After a long hard day of staring at a screen, I like to go home and unwind by staring at a screen. I recently bought myself something that has made my screen staring habits even easier. I bought myself an Oculus Quest.
The Oculus Quest is a standalone virtual reality (VR) headset. It allows me to enjoy the immersive fun of VR games. I can enjoy watching movies in my own private cinema, and I can socialize with people around the world. One thing I noticed immediately, however, is that there is a web browser on the Quest.
As a web developer, I spend a lot of time ensuring that the sites I build work consistently across different devices, yet I have never had to cater for a VR headset, and there is very little discussion surrounding CSS tweaks to accommodate such a platform. Does this indicate that VR browsing is not here to stay?
Not necessarily, the browser is built on Chromium, and uses many of the same rendering technologies, this meant that almost every site I visited appeared the same as they would on any other computer. VR browsing is special however, as it offers something that standard browsers do not, VR experiences.
Mozilla recently released a browser specifically for this, Firefox Reality. Looking at some of the demos on the homepage, I can see a wide variety of entertainment opportunities, ranging from documentaries to animated, interactive short stories.
In short, the answer to the question (in my view) is this: VR is not going to become the standard for day to day browsing, but it definitely isn’t going anywhere, and it is truly a web experience that you can’t find elsewhere.
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