Mozilla announces virtual reality Firefox’ retirement

Virutal Reality & Augmented Reality Tech

The company has announced that it will be bringing its VR and AR web browsers to an end.

Mozilla has announced that it is retiring both its augmented and virtual reality web browsers, Firefox Reality.

Mozilla has instead chosen to relaunch this experience under a new name using an external team.

Igalia, a free software consultancy, is the outside team that is working on developing an augmented and virtual reality browser. The team will use the Firefox Reality’s underlying source code. Their goal is to launch a comparable AR/VR browser product. The new product will be called Wolvic and it will be launched this week. At the same time, Mozilla will be removing its existing AR and VR browser applications from app stores across coming weeks.

Mozilla announced the move in a recent blog post. There, the company shared its perspective that this step is the natural direction forward for the VR browser application, which first launched in 2018. It expressed optimism and positivity about this change in direction, including the retirement of the existing product.

Virtual Reality - Firefox

According to Mozilla, retiring its existing virtual reality browser was a natural next step forward.

“We’ve been at the forefront of developing new technologies,” said Mozilla, citing the standards for WebVR and WebAR. “In some instances, Mozilla continues to remain the host and incubator of those new technologies … With other technologies, we find communities and organizations where our projects can continue to grow and contribute to the web.”

Igalia has notable experience in this area by way of contributions to the WebKit and Chromium open-source projects.

Until its retirement, Firefox Reality is available on the Meta Quest – previously known as Oculus Quest – headset. It is also available on the Pico standalone headset, the HTC Viveport platform, and the HoloLens mixed reality headset from Microsoft.

Beyond allowing users to browse regular webpages using their VR headsets, it also provides a full web-based augmented and virtual reality experience portal. That said, as a platform it is frequently overlooked in the face of rival native headset apps. Wolvic stands to greatly strengthen web-based mixed reality viability, provided it achieves adequate adoption and remains active.

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