Mozilla Launches Firefox Reality As World's First Dedicated Virtual Reality Web Browser

Mozilla is taking the web browser experience to the next level. Mozilla has just released Firefox Reality, the first dedicated VR web browser. The browser is free and available to download for Viveport, Oculus Go, and Google DayDream headsets.

firefox reality logo

This is the first web browser intended to be used entirely in a VR headset. Andre Vrignaud, Head of Mixed Reality Platform Strategy at Mozilla, remarked “We had to rethink everything, including navigation, text-input, environments, search and more... The result is a browser that is built for the medium it serves.” Users will be able to visit both 2D and 3D websites, engage with Firefox Reality exclusive content, and search the web using the VR hand controller or their voice. It was very important to the Firefox Reality creators that voice controls should be an option, because text searches are still rather awkward in VR.

The browser is built with the Firefox Quantum engine, which is reportedly twice as fast as previous iterations of Firefox and uses less memory than its competitors. It was crucial that a web browser for VR performs quickly and smoothly.

It is important to note that this is the first version of the web browser, so the Mozilla Firefox Reality team is welcoming feedback and content suggestions. They are particularly interested in working with those have built something for WebVR or those who have designed mixed reality headsets.

Other platforms have developed VR browser apps, but none have released anything quite like Firefox Reality. This past summer Google launched their Chrome browser app for VR headsets. The app includes many existing Chrome features as well as VR-specific experiences such as “cinema mode”.

firefox reality search

Mozilla’s latest browser may give them an edge in the VR market. Google’s app only works on the Daydream headsets, while Firefox Reality is available on multiple devices. Firefox Reality is still in its infancy, but unlike the Google Chrome app, it was designed from the “ground up to work on stand-alone virtual and augmented reality headsets.” It will be interesting to see whether Mozilla’s standalone VR browser will become the norm, or if developers will continue to create VR browser apps.