Why A Virtual Reality Web May Never Happen

By PamSwartz April 5, 2016 In The News

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A leading creator of VR web standards gives a no-nonsense interview on what’s standing in the way of the future.

By Mark Wilson

What if you could browse the web in virtual reality? Just imagine the potential. Hyperlinks could take you not to Wikipedia pages about history, but right to the landscapes of ancient cultures, immersing you in plagues and art and war. Recipe sites could give you smell-o-vision cooking simulations. Message boards could become face-to-face chats. The web as we know it could become tangible, interactive, and more immersive than ever.

In fact, you can browse a VR web today—if you own an Oculus, HTC Vive, or Samsung Gear headset. But there’s a catch. It’s not very good. And it’s not what you’d call a “web.”

Casey Yee, UX design engineer at Mozilla, is the first to admit its shortcomings. His six-person team has created the WebVR Standard, a JavaScript standard that allows normal websites, with the push of a button, to transform into incredible 3-D landscapes that you experience in VR.

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