While we’ve talked plenty about the power of WebXR—a standard which makes it possible to deliver VR experiences directly from web browsers—there hasn’t been a centralized destination to discover WebXR apps as users would expect from other content platforms. XR Swim is a new portal that aims to deliver just that.
Though one major point of WebXR is expressly to offer a way for developers to distribute VR apps easily without being stuck inside a walled platform, such platform storefronts have emerged as a key meeting point for developers making apps and customers who want them. Storefronts like those from Oculus and Steam serve to organize content so that consumers can browse heaps of content from a single, centralized location.
While some truly impressive WebXR apps already exist today, they can be extremely difficult to discover because they are literally a webpage among billions connected to the internet. If you don’t already know the name of what you’re looking for, there’s hardly a way to Google search for WebXR applications specifically.
That’s where XR Swim comes in. Smartly based in the browser itself (and with an easy to memorize URL, xrswim.com) the site is a centralized portal for finding WebXR experiences—it even has its own WebXR component which means you can browse and launch WebXR experiences in or out of VR.
XR Swim looks very similar to the kind of storefront you’d expect for finding apps from the VR platforms like Oculus and Steam, though it’s missing some expected features at the moment like the ability to leave reviews for content and a way for developers to accept payment.
More features are in the works though. As our friends at VRScout report, Chicken Waffle, the studio behind XR Swim, is planning to create a full-blown marketplace which will allow developers to charge for content. Granted, a method for paid access to WebXR apps (which are simply hosted as normal web pages accessible through a URL) will require thoughtful implementation.
For now, WebXR developers who would like to get their content onto XR Swim can submit information through the site’s Contribute page.