Mozilla announced the shutdown of Firefox Reality, its web browser intended specifically for use in virtual reality environments (VR).
Virtual reality (VR) allows for immersion while augmented reality (AR) adds a layer of visual information
Over the past four years this browser has enabled Internet browsing for those using virtual reality devices, navigating both in environments originally designed in 2D and for those designed in both 3D and VR. The latter allows the use of hand gestures as a control method, instead of using keyboard and mouse.
Originally introduced in 2018, Mozilla’s Firefox Reality has been available in vR platforms such as HoloLens, Oculus, Pico and Viveport through their respective app stores. The technology of this browser allowed existing web pages to be adapted to the VR environment so that they could be navigated and interacted with through three-dimensional menus and 360° panoramas, in addition to facilitating the navigation of web pages specifically designed in VR formats.
The Firefox Reality browser will disappear from the app store during the next few weeks but it is not without a replacement. In fact, Mozilla offers as an alternative Wolvic, a VR web browser developed by Igalia using open source code from Firefox Reality itself, a browser that will be available over the next few weeks.
From Igalia it is assured that Wolvic will be prepared for the xR environment, which encompasses both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) through what they call WebXR, a new way of approaching the Internet browsing experience through both types of technology, both immersive (VR) and adding a layer of information to the visible environment (AR).
The Wolvic browser, as an effective replacement for Firefox Reality, will also be widely available for download in the Daydream, HTC Vive Focus, Huawei VR Glasses, Lynx, Pico Interactive and Oculus app stores, the Meta VR platform where Facebook plans to popularize the metaverse.