WebXR will be replacing WebVR as a web standard. This has been sanctioned by the W3C.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are two distinct technologies that overlap each another. Both work with devices you wear on your face and both use sensors that track your movement, location, and orientation.
The difference between the two is that VR creates completely new simulations of reality while AR layers content on top of the existing world. The overlapping technologies used for encounter the same challenges, so the W3C VR group decided to create an API that deals with both: WebXR.
XR, or Extended Reality, is a term that encapsulates both types of devices and allows developers to build APIs that you can leverage regardless of if you’re building an AR, VR or Mixed Reality experience.
Unlike WebVR you need a dev browser in order to see it. WebXR release date is likely late Fall. WebXR allows for AR and VR across all platforms.
Does this effect Aframe from aframe.io? Yes. Here are demos that work now directly in headsets and in the browser.
Mozilla has already released an iOS library (using ARKit) which allows experimenting with WebXR.
Mozilla has created an app using ARKit for iOS embodying the new standard.
NOTE: at present, the app is needed to do the test – no browser works with it (yet).
And here’s the download link for the WebXR Polyfill, which will work on the downloaded iOS app:
The WebXR is going to be a standard, and within a year we can expect all the browser manufacturers (except, ironically, Apple) to have WebXR working in their desktop and mobile versions.
Unlike Apple, Microsoft, like Mozilla has been pushing open standards for VR and AR on the web (Apple would like you to remain in closed native apps). A good example is the recent announcement of Simplygon, a cloud-based optimizing service for 3D models.
Now, this is really important for WebVR and AR sustainability. 3D models are very large, and a future VR / AR web will need massive optimization, even more than we do for images and libraries today. Optimization is a complex process, and this service moves things a bit closer to ordinary designers and developers creating 3D worlds, then optimizing them for “streaming VR” delivery.
A sample library on Github = http://github.com/pindiespace/webvr-mini. The file size for all the WebGL + WebVR is under 300k minified.
Josh Carpenter at AWWWARDS speaking about WebXR
https://github.com/immersive-web Immersive Web Community Group
(formally WebVR Comm Group)
People to know
Josh Carpenter Google Daydream, Ex-Mozilla Firefox. Started webVR in headsets
Brandon Jones Google (Built WebVR APIs four years ago)
Kevin Ngo @andgokevin https://www.supermedium.com/ formally of Mozilla, Aframe.io
Diego Marcos @dmarcos https://www.supermedium.com/ formally of Mozilla, Aframe.io
Tony Parisi Creator of VRML (1990s), Co-Creator of GLTF (jpg for 3D models) https://tonyparisi.wordpress.com/