Position Statement for Justin Rogers – Software Engineer on Oculus WebVR
For over 11 years I focused on the evolution of interoperability, security and performance of the Web Platform working on the Microsoft Edge team. With the standardization of WebVR a new job vertical has opened up in the Browser stack to make existing web technologies VR ready and VR capable. As a member of the Oculus WebVR team I’m now working to deeply integrate our advanced VR rendering technologies into existing and future browsers. My focus is on overcoming hard VR problems that are believed to be adoption blockers for consumer VR and content creators.
I have two topics in mind for the workshop. The first topic is the role of browser UX in the adoption of VR. As we don the HMD and are removed from our surrounding workspace and placed into new worlds, how do we overcome the input loss of a keyboard and mouse yet still continue to have the productive experiences that we have daily on the web. For this to work the browser is responsible for creating new boundaries of user trust and transparently switching the user between traditional and VR content. They need to do so securely and with confidence that they are interacting with a trustworthy site. This will entail rethinking how we share domain information, certificate UX and how to give users more information when they want it.
The second topic is on the necessity and design of both Browser and Framework technologies that help existing websites, visible to billions of users, slowly engage and catapult users into VR through upsell experiences. A huge barrier to entry is the relatively low usage of WebGL across the web today, so embedding more WebGL experiences into existing pages will make the technology more prevalent and therefore more ready for the eventual switch over to pure VR/3D experiences. Additional ideas would be around meta-data and hints that the Browser can listen for in order to provide some level of VR even if the website is a traditional 2D page..
Another topic that I think is front of mind for people that I would not want to lead is the repackaging of web technologies into a more focused VR content platform. Taking the core technologies that allow web developers to bring their content experience has been critical for the success of other technologies such as Node.js. Is there a similar Repackaging for VR that makes sense? The goals of the technology would be to constrain the available APIs to a subset of what is available to your average web page today in the hopes the final form would allow for additional VR based optimization that can’t be achieved with our existing core technologies.