Microsoft announces expanded VR framework support for Edge

By: Matthew Adams
2 minute read
microsoft edge virtual browser

Virtual reality might still be the big thing in the gaming industry, but WebVR is also expanding the experience to the web. Microsoft has already introduced WebVR 1.1 API for the Edge browser and is now expanding on that with the release of EdgeHTML 16.

EdgeHTML 16 will be a part of October’s Windows 10 Fall Creators Update and will enable you to utilize Windows Mixed Reality headsets and motion controllers while browsing the internet with Edge.

Windows Mixed Reality is a new type of VR headset that includes a system of front-mounted cameras that incorporate real-world objects in its virtual world. The HoloLens was one of the first mixed reality headsets and is taking virtual reality to a whole new level.

The Acer Mixed Reality HMD is another WMR headset which also has an innovative motion controller. Samsung and Dell also have their own Windows Mixed Reality headsets designed for the Windows 10 platform. Perfect, too, as the Creators Update will coincide with the release of the first WMR headsets in October.

Microsoft announced an updated Edge’s WebVR 1.1 implementation with EdgeHTML 16 to support WMR motion controllers. This means that updated Windows 10 users can use their headsets and the motion controllers that come with it for virtual reality content in Edge, browsing the web in 2D and launching WebVR content with their WMR headsets and motion controllers.

In addition, BabylonJS, ReactVR, A-Frame and three.js are the WebVR frameworks adding support for WMR with current or upcoming releases. BabylonJS and A-Frame already fully support both the WMR headsets and motion controllers.

As such, Edge is the first browser to fully support WMR headsets. However, it’s not the only virtual reality browser. Firefox and Chromium, an open-source version of Chrome, already support the Oculus and Vive VR headsets.

You can also open WebVR content in Chrome for Android with the Daydream and Dashboard headsets. So, Firefox and Chromium users can already launch virtual reality content on WebVR enabled sites if you have one of those headsets.

Virtual reality is promising to add a whole new dimension to the web. The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will ensure Edge is one of the best VR browsers with which you can sample WebVR content with five Windows Mixed Reality headsets and their motion controllers.

For further details on the latest Creators update, check out this article.

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