What's it All About

Sandy Ressler - NIST

Web3D 2015, Crete Greece, June 2015

Slides at: http://slides.com/sressler/webvr#/


  • VR - Hardware
  • Web browser software
  • Use cases
  • Integration
  • Authoring Tools
  • Production Chain

WebVR - Simply Put

  • It's about the Web
  • It's about Virtual Reality (VR)
  • most about integrating the two together


  • What's the big fracking deal??
  • The Web is the greatest information dissemination tool ever created
  • VR plays to the strength of human perception
  • Combining the two is natural

Virtual Reality

It's Back Baby!

In the Beginning

Jaron Lanier (circa 1990)

For the Home 1993

VR Hype

  • Training
  • Medicine
  • Military (HMDs)
  • Games
  • too expensive
  • actual experience did not meet hyped expectations
  • just not that good
  • low resolution, lag time, simulator sickness


Why The Collapse?

Now (2015) Lots of Money (Companies)

  • Facebook - Oculus ($2B)
  • Google - Cardboard (free-ish) and MagicLeap ($500M investment
  • Microsoft - Hololens (AR)
  • Apple - just bought AR Metaio (& hired Doug Bowman)

VR Hardware

VR Hardware


Lots of Stuff Strapped on Your Head

  • Display
  • Input Tracker
  • Headphones

THIS is a lot for your head!

Only $400,000

almost Free!

Genius of using cellphones

  • HUGE audience
  • Sensors work just fine for orientation
  • Camera gives you AR possibilities
  • "What's the best VR device" - the one you already have!

Google Cardboard is VR's Gateway Drug" - David Pierce, Wired

Input is a Bitch!

Stereo is Hard

  • Projections matter
  • Eye spacing (pupil distance - IPD)
  • Single view not quite right for all viewers
  • Vertical field of view
  • Synthetic versus image based scenes

Touch Me Touch Me


Web Browser  Software

Web Browser Software

Native Support

  • Firefox Nightly Builds
  • ChomeVR 

WebVR - Vladimir Vukicevic (Mozilla) slideset


X3DOM Support

  • Oculus
  • Leap
  • computes the left and right eye views

Software - 360 Video Players

  • eleVR
  • 360Heros
  • vrideo
  • YouTube

Software - 360 Video Players

Software - CG Players

  • Sketchfab
  • AutoDesk 123D
  • Unity 

VR Hackathon's

Mike Aratow,

Damon Hernandez

Use Cases

Use Cases





  • Facebook
  • High Fidelity

Mark Zuckerberg on Oculus Aquisition (2014)

Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or conulting with a doctor face-to-face –just by putting on goggles in your home.

This is really a new communication platform. By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.

These are just some of the potential uses. By working with developers and partners across the industry, together we can build many more. One day, we believe this kind of immersive, augmented reality will become a part of daily life for billions of people.




Native Browser Support

Oculus taking the Games Track - Good/Bad

  • Games the leading application for $$$
  • Easily explained
  • Doesn't address more difficult and important applications
    • therapy
    • training/education
    • metaverse - large scale

Authoring Tools

Authoring Tools

Traditional General Tools

Specific VR Tools

stereo IPD

spatialized audio


file management

Kolor - (just purchased by GoPro)

Production Chain

Production Chain

Ad Hoc

  • specialized tools
  • loose connections
    • (export/import functionality)
  • semantics get lost
  • difficult to make change downstream


  • http://math.nist.gov/~SRessler/webvr.html
  • Mozvr: http://mozvr.com/
  • webvr.info

The Future: Light Fields

  • http://home.otoy.com/
  • Individualized Stereo and parallax
  • Travel

And In Conclusion...

  • 3D graphics is ubiquitous and supported
  • big win to leverage web development infrastructure
  • tempting to create proprietary apps
  • browser vendors are on-board (Chrome, Firefox)
  • hardware is rapidly being created
  • leverage the cell-phone
  • standards will initially be de-facto (and that's ok/pragmatic)

Thanks for Listening!

WebVR What's it All About

By Sandy Ressler

WebVR What's it All About

WebVR for Web3D 2015

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