Virtual reality has come a quite long way since Oculus Rift entered the stage a few years ago, opening up a whole new range of possibilities to experience digital content. Although its use cases were blurry and undefined, it gained huge traction which lead to Facebook acquiring Oculus for $2 billion. Such great expectations also lead to the inevitable influence of VR on the web, which is not likely to be a 2D exclusive environment by the year 2020.
WebVR Cardboard Headsets
As one of the main players advocating an open and free web, Mozilla has been actively helping chart the course of virtual reality on the web. As a result of their exploration of the area, the MozVR project was founded, which today is one of the key contributors to WebVR standards alongside Brandon Jones from the Google Chrome team. These contributors recently teamed up to announce the version 1.0 release of the WebVR API proposal. This is a big step for the future of virtual reality on the web so let’s have a look at what this means.
Note: Our very own Patrick Catanzariti covered WebVR and how to get started last year at SitePoint, so if you haven’t dipped your fingers into the big and immersive world of VR, make sure to check out his article.
Concretely, as detailed in the official Mozilla Hacks blog post, the updated APIs offer various improvements. These are in a nutshell:
VR specific handling of device rendering and display.
The ability to traverse links between WebVR pages.
An input handling scheme that can enumerate VR inputs, including six degrees of freedom (6DoF) motion controllers.
Accommodation of both sitting and standing experiences.
Suitability for both desktop and mobile usage.
Feel free to check out the API draft for more changes and details (especially if you have tinkered with VR before).