Supporting HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, Supermedium is a new, fully VR browser from the creators of VR web framework ‘A-Frame’ and part of the original Mozilla team behind the WebVR initiative. Available to download on Supermedium’s website, the browser aims to become the new home for lightweight, fast-loading, web-based VR experiences.

There are several VR-enabled browsers already available, but these are often used to access traditional 2D webpages, something that is not currently possible with Supermedium. For now, it only links to curated sites, and the team plans to expand the number of bookmarks rapidly over the coming weeks. Support for traditional URL entry is also planned, which will make sense once more sites “adhere to best practices for WebVR,” as the team explains in their opening blog post.

This VR-first approach could open the floodgates to VR experiences not found through content stores, either due to their tiny size, or their questionable ‘value’ or subject matter. Nobody wants to search the Steam or Oculus stores and install an app for the VR equivalent of a funny GIF, for example, and of course, the open web offers the least-sheltered environment for content discovery. The beauty of web-based VR is that is operates with standard web technologies such as WebGL, WebVR, and Javascript, with no installation and no publishers.

“The Web breathes freshness and diversity into the VR content ecosystem,” writes the team in their blog entry. “A VR site could be a bite-sized meme, a low fidelity game, a small store, a wedding page, an educational outing quickly thrown together for some students, or something taboo. Experiences that would otherwise not make it past the app store standards. With the Web, everything is permitted.”

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The trial version of Microsoft’s Monster Truck Madness probably had something to do with it. And certainly the original Super Mario Kart and Gran Turismo. A car nut from an early age, Dominic was always drawn to racing games above all other genres. Now a seasoned driving simulation enthusiast, and former editor of Sim Racer magazine, Dominic has followed virtual reality developments with keen interest, as cockpit-based simulation is a perfect match for the technology. Conditions could hardly be more ideal, a scientist once said. Writing about simulators lead him to Road to VR, whose broad coverage of the industry revealed the bigger picture and limitless potential of the medium. Passionate about technology and a lifelong PC gamer, Dominic suffers from the ‘tweak for days’ PC gaming condition, where he plays the same section over and over at every possible combination of visual settings to find the right balance between fidelity and performance. Based within The Fens of Lincolnshire (it’s very flat), Dominic can sometimes be found marvelling at the real world’s ‘draw distance’, wishing virtual technologies would catch up.
  • Lucidfeuer

    Hum…it’s a shame it doesn’t bring any added-value, there are already few “Browser for VR-sites” even on mobile, like Carmel.

    I’m still waiting for a full-blown actual optimised “VR browser”, with anti-tracking, VPN and secure features, especially on mobile since there are already legions of ways to do it on PC.

    • Firestorm185

      Honestly after spending an hour or two in it it seems less like a fully-fledged browser and more like a web-vr experience loader with hand-selected content.
      Was really wishing for something with a wider scope than an app-launcher.

      • Thanks for trying! This is only the very initial release. We start with curation to ensure a quality experience. You might imagine there are a lot of poor experiences out there. But we’ll quickly provide access to hundreds of more sites, and then ability to input URLs to wherever you want to go. Please check back later!

        • Firestorm185

          You’re welcome! Yeah, I figured it was something like that. Overall I like the layout and the way you can load things, just can’t wait for url input. ^^ Also, while we’re here, the touch controllers are always off a little bit from where they are in real life, even after re-callibrating. It’s nothing huge since they still work, it’s just something I noticed. ^^

    • Hey, thanks for the feedback. There aren’t any VR-first browsers for Vive/Rift (and soon Windows) headsets, especially a single browser that works on all three platforms. There are “VR-ready” browsers where the browsing experience is 2D and you need to jump back and forth from headset to 2D browser window.

  • josh

    Right when you open the app there is a chat box that directly connects you to the Devs, who respond to your feedback instantly. Which tells me that this product will improve a lot as time goes on.

  • Joseph Cathey

    Was a huge fan of A-frame when it launched and still recommend it to people all the time. Signed on here to say thank you to Kevin and team for giving us such incredible tools! Can’t wait to try Supermedium!

    • Sheri

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      • Pissoff


  • RJH


    • We just added the changes to support WMR. But we need to push an update to the browser so expect it tomorrow.

      Though you have to go through SteamVR with WMR so it’s a bit finnicky to set up, and some VR sites might not support it yet as it’s fairly new.

  • WebXR is the future, for sure.