#81: Josh Carpenter on WebVR & upcoming VR experiments from Mozilla including collaborative web browsing with TogetherJS

Josh Carpenter is a VR researcher at Mozilla looking to see how to combine the best of the web with what the VR communications medium can offer. Mozilla lead the effort to release a WebVR API in June and it’s supported in Firefox as well as Chrome.

josh-carpenterMozilla is trying to answer what makes a great web experience in VR by doing a number of research experiments that they will be releasing sometime in late October or early November.

They’re trying to answer the question of “What’s the strength of VR on the web?” They want to move beyond just adding more screen real estate and look to the “Jobs-To-Be-Done theory” for insights about what people are actually trying to get from the Web. They want to learn, socialize and be connected, and so they’re thinking about what it means to connect to a friend or look up a piece of information in VR. Some of their experiments are more transient VR experiences via the web, some are more integrated social aspects, and they’re also looking at mash-ups of the web and VR.

Josh talks about building out collaborative browsing experiences with tools like WebRTC real-time communication and TogetherJS for collaborative browsing and chat. They’ve also been working with the directors of ROME: “3 Dreams of Black” on a new VR experience.

Josh is seeing a lot of interesting things happen in the JanusVR community in that if you give people easy syntax and tools to create VR experiences with a low barrier to entry, then people will create a variety of VR experiences. He’s also interested in tracking the progress of mixing the web in social spaces with AltSpaceVR and some of the video experiments by the eleVR team.

Finally, he talks about the support for WebVR for Safari and Internet Explorer, and what he sees as some of the educational possibilities and ultimate potential of creating the metaverse from the foundational components of URLs, View Source and APIs.

Theme music: “Fatality” by Tigoolio