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Onboard the WebXR API

Last years have seen technologies bringing new Realities to the consumer market. At the beginning, it was all about Virtual Reality (VR), and then those last months saw the arrival of Augmented Reality (AR).

"Virtual Reality can take you anywhere, Augmented Reality can take anything to you"
- Clay Bavor, VP of Virtual and Augmented Reality at Google

The main browser vendors have been since in a working progress to make those technologies available to the world of browsers. 4 years ago saw the very first steps of the WebVR API, bringing access to the first VR headsets through the browser. Last months saw the upcoming of works bringing Augmented Reality to the table, making the WebVR API evolve into WebXR ("X" being "whichever Reality type you want"), merging the two existing technologies, and leaving the door open for new Realities.

You can read more in this article from the Mozilla Reality team.



How to create a WebXR experience

To create your experience, you can use one of the several frameworks or tools available. Here's a list of the most common ones.

Framework:

  • A-Frame: a very simple framework using HTML and Entity-Components. Ideal for beginners. Originally designed for VR only, you can also create AR experiences by using this library.
  • THREE.JS: this javascript library gives you more control on the experiences you create. To make sure your experience is compatible with every configuration, you can use the WebXR Polyfill.
  • React360: for those more used to the Facebook's library React, React360 should be easier to access.

Tools:

  • PlayCanvas: an open-source 3D game engine for the Web
  • Sumerian: an other 3D game engine focused on helping you create VR and AR experiences


How to test your experience

Once you've built your experience, there are many browsers you can use to check them out in the different Realities. Here's a complete list of the WebVR browsers you can use.

For the AR content, you can use the follwing browsers:



Useful articles

How to create:

Better understand the WebXR API: