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MozVR (mozvr.com)
105 points by robin_reala on Nov 10, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 18 comments

Why the hardware restrictions and special browser build requirement? I'd like to play with this but don't have a Rift. Are there any plans for a slimmed down version like http://vr.chromeexperiments.com/ that can work with all the cheap plastic and cardboard phone mount headsets?

A quick PSA about all the cheap plastic and cardboard phone mount headsets from someone who has tried all of them: Slotting a random phone into a head mount is an easy path to a terrible introduction to VR. I'd liken it to watching a bootleg video of a concert on a phone. I'm not saying don't do it. Just don't judge the value of the concert experience or the VR experience based on what you get from that.

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.

The page says:

"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."

Thanks. I missed that somehow.

I'm not sure that the Web needs to be in VR.

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.

> I'm not sure that the Web needs to be in VR.

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.

The Web does not need to be VR. VR is another type of media with its own strengths. The Web has to be able to deliver it as it currently can deliver music, video or text content. One does not replace the other. The 2D traditional Web sites will still have its place. I believe that VR will be too important to let it be owned by a single company closed platform.

It's not that the web needs to be in VR, but that VR needs the web as a platform.

It's useful for low-fi demos of actual nice native stuff.

VR demands 90+ FPS with minimum latency and no dropped frames. God I hope browsers can someday meet that level of performance.

Totally doable if you eliminate the huge bottleneck caused by marshalling native types in JavaScript into the limited type system of XML (only strings and children).

For example, setting a CSS matrix3d transform on a DOM element currently involves taking a JavaScript array of 16 floats and stringifying it to set the element.style.transform. The browser then takes this string and parses it back into an array of floats. Eliminating these type marshalling shenanigans will make 90 fps far more achievable.

I'm continually surprised and disappointed by the dismissive and negative reactions that any VR work that isn't John Carmack complaining about Samsung receives in the developer communities like this one.

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.

Don't worry. If HN hates it, it's probably going to be important. :)

Are they using the non-free Oculus Rift SDK?

If so this is another example of just how little Mozilla understands its own mission.

I work at Mozilla. The VR browser APIs are designed to be hardware agnostic. If we link against the Oculus SDK is because the Rift is the only affordable HMD that is currently available.

"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."

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