WebVr 101: What Is It And How Does It Work? - Empact Labs
mozilla, firefox, WebVR, VR, virtual reality, a-frame
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WebVr 101: What Is It And How Does It Work?

What is WebVR?

WebVR is an open standard that enables the user to create immersive 3D VR experiences on web. It provides an interface to the VR hardware like the head-mounted displays, position and motion sensors for building creative VR designs on web. WebVR and VR compatible browsers are the two essential components required for web applications to display content in virtual reality.

WebVR identifies the different VR devices being used, checks the device compatibility and capability and then renders graphical frames to produce VR content. WebVR is essentially a JavaScript API that requires support from VR compatible browsers like Firefox Nightly, Samsung Internet, Oculus Carmel, Chrome Beta and Microsoft Edge.

The WebVR API along with WebGL and Three.js is used to render content in virtual reality. The WebVR API documentation for v1.0 spec is still under development and is continuously updated. The WebVR API helps in detecting changes in the inputs and the viewing options in the user’s device. WebVR is a revolutionary initiative towards elucidating the process of developing and distributing virtual reality content on web.

Frameworks for WebVR: A-Frame

A-Frame is a web framework that can be used to build WebVR experiences. It is developed by the Mozilla VR team and is built over HTML and incorporates an “Entity-Component” architecture. To start building simple WebVR examples, one can implement easy-to-use HTML elements called “primitives” along with a A-Frame script. For starters, Glitch can be used as an online code editor for instant deployment and hosting of WebVR content.

For further development, the entity-component framework can be exploited along with JavaScript and DOM APIs to modify the entities and scenes. A unique feature of A-Frame is the Visual Inspector, a visual editor, to see visual effects of the tweaking elements.

Goocreate, JanusVR, Kokowa, PlayCanvas, and Sketchfab are the different projects that work in the field of WebVR.

Maithili Pannase
maithili@empactlabs.co
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