Firefox browser maker Mozilla has launched its first virtual reality web browser, which is up for the customers to download and judge. The mixed reality team at Mozilla set out to build a web browser that has been designed from the ground up to work on stand-alone virtual and mixed reality headsets.
Firefox Reality is a web browser that one can actually use entirely inside a VR headset. The first release of Firefox Reality is available in the Viveport, Oculus, and Daydream app stores. 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.
This is version 1.0, and the company is still finding its way through some usage questions and issues. It’s very recently developed with so perfection that it isn’t something we can demand right away. Being experimental may mean some shakiness in the UX, but it also could mean giving users something that works in a really unique way.
The Mixed Reality team here at Mozilla has invested a significant amount of time, effort, and research into figuring out how they can design a browser for virtual reality:
We had to rethink everything, including navigation, text-input, environments, search and more. This required years of research, and countless conversations with users, content creators, and hardware partners. The result is a browser that is built for the medium it serves. It makes a big difference, and we think you will love all of the features and details that we’ve created specifically for a MR browser. – Andre Vrignaud, Head of Mixed Reality Platform Strategy at Mozilla
Among the new features, the new Firefox VR browser is to enable web search using your own voice. Opening the browser, one will be confronted with experiences that will be most enjoyable in a VR set. In future releases, Mozilla wants to also align Firefox Reality more closely with its other products. For instance, it gives people access to their Pocket bookmarks and the websites they have visited with Firefox on their desktop PC.
Firefox Reality is using our new Quantum engine for mobile browsers. The result is a smooth and fast performance that is crucial for a VR browser. But this is not all, for the Mozilla blog announces that version 1.1 is right around the corner. Hopefully, it will support many other graphics and enable gaming and many other exciting features.