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Mozilla Launches iOS App to Experiment With WebAR – Road to VR

The Mozilla Foundation, the non-profit organization behind Mozilla Firefox web browser, just made their experimental WebXR Viewer app available for download on iOS devices, letting developers quickly experiment with web-based AR built with web technologies and ARKit.

According to a blogpost announcing the app, the WebXR Viewer lets you view web pages created using Mozilla’s own JavaScript library that features sample code for a proposed API for building AR and VR applications in web browsers. Mozilla maintains that developers using the app will be able to more easily test, demonstrate and share their web-based AR experiments.

image courtesy Mozilla

Blair MacIntyre, principle research scientist on Mozilla’s mixed reality team, says that code written with their JavaScript library can run both the iOS WebXR Viewer, as well as Google’s experimental WebARonARCore APK on Android. The team is also working to bring support to other AR and VR browsers too, including WebVR on desktop.

What about all this XR business?

MacIntyre says the various companies developing the WebVR API, including Google and Mozilla, recently decided to scrap the WebVR naming scheme in favor of ‘WebXR Device API’. MacIntyre says the name change was done to “reflect [a] broad agreement that AR and VR devices should be exposed through a common API.”

The term ‘XR’ has been defined a few ways by different companies looking to own the term, but whatever it means (eXtended reality, cross-reality, ‘x’ as a variable, etc), it essentially functions as a catch-all term for AR, VR, and MR.

You can download the WebXR Viewer for iOS on iTunes here. Just like ARKit, only devices capable of running iOS 11 or later need apply.

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