With the Gear VR, Samsung proved that smartphone hardware is capable of delivering a quality VR experience. But to do make it work, Samsung and Carmack had to work together to make serious modifications to the core of Android's kernel and driver stack. To my knowledge, no other mobile device has anything close to a workable software environment.
"We are using the Rift as our initial test and development device, but are committed to device-agnostic Web VR, with support for additional devices coming soon."
We've somewhat regressed from even having a set of properly hyperlinked 2D documents; I don't think that adding a third dimensions is going to automatically make things better.
I imagine that the true usefulness will be in having clients with larger working envelopes and virtual spaces to present things. I don't think chat will take off significantly.
It'll be fun as hell watching things evolve, though.
Don't think of it as "the Web in VR". Think of it as "VR in the Web".
I don't think the web should be in audio. Hyperlinked 2D documents don't get better when you put them in sound streams ;) But, having audio in the Web is really nice!
The Web is the discovery/distribution channel. The fact that it is also possible to wedge hyperlinked 2D documents into a VR environment is incidental.
Coming in and dismissing out of hand the great work a small group of volunteers at Mozilla and other places are doing because you read somewhere you needed a million FPS to avoid constantly vomiting is... I don't know what it is. Short-sighted. Close-minded. Ignorant.
Yes, lower latency and higher frame rate is always better. That doesn't mean that the current state isn't good enough for people who claim to be "visionary" and "early adopters" to get in on the ground floor and start working on some cutting edge software. You said you wanted to be an innovator? Here you go. Here's your chance.
You want to know why Google Cardboard exists? So you can get working on developing VR applications now, for basically free, if you can't afford the money or wait time for an Oculus Rift DK2. Of course nobody is suggesting you duct tape a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 to your head and call that done. They're suggesting that maybe we try to make VR as inclusive as possible, even for people who can't afford the full kit or are reticent to invest in something they don't understand yet.
I like my DK2 and I like my cellphone in a cardboard box. The DK2 is more comfortable, smoother, and looks better, no doubt. The box lets me walk around and is a hell of a lot easier to get setup. The box has GPS and a camera built into it already. The box let me work on design ideas long before my DK2 even made it out of the shipping gate. All of my software will support both, and will support falling back to 2D displays. That's just good UX: be accessible.
No, this isn't production-ready work yet. Best estimate anyone has is that a consumer-grade headset will be actually ready sometime next year. That gives us a little time to try to build the software blocks from scratch. I'm sorry the community doesn't have VRBootstrap ready to go for you lower-class glue developers to be able to slap together a disruptive, social coupons app in VR yet.
I think Oculus is doing great work and I'm grateful for what they have already done. But have you ever stopped to think that maybe they have an interest in encouraging a perception that they're the only company in the world worth bothering for VR hardware?
Have a spirit of adventure already. I got motion sick with my DK2 once because I had my axes backwards (incidentally, my cardboard box has never made me motion sick, but that's a different issue entirely). Is that Oculus Rifts fault? Am I never going to touch it again? Has it in any way changed my opinion or enthusiasm about VR? Ridiculous questions.
You work on electronics, sometimes you burn your hand with the soldering iron. You cook, sometimes you cut your finger with the kitchen knife. Sometimes things take more than a weekend hackathon to finish developing. Suck it up and get back to work.
And quit knocking on the efforts of others who are working on this stuff just because you're too scared to put on the goggles.
If so this is another example of just how little Mozilla understands its own mission.