Skip to main content

Experience WebVR on your VR headset by default, starting with Firefox 55

firefox 55 adds webvr support
Kārlis Dambrāns/Flickr
Virtual reality continues to make headway, showing up on more systems and providing an ever-increasing number of experiences. Companies keep working to bring VR into more of our computing environments and one such effort is making our web browsers work with VR.

WebVR is a growing standard that aims to let everyone experience VR with any chosen browser. All WebVR requires is a VR headset and a compatible browser, and Mozilla announced on Thursday that WebVR support will be the default in Firefox 55.

Firefox 55 is scheduled for release on August 8 and it will have WebVR turned on automatically for users with Oculus Rift or HTC Vive VR systems. This will let those users experience all of the new web-based VR experiences that developers around the world are creating.

WebVR will work with WebGL to create powerful and efficient 3D experiences, allowing Firefox to become another VR publishing platform. To help developers create WebVR experiences, Mozilla is also inviting them to check one of the available frameworks, such as A-Frame and React VR.

Mozilla first introduced WebVR support in Firefox eight months ago and, in the meantime, created a workshop and developed cross-vendor collaboration. These should help the company push WebVR forward. Into the future, Mozilla will continue to work with other companies in ensuring compliance with the WebVR standard, to make sure that users get a consistent experience no matter which browser they use.

Some WebVR examples you can check out are adding 360-degree video to a site, exploring a museum, walking through Cambodian temples, and more. Developers can head over the A-Frame school to begin learning how to leverage WebVR to create cross-platform VR experiences. The bottom line is this: If you made an investment in a VR system, then there should be no shortage of experiences to make it worthwhile.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Coppock
Mark has been a geek since MS-DOS gave way to Windows and the PalmPilot was a thing. He’s translated his love for…
Meta wants its next VR headset to replace your laptop
Oculus Quest VR Headset

Mark Zuckerberg wants the announcement of his company's next premium VR headset to be an "iPhone moment" -- a defining shift for virtual reality with mass consumer adoption of the technology. To achieve that vision, Meta, the company that Zuckerberg helms, will first start by replacing your trusty laptop with goggles.

Meta, which owns Facebook and the company and technology behind Oculus, is working on an unannounced premium virtual reality headset called Project Cambria, which the company briefly teased at its Connect conference. Project Cambria comes with new technology that isn’t yet available on current VR headsets, like eye-tracking and facial recognition monitoring to record your facial expressions -- as well as new optics.

Read more
HTC aims to turn your carpool into a VR roller coaster
Hororide app shown with HTC VIVE Flow headset.

Boring carpool got you down? Road trips with the family turning your hair prematurely gray? Holoride and HTC might have just the solution to make you look forward to your daily commute, and to turn unruly passengers into quiescent drooling zombies. They intend to bring VR to your car.

More specifically, the concept they’re pitching involves XR (Extended Reality), which includes a wider selection of sci-fi goggle-based content than just VR. The tech being debuted today takes advantage of the new HTC Vive Flow VR headset, which Digital Trends mobile editor Ajay Kumar got to test out last fall. This device differs from your garden-variety VR headset in that it’s more like wearing a big pair of sunglasses.

Read more
The future of immersive VR? ‘Chemical haptics’ applied to your skin
A woman in a VR headset holding her hands out.

VR headsets are currently able to simulate realistic environments to trick your brain into thinking it's actually there. But researchers at the University of Chicago are going a step further by simulating physical sensations using chemicals applied to your skin.

The implementation seems basic, but the results are fascinating and could provide a way to make VR even more immersive.

Read more