Firefox and Chrome Hurrying to Add Virtual Reality Features

by Ostatic Staff - Jul. 08, 2014

There is a growing amount of excitement around virtual reality recently, with companies like Facebook expressing much interest in the space. Viewing devices like the Oculus Rift and input devices such as the Leap Motion, PrioVR, Sixense Stem and others are making high-quality VR experiences affordable.

And now, it's clear that both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are going to take on virtual reality features, which could fundamentally change the way we all browse.

As noted by Daily Digest News:

"Google spokesperson, Brandon James, explained how website developers could add virtual reality features to their websites, allowing users to experience featured content in a much more immersive way. Examples include checking out clothes, mapping, educational tools, and so on."

Mozilla's Vladimir Vukićević has also been posting about the promise of VR in browsing experiences:

"The opportunity for VR on the Web is particularly exciting. The Web is a vibrant, connected universe where many different types of experiences can be created and shared. People can be productive, have fun and learn all from within their browser...We are adding native support for VR devices to early experimental builds of Firefox, so that Web developers can start experimenting with adding VR interactivity to their websites and content. This is only the first of many steps that well be taking over the coming weeks and months."

On the Google front, it's worth remembering that Google's head of engineering is Ray Kurzweil, a huge proponent of virtual reality. He will no doubt drive Google to develop VR features for Chrome and other tools. Google has already affirmed that it is adding support for popular virtual reality (VR) hardware devices.

According to Google's Brandon Jones, VR could become a big part of things like ecommerce buying experiences:

 "In the case of a piece of clothing you could see it on a virtual mannequin, walk around it, lean in and examine the stitching, and so on as if it were actually sitting right in front of you. You could also imagine similar experiences with educational tools, data visualization, mapping, and so on. WebVR gives developers the tools needed to make it happen."

If you want to delve into the specifics of what is being added to browsers, check out this Mozilla-focused post, because Chrome is taking on many of the same VR features as Firefox.  By next year, you may very well be involved in immersive VR experiences within your favorite open source browser.