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Dip Your Virtual Toes into WebVR

Wednesday Oct 26th 2016 by Gigi Sayfan

The main draw of WebVR is that it lets gazillions of Web developers take advantage of their experience, skills and tools to develop VR applications and content that will be broadly available.

Virtual reality is here and many companies are working on VR devices, SDKs, content and frameworks. But, true presence and immersion requires high-end equipment at the moment. It will be several more years until really immersive VR is affordable and ubiquitous. In the mean-time, developers must work with today's limitations and constraints. One of the most interesting initiatives is WebVR. It seems to have a lot of support and can be used today for displaying VR content in the browser.

The main draw of WebVR is that it lets gazillions of Web developers take advantage of their experience, skills and tools to develop VR applications and content that will be broadly available. Facebook recently announced it has plans for ReactVR and the Carmel VR browser. The A-Frame project is built on top of three.js and allows you render VR content today. The major browser vendors are all aware of the promise of VR and are taking steps to enable it in their browsers.

It is rare to see the whole industry (or even different industries) aligned and collaborating early on open standards and, in general, taking the right steps to ensure this innovation reaches each and every person sooner rather than later. I'm very excited to see these developments. The matrix may be just 10 years away. You may be overjoyed or terrified, but don't be surprised. As far as alternatives to WebVR, many developers use the Unity game engine, which has good integration with VR SDKs and devices. The skill set and expertise to develop on Unity is not as ubiquitous among developers as Web development skills. I highly recommend that you check out those technologies and dip your toes in virtual reality.

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