And very smart to come up with something that can work on any device.
But there are still some points to think about. Mixed reality is the wild west:
- How do you type?
- How do you express emotion?
- How do you view the billions of existing 2D web pages as well as new 3D content?
- How do you communicate?
- Who maps the world and who controls what you see?
- Can we build on our work with voice recognition and connected devices to create a better browsing experience?