[web-vr] Where are we now?

Brandon Jones bajones at google.com
Fri May 1 16:50:06 UTC 2015


Yes, it's a bit hard to keep track of. Thanks for your patience!

The big picture, as it stands today, is this: You can use the VR APIs in
Firefox nightlies or certain Chrome experimental builds. Both require you
to enable a flag before the API is available. Chrome for Android should see
this feature become available on the dev channel soon (again, behind a
flag) but that's pending an internal security review so I don't have an
accurate timeline for it beyond "Soon".

Safari and IE/Edge have not publicly stated and plans for supporting this
API, though I've heard some Microsoft developers express a casual interest
in it. These browser will likely not move to implement support until the
core concept has proven itself a bit more. Opera, now being based on
Chromium, will probably gain this feature "naturally" as it makes it's way
into Chrome.

Finally Unity's NPAPI plugins are being deprecated in favor of a
WebGL/asm.js-based build target which works on many modern browsers
(depends on their exact level of feature support.) I'm not aware of any
plan's on Unity's part to target WebVR as part of that build process,
however. Again, they will probably wait to ensure the technology is
thriving before investing effort into supporting it.

All of this is very appropriate for a web tech that is still relatively
young and experimental. This is especially true considering that the big
players in the VR market (Oculus, Valve, Sony) have yet to release a
consumer product. It's very difficult to create a standard, cross-platform
API that supports multiple device types when the companies making that
hardware are still keeping their devices under wraps. Given that I expect
that the API will continue to evolve and mature over the next year or two
alongside hardware releases.

--Brandon

On Thu, Apr 30, 2015 at 9:01 PM Dave A <dave at realmofconcepts.com> wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> With a long history of various-topic emails to sift through, and
> overwhelming Google results, I'd like to ask a 'big picture' question:
>
> Where are we now?
>
> Can I run VR API's in any released browser (not just nightly or dev
> builds, but enable it in a released browser)?
>
> Does/will IE/Spartan/Edge support these API's in any way?
>
> And other browser support (Safari/Opera/etc.)?
>
> Which mobile browsers support these API's?
>
> Are there any browsers which still allow Unity plugins (for example) to
> run, which support VR API's?
>
> Thanks
>
> Dave Arendash
>
> @ThatVRGuy
> _______________________________________________
> web-vr-discuss mailing list
> web-vr-discuss at mozilla.org
> https://mail.mozilla.org/listinfo/web-vr-discuss
>
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