Browsing the web in VR is still a novel concept, but Mozilla on Thursday announced an update to Firefox Reality that should make it easier to access web content from your virtual reality headset.
Firefox Reality, the web browser built expressly to work with standalone virtual reality and augmented reality headsets, now syncs up with Firefox Accounts. That means you can send tabs from your phone or computer directly to your VR headset.
If you find 3D content online that you'd like to experience from your VR headset, you can click on "send to device" from a drop down menu in the Firefox address bar. Once you are wearing your headset and are in Firefox Reality, you can click on a button that will show you the saved tabs. You can also send tabs from your VR device to your other devices.
With Firefox Accounts synced up in VR, Firefox Reality users can also access their browsing history and bookmarks.
Launched last year, in September, Firefox Reality offers users a platform-neutral way to browse content in VR. Users can move between 2D websites and immersive web experiences. The VR browser gives users a choice to browse with a keyboard or by voice.
As Steve Ranger wrote for ZDNet in October, "VR and AR have been about five years away for at least two decades now." Yet in recent years, thanks largely to the smartphone, VR has become more viable in both business and consumer use cases. To develop into a mainstream technology, VR still has to overcome a number of challenges, including a lack of broad content.
While VR content is still sparse, Mozilla suggests that syncing up Firefox Accounts with VR could help give users the nudge they need to step up their exploration of immersive web experiences.
"No more waving the laser pointer around to type wonky URLs or trying retrace your steps back to that super funny site from yesterday," Mozilla product manager Janice Von Itter wrote in a blog post. These kinds of features, she added, can "make using VR a more seamless part of your everyday life."
In addition to adding access to Firefox Accounts, Firefox Reality users can now also copy and paste text and links. As with a mobile device, users press and hold to get a menu of choices.
The VR browser also now lets users type with a Bluetooth keyboard, if their device has Bluetooth capabilities. Lastly, Mozilla announced it's added six new languages and custom keyboards for Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch and Polish.