Firefox Reality axed as Mozilla gives up on VR browser

Mozilla has announced that Firefox Reality, the VR-based web browser it released in 2018, is being shuttered...sort of. According to the company, a version of the browser will live on as Wolvic, a new product from Igalia. The new browser will launch next week and Mozilla's Firefox Reality app will be pulled from stores at around the same time.

Firefox Reality is a browser designed to make the Internet accessible within VR environments. An Oculus user, for example, can use Firefox Reality to browse web pages while wearing the VR headset. The browser includes some robust features, including voice search and support for 360-degree videos. Overall, the app is a great tool for VR enthusiasts, but one that will no longer remain as part of Mozilla's software catalog.

What users should expect

According to Mozilla, it has passed the technology behind Firefox Reality over to Igalia, which describes itself as an "open source consultancy." The group recently introduced Wolvic, its new browser that, according to Igalia, will focus on "picking up where Firefox Reality leaves off."

Wolvic is based on the Firefox Reality browser's source code, Mozilla explains. Igalia has dropped a few additional details, including that it has "secured partial funding over the next two years" — though, it notes, the group still hopes to find some new partners.

Among other things, Igalia says it'll initially focus on standalone VR and other "extended reality" systems that are AOSP-based, which would include popular products like the HTC Vive Focus and Oculus. Going forward, however, it also aims to work with major companies in the market to bring Wolvic to their respective platforms, with Lenovo and Qualcomm mentioned.

Wolvic will launch next week "still in a somewhat beta phase," according to Igalia, meaning users may run into bugs at times. Firefox Reality, meanwhile, will be removed from app stores "in the coming weeks."