Firefox Reality
Mozilla has announced a new version of Firefox called Firefox Reality, a web browser for virtual reality headsets. Mozilla

Mozilla has announced Firefox Reality, a new version of its Firefox browser that’s designed specifically for virtual and augmented reality headsets.

“We believe that the future of the web will be heavily intertwined with virtual and augmented reality, and that future will live through browsers,” Mozilla’s vice president of technology strategy Sean White said. “That’s why we’re building Firefox Reality, a new kind of web browser that has been designed from the ground up to work on stand-alone virtual and augmented reality (or mixed reality) headsets.”

Mozilla believes that Firefox Reality is part of its mission to make sure that the internet is an open and accessible resource. This also means that the company wants to make sure that it remains in the frontlines of virtual and augmented reality. Mozilla also believes that web browsers are the future of mixed reality.

“The future of mixed reality is about delivering experiences, not about building applications,” White said. “here shouldn’t be friction moving from one experience to another. Firefox was the first browser to implement WebVR – an open standard for sharing and enjoying virtual reality content through a web URL. This lays the groundwork for creating and delivering immersive experiences using a method that is as simple as opening a web page.”

Firefox Reality is an open source, cross-platform and private web browser designed for virtual and augmented reality. This means that it should work on a variety of devices and platforms. This will also make it easier for developers and manufacturers to put the Firefox Reality web browser on their own devices.

Firefox Reality is not available to the public just yet. However, Mozilla did share a short demo of its new VR web browser running on the HTC Vive Focus. For developers who are interested in checking out Firefox Reality, Mozilla has posted the source code and developer builds for a variety of AR/VR platforms. The source code will be able to run on Google Daydream and Samsung Gear VR devices.

“We took our existing Firefox web technology and enhanced it with Servo, our experimental web engine,” Mozilla Reality research engineer Trevor F. Smith said. “From Firefox, we get decades of web compatibility as well as the performance benefits of Firefox Quantum”

Manufacturers of AR/VR headsets have already developed built-in web browsers for their respective devices. Google’s Daydream VR platform, for example, runs on Chrome, while Oculus has its own browser for the Gear VR headset. Microsoft’s Windows Mix Reality headsets also have the Edge web browser. The difference here is that Mozilla wants Firefox Reality to run on a variety of VR headsets and not be tethered down to one specific brand, as pointed out by The Verge.