back to article Mozilla rejects your reality and substitutes its own … browser for VR and AR goggles

Mozilla has decided the world needs a browser designed for augmented and mixed reality goggles. The browser-baker has named its new effort “Firefox Reality” and said its interest in an AR/VR/MR browser is inspired by the same reasons it makes Firefox: a belief the world needs an open-source browser to keep the web open. …

  1. ratfox

    To be honest, I would be really interested in seeing what could be done with a 3D interface to the web. We largely surf in 2D, but I can see no particular reason it has to be so.

    Of course, it might amount to nothing. On one hand, 3D games are legitimately a form of entertainment very different from 2D games. On the other hand, you don't really need VR or AR to have a 3D interface, so if there was something great to do in 3D, people would probably have thought of it already...

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: "We largely surf in 2D, but I can see no particular reason it has to be so"

      Well, there's the fact that words are kind of difficult to read if they are not presented in a 2D fashion that we can recognize, and there's still a lot more words on the Internet than there are videos. Making them 3D by adding depth to the characters is nice, but not at all useful.

      That said, I would also like to see a true 3D interface that does something other than just hovering a 2D interface "in space".

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Perhaps you are thinking of Minority Report ( or something more like Johnny Mnemonic ( Personally, I've always wanted to hack the Gibson (

    3. ThatOne Silver badge

      Right there with the special web browser for dogs & cats

      > I would be really interested in seeing what could be done with a 3D interface to the web

      Me too, because I can't imagine any really compelling use. The web (at least the one I use) is >90% text, which is much better viewed in 2D. Now you could make all those flat pages arrive spinning in 3D space to justify the 3D sticker, but is it really necessary? To me it sounds like just another solution looking for a problem.

      There is only one valid use case for VR/AR browsing I can see: Porn...

      1. DropBear

        Re: Right there with the special web browser for dogs & cats

        Are we back yet at "it's a Unix system, I know this"...? More prosaically, does anyone still remember VRML? From the era when people thought Second Life and its ilk is the Next Big Thing...? Do we need to go all the way back to Microsoft Bob...? Yes, I grok the great deal of mental comfort provided by using a familiar paradigm; unfortunately the concept of "things nicely laid out in 3D space" invariably turns out to be a much, much inferior paradigm to the ethereal alternative of "there is zero distance between any two object connected through a single click".

        In practice, 3D's superior storage density based on its extra dimension compared to 2D inevitably turns out to be an illusion as soon as we need to access any of it - a 2D surface is something humans can perceive and interact with in its entirety, while a true 3D one (that doesn't just decorate 3D walls with 2D windows) isn't; you can see all objects in a 2D matrix at a glance, but the first layer of a proper 3D matrix of objects would be obscuring everything behind it. And making everything transparent would just serve to confuse things even worse - I'll prefer a browser with thirty tabs any day over one with thirty windows overlaid on top of (or behind) each other. The specific relation between each object and all the others that 3D seeks to preserve and express simply doesn't exist in the amorphous world of ones and zeros.

        IMHO as long as we are attempting to replicate things from the real world in the form of VR (or especially if we are attempting to pull data out onto the real world AR-style) 3D does make sense in computing - but as soon as we start dealing with abstract concepts related to pure-data-in-a-box, 3D immediately becomes more of a hindrance than an advantage regardless of how attractive it may seem at first glance.

  2. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Isn't this how Windows 10 with hololens presents a normal desktop window anyway?

  3. Crisp

    Anything has to be an improvement on the Samsung VR browser

    I want massive widescreen browsing!

  4. Baldrickk

    Making use of space

    I have to admit, I was expecting to see something along the lines of separating the tabs out and arraying them out in space - allowing you to grab the one you wanted to look at, wave it around etc like you might do with multiple tablets, all showing different websites if you had them in real life.

    More than just a projected screen which might as well be a standard desktop browser.

  5. JohnFen


    I just don't understand Mozilla anymore.

    1. DropBear

      Re: *sigh*

      It's not really complicated though. "What can we possibly do next to delay slowly sliding even further into irrelevance? Quick, throw some fashionable buzzwords at me...!"

  6. Bucky 2

    I remember the 90s

    Yay! VRML! I knew its day would come!

  7. doublelayer Silver badge

    Why do all the companies think we want VR everywhere?

    It seems as if every company has some type of VR system in the works or deployed. Other than games, I can't see much of a reason for it. Sure, you could probably do an efficient workload with simulated workstations instead of a lot of real ones, but that's just a display technology, not really VR. I like reality--if the thing I need is there, then I can use it, and if the thing I need isn't there, then I need to go get it. Pretending that it's there only works if I can successfully pretend to use it, which basically only works for interfaces to things that are smaller than the interface we want to simulate. Most such interfaces just include a small screen where the controls are put and we deal with that pretty well or we buy the other version that has the standard controls as traditional. I'll be charitable and say that that is a good use case, despite my doubts. Other than those two, is there any other reason to spend time and money on making more VR stuff?

    1. JohnFen

      Re: Why do all the companies think we want VR everywhere?

      For the same reason that all those television manufacturers convinced themselves that everyone wanted 3D TVs: companies are trying to create something that will be their new cash cow. Apparently, computer companies have decided that will be VR and/or AR.

      It's pretty clear, though, that VR/AR are niche technologies, not technologies that are likely to see broad adoption. In certain use cases, they're great. However, they aren't something the the majority of people will clamor for.

  8. GIRZiM


    If that's the extent of their vision, it's not even stillborn but miscarried already.

    When browsing in VR means I find myself moving from environment to environment, it'll be interesting: when I can stand in the middle of the holodancers in the music vid and join in, jump off the yacht onto the Galapagos island in the wildlife program I just browsed to, get a hands-on demo of the guitar in the advert that popped up just before the SF film/movie I'm about to watch from the deck of the Star Cruiser in the opening sequence then yeah, there'll be something innovative to shout about.

    Until then it's just a shortcut to the 2D app that saves me the trouble of taking the goggles/glasses off to use it, nothing new or innovative.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge

      Re: Holodeck

      > when I can stand in the middle of the holodancers in the music vid and join in

      This would require that the program you view has been built for that feature, and that won't happen because it means lots of additional cost for no additional profit.

      I remember in the beginning of the DVD (or Blue-ray?) one of the marketing blurbs was something along the lines of "you can interactively switch cameras and view the action from a different viewpoint"... Have you met one DVD/BD allowing this? Of course not, because it would cost money to shoot everything with additional cameras (not to mention the special effect issues).

      So no, immersion in anything but games specially made for immersion is not going to happen, at least not in a large, commercial scale, no matter what the peddlers of VR/AR stuff try to tell us.

      1. GIRZiM

        Re: Holodeck

        Yeah, sadly, I fear that that's about as good as it'll get as well.

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