The Firefox Reality browser is coming to Microsoft's HoloLens 2 later this year giving customers and the VR community more options for an open and free virtual web. Announced at Mobile World Congress 2019 the project signals a new level of cooperation and engagement between the two companies to help push virtual computing to the next level.
If you're not familiar with Firefox Reality, the project was announced in late 2018 as "a fast and secure browser from Mozilla that is designed for browsing the open web in Virtual Reality. We have collaborated with content creators from around the globe to provide easy access to amazing VR experiences that can be enjoyed directly from Firefox Reality."
The project aims to create a next-gen browser that works with VR and now augmented reality (AR) with HoloLens 2. From the Firefox press release:
We are excited to announce that we're working together with Microsoft to bring the immersive web to one of the most-anticipated Mixed Reality headsets in the market: HoloLens 2. Building on Microsoft's years of experience with the current HoloLens, we will work together to learn from developers and users about bringing AR content to the web.
Our Mixed Reality program at Mozilla is focused on bringing the best browsers, services, and tools for developers to ensure that users have a safe, private experience with open, accessible technology. Alongside our desktop and standalone VR browser efforts, this prototype of Firefox Reality for HoloLens vNext will ensure that the immersive web works for all users, regardless of which device they are on.
In the coming months, we will be working with the Rust community to bring the language and runtime that enable us to deliver a more secure experience to the HoloLens platforms. And we will then build on our previous work on AR headsets to bring our next generation web platform, Servo, to the HoloLens 2 when it is available this summer.
The teaming with Firefox is an exciting change from just a few months ago. Microsoft seemed to have given the cold shoulder to the browser giant by switching over to a Chromium-based browser for Windows 10 resulting in tersely worded response from the org about the importance of an open web.
Just like Windows 10 today Microsoft's vision of HoloLens 2 is that of open collaboration and giving people choices – including for browsers. Adding Firefox Reality to the mix is undoubtedly an excellent decision to help move the category forward.
We'll keep up on Firefox Reality for HoloLens 2 in the coming months as the project moves forward.