HTC VIVE Teams Up With Mozilla and AWS to Bring Dedicated VR Web Browser to Market
Firefox Reality will become VIVE’s native VR browser, providing a safe and private experience for users.
Entertainment | Article
5 min read
HTC VIVE™, the leader in room-scale Virtual Reality (VR), announced a first of its kind collaboration with Mozilla’s Firefox, AWS’s Amazon Sumerian, and Fidelity Investments that will enable consumers to bring VR into their everyday life by providing an immersive web browsing experience in VR. Firefox Reality will become VIVE’s native VR browser, providing a safe and private experience for users.
To easily bring web content into VR, HTC Vive is also working with Amazon Web Services (AWS), whose Amazon Sumerian provides developers and companies toolsets to easily create and launch VR experiences. At CES, the first company to demonstrate on the new platform will be Fidelity Investments, which will enable consumers to review their portfolio in VR through a custom environment built for the new browser.
“We’ve set out this year to bring everyday computing tasks into VR for the first time,” said Michael Almeraris, Vice President of Partnerships and Content, HTC VIVE. “Through the collaboration with Mozilla and Amazon Web Services, we’re closing the gap in XR computing, empowering Vive users to get more content in their headset, while enabling developers and businesses to quickly create content for these consumers.”
Today, VR web browsing is cumbersome and difficult to navigate. HTC Vive turned to Mozilla’s Firefox to reimagine what a VR Web experience could be. This partnership enables a truly optimized browsing experience in VR for quick and easy searches, access to their favorite websites in VR for shopping, researching, surfing, watching videos and more. Firefox will be the default internet browser for Vive, Vive Pro and the upcoming VIVE Cosmos. “We’re excited to work with Amazon and HTC to ensure that the web is the best way to experience 3D content from the internet on the best VR devices in the market,” said Sean White, Chief R&D Officer, Mozilla. “We are bringing Firefox Reality to this platform to ensure that users have a safe, fast, and private experience on the next generation of hardware.”
As part of this relationship, HTC Vive is teaming up with Amazon Sumerian to bring true web VR to the market. Through this collaboration, HTC Vive developers will be able to create highly immersive, VR-optimized websites, without requiring specialized programming experience. Using Sumerian, developers can quickly concept, test and publish VR-optimized websites that are immediately available to internal testers, authenticated users, or for public use. In addition to VR sites, AWS and HTC plan to seamlessly integrate Sumerian with Viveport for publishing any VR experience to the platform, making them available to end users faster than previously possible.
“Many industries are adopting XR technologies for a wide range of uses, including training simulations, virtual concierge services, enhanced online shopping experiences, virtual tours, and more,” said Kyle Roche, General Manager, Amazon Sumerian, AWS. “Until now, creating realistic XR experiences required developers to have specialized programming skills and learn unique specifications and deployment procedures, adding complexity to the process. Together with HTC and Mozilla, we’re making it easier for developers to more quickly build and distribute VR applications using nothing more than a browser and a URL.”
To showcase the full potential of these collaborations, HTC Vive will host Fidelity Investments at their CES VR Showcase at the Wynn Hotel. The Fidelity Investments VR website prototype allows financial customers to immerse themselves in their investments via new data visualization tools and will allow for collaboration between users, such as a family member or a trusted advisor.
“At Fidelity, we’re committed to helping people live better financial lives, so we were excited to explore the capabilities of these new technologies,” said Adam Schouela, vice president of Product Management at Fidelity’s Center for Applied Technology. “The ability for an investor to collaborate with a family member or trusted advisor in a virtual environment opens up new possibilities for how consumers may interact with their finances in the future.”
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