VR in the Browser

VR in the brows­er?

If you are a de­vel­op­er, find out about VR in the brows­er here in­stead.


How it works

Browsers pro­vide a so called “API” to de­vel­op­ers to use on a web­site. As there was a pre­vi­ous ver­sion of this brows­er API, the nam­ing gets a lit­tle con­fus­ing at times.

We­bXR

The new name for the brows­er API that al­lows Web­sites to use your VR head­set is “We­bXR De­vice API”. It is still be­ing de­vel­oped. Some browsers al­ready sup­port it ex­per­i­men­tal­ly.

Be­cause the old API can be used to em­u­late the new one, all browsers that sup­port “We­b­VR” can al­so sup­port the new API. The em­u­la­tion-lay­er is al­so called a “poly­fill”. It is up to de­vel­op­ers to de­cide whether to use this lay­er and make their game com­pat­i­ble with browsers that on­ly sup­port the old API.

There is no re­lease date for full sup­port of this API, but you can prob­a­bly ex­pect some­thing by end of 2019. The group work­ing on this brows­er API set a mile­stone to reach the “Can­di­date Rec­om­men­da­tion” ma­tu­ri­ty lev­el at which point there will be a “Call for Im­ple­men­ta­tions” and brows­er sup­port can be ex­pect­ed.

We­b­VR

We­b­VR is the name of the brows­er fea­ture that ini­tial­ly al­lowed VR to be used by web­sites in the brows­er. Since its orig­i­nal re­lease in 2016, it has been com­plete­ly re­done as We­bXR De­vice API.

Even­tu­al­ly, sup­port for this API will dis­ap­pear and re­placed by We­bXR.

In de­vel­op­ment

The VR fea­ture for browsers is still un­der ac­tive de­vel­op­ment and you will no­tice that some ex­pe­ri­ences or games don’t work in your brows­er or on your de­vice.

Find out more about whether your brows­er sup­ports VR over on we­b­vr.in­fo.