Microsoft has announced plans to bring support for WebVR to Edge, which succeeds Internet Explorer as the default web browser in Windows 10.

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WebVR, which is currently a draft web specification in development by Mozilla, Google, and others, aims to allow seamless hosting and viewing of VR content directly from the web. Microsoft is now committed to implementing the specification into Edge, the company announced on their official blog. Edge will join Chrome, Firefox, and Opera, browsers which are all actively working to make WebVR a default part of their feature set.

3D content on the web like Sketchfab already supports WebVR, allowing you to view scenes inside a VR headset (provided you’re using a special development build of a supported browser) with the click of a button.

WebVR leverages WebGL, a broadly supported API for rendering 3D content inside of web browsers. The goal of WebVR is to create a direct connection between VR headsets and the browser, enabling seamless, high-performance VR content to be experienced right inside of a website.

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer earned a bad reputation as significantly trailing modern browsers in performance and web standards compatibility. As modern browsers like Firefox and Chrome began significant emphasis on performance and innovation, Internet Explorer’s market share tanked, taking it from a significant lead to a distant third place.

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Edge is Microsoft’s Internet Explorer reboot, and appears to be focusing on correcting many of the criticisms of the past, with greater emphasis on web standards support, simplicity, and performance. The company’s announcement of forthcoming WebVR support in Edge is a reflection of this, showing that the browser wants to remain on the cutting edge along with its contemporaries. Meanwhile, Apple’s Safari browser is now the only major browser not known to have WebVR support in development.

Edge also happens to be the browser which runs on the Xbox One. One far-future possibility is that the Xbox version of Edge could also add support for WebVR, possibly making Microsoft’s console the first to support WebVR, which could jive with the company’s future plans for VR on Xbox.

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  • Good to know that. If WebVR will increase its users’ base, more engines (Unity?) will support creation of VR-enabled web content and that could be very cool… because this will mean e.g. to make possible the creation of VR-minigames that don’t need you to install an app, but simply go to a website

    • DiGiCT Ltd

      Unity already dropped their webplugin since 5.4
      They go for webGL instead, also UE4 already has webgl.

      • I know that… but I can’t do a Cardboard app using it. I can only do a 3D standard app. I want to do VR witha webgl

        • Daniel Gochez

          You can make a cardboard app using unity and webgl, but the performance is for now unaceptable, we ended up having to use Three.js

          • Read about Three.js too, but we’d prefer to use Unity for everything… hope that with Daydream, things will get better

        • DiGiCT Ltd

          Cardboard is imho only good as a viewer.
          I played around with those kinda stuff before too.
          If you seriously want to develop for mobile you should put all your effort on the upcoming “google daydream” platform.
          The biggest issue with cardboard is that you have no control over the end users phone and they all have different specs and sensors.
          Daydream ready devices will fulfill a standard specs so it will work on all of them.
          Webbased apps for VR are still too early too as it lacks performance and features, you will hit limitations too.
          Native apps always perform better.

          Hope this help you.

  • WyrdestGeek

    Good.

  • leadingonesvr

    Free Vive Development Tutorials at
    leadingones.com

  • Took them long enough.

  • R G Oden Jr

    One question they are not really talking about is what the power req. is going to be. You can have everything else running fine and if your PSU can’t take the load you just wasted your time and money.