Tony Parisi has a vision of the Metaverse that’s built on top of the open web with technologies like WebGL and three.js. Currently there are a lot of limitations and issues with latency that he believes will eventually be solved with browsers adding USB API support to be able to communicate directly to Virtual Reality HMDs like the Oculus Rift as well as all of the new different types of input devices for VR.

tony_parisiHe talks about the Oculus Bridge by Instrument as a way to connect the Rift up to 3D content from a web browser.

Since the recording of this podcast at SVVRCon, Mozilla has also released a native app that serves as a VR API to that can communicate directly with a VR HMD. Here’s a good tutorial for getting started Mozilla’s VR API. Google’s Brandon Jones has a nice Quake 3 demo made with WebGL that you can use to test it out.

Tony recognizes that doing work for the open web is not an easy process, and there are a lot of challenges to it. He sees that there will be a lot of innovation and figuring out of the VR medium with proprietary tools like Unity. But he thinks that Unity’s popularity will be a short-term phenomena, and that even though there is a lot of warts on the open web’s approach at the moment that in the long-run it’ll be more popular and the chosen path for creating a vibrant and open Metaverse based upon the lessons of the Internet and open web.

Reddit discussion here.

TOPICS

  • 0:00 – Intro. Founded Visi. Building VR apps. Part of VRML group to connect VR in an interconnected way.
  • 0:40 – How do you see VR spreading on the web? WebGL and graphics cards enable making immersive environments with JavaScript. There will be new input devices, and sees that it will all eventually be supported by the open web.
  • 1:36 – Existing plug-ins (at the time of SVVRCon). Oculus Bridge WebGL does stereo rendering for the browser. Desktop app that talks to the VR HMD. A bit of additional latency. Instant reality browser extension, but requires extension installation. Prefers downloading an app
  • 3:45 – Uses open source toolkit three.js, so he didn’t have to write his own engine on top of WebGL. Most support behind it. Built a layer on top of three.js Visi Toolkit
  • 4:57 – Used three.js plug-in with the Rift? Had to use the Oculus Bridge to connect it.
  • 5:52 – Fragmentation into native apps with mobile and the future of the open web with all of these native apps? Believe in open technology, but it comes with a certain price. It gets harder with committees and group design. People go with tools like Unity to get the job done, but currently requires a plug-in and will eventually get compatibility with the open web. More people doing cross-platform HTML5 development now. Open web is the longer path, but perhaps be more successful in the long-run. Proprietary solutions will be popular at first, but has faith in the open web
  • 9:33 – Unity vs. the Open Web. Unity’s popularity will only last a couple of years until the open web comes along
  • 10:45 – Deal with latency issues with VR HMD. At some point browsers will adopt USB APIs to talk to VR HMDs
  • 11:50 – Like VR because virtual worlds give people a more creative medium to build beautiful experiences

Theme music: “Fatality” by Tigoolio

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