THE MOZILLA FOUNDATION has announced the release of the latest version of its Firefox browser (version 55, to be precise) complete with WebVR support.
WebVR has been trailed as in production by Mozilla for several years now, and in the meantime, both Chrome (at least on Android) and Edge (in Dev mode) have beaten Firefox to the punch in terms of VR on the web.
For Google and Microsoft, who both have their own hardware to pedal, this is kind of understandable, and so Firefox's version is going to be a bit less platform biased - it cites HTC Vive and Oculus Rift as being the big beneficiaries.
WebVR uses the Unity engine popular in gaming and which, as the name suggests, should unify the experience across rival VR platforms.
The wider issue, however, is the battle between VR, AR (augmented) and MR (mixed) - all much of a muchness with many crossovers, but which almost seem to be heading into some sort of weird meta-format war.
Last week, Acer released its MR headset for Microsoft Holographic released at just $300. But Google's Daydream View headset remains a much simpler affair, relying on the hardware already existent in your phone.
Firefox continues to flounder in the wake of Google Chrome, but the addition of VR, the only significant addition in Firefox 55, is part of a longer strategy to get the once popular browser back to its heydey.
We're told Firefox 57 is the big one. So watch out October. Mozilla is coming for you.
Firefox is far from Mozilla's only project right now, as the non-profit seeks to diversify from its core offering. Most recently it added an encrypted cross browser file sharing tool which can support up to 1GB file sizes and will self-destruct after one download, or 24 hours.
Mozilla is also working in other areas, including AI. µ
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