- Igalia, a free software consultancy, has stepped up to take ownership of developing the browser using the source code underlying Firefox Reality.
- Wolvic, the new VR/AR browser, will be available by next week.
Mozilla announced that it would be shutting its virtual and augmented reality web browser, Firefox Reality. It has been four years since the company launched the Firefox Reality VR browser for folks to view the web in mixed reality. The baton will now be passed over to an outside team that will re-launch it with a new name.
Igalia, a free software consultancy, will develop a browser on the lines of Firefox Reality next week with the goal to relaunch a comparable VR / AR browser called Wolvic. In the coming few weeks, Mozilla plans to pull down its Firefox Reality from the app store.
Relaunching of the app is part of a natural evolution for Firefox Reality, said Mozilla in a blog post. Considering the WebVR and WebAR standards, the firm said, “We’ve been at the forefront of developing new technologies. 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, an open-source developer firm, has previously worked with WebKit and Chromium open-source projects.
“The Firefox Reality project was created … to give users some choice and ensure that open and unlimited access to the web remains strong on these devices. These ideas are core to what we do at Igalia, so we’re thrilled to be able to carry the torch forward in leveraging that work to create a new browser, Wolvic,” Brian Kardell, Developer Advocate at Igalia, said in the Mozilla blog post.
The Firefox Reality VR browser is still available on the Meta Quest (formerly Oculus Quest) headset, the Pico standalone VR headset, HTC’s Viveport platform, and Microsoft’s HoloLens mixed reality headset. Apart from enabling users to browse traditional web pages in headsets, the portal also acts as an entry point to full-fledged web-based VR and AR experiences. The platform is often overlooked compared to native headset apps, but it offers a more open alternative to curated app stores. (Meta also offers its built-in web browser on the Quest.)
As antitrust watchdogs scrutinize Meta’s VR ambitions and companies across the tech industry invest in AR, Wolvic can bolster the viability of web-based mixed reality — assuming it stays active.