Pragmatic WebVR

Sandy Ressler (NIST) 


with Emily Hobby & Paul Armstrong

(2017 summer SURF students)


  • VR on the Web
  • Types of Viz
  • Technique Issues

The Web

The Web

  • Distribution
  • Authoring


  • Web browser & URL
  • boom we're done!
    • (not quite yet but soonish)

mad productivity of A-Frame

Why is A-Frame good?

  • Works with Web infrastructure
  • Not overly prescriptive
  • Highly interoperable
  • Highly/easily extensible (components)
    • remember VRML protos?


  • Existing non-graphics tools can be used for graphics!
  • It's all HTML and the DOM down there
  • aframe Inspector; CodePen; browser debugger's

Types of Visualizations

  • Traditional Computer Graphics
  • 360 degree images or videos
  • Hybrid (CG in a video world)

Traditional Computer Graphics

Interactive Scanning Tunneling Microscope and Facility

360 degree images and video

Visiting the NIST Library - Virtually

Hybrid CG and 360 images

Now that's ridiculous!

Technique Issues

  • Immersive in app
  • Immersive in Web
  • Desktop (non-immersive) but usable
    • alternates to controller devices
  • UI issues - selection and navigation
    • teleporting, sphere worlds, WASD
    • Boris Smus’s new Ray.js
  • "On the Declarative Immersive Web" Josh Carpenter@Google 

Menu attached to controller (hand) aka tiltbrush

Getting Around and Pointing at Stuff

  • navigation
  • selection


  • teleporting
  • spheres to worlds
  • portals


  • grab with virtual hand
  • raycast beam
  • shoot something

Don't Get Caught up in the Hype


Developing with helmet on

peeking out from under helmet

using the keyboard

using the mouse


Annoying Stuff

Using real hardware makes a difference

It looks simple and easy to use, but...

Where's the damn keyboard?


  • Physical hardware
    • Vive
    • Rift
    • Gear
  • Development Framework
    • aframe
    • Unity
  • For WebVR
    • Browser support

EleVR -

Good Resources

Thanks for your attention


applause (now :-)

Pragmatic WebVR

By Sandy Ressler

Pragmatic WebVR

SIGGRAPH 2017 BOF presentation

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