The Web Witch's Blog

Exploring the Immersive Web with Wolvic

When I was interviewing for a role with Microsoft Edge in early 2016, I got to my final interview in the loop and I can still remember sitting across from my soon-to-be manager when he asked about the future of the web.

HoloLens had been announced, so I must have had that in my mind because I answered with a question.

"What if you could crawl into a web page?" And began to describe what it would look like to crawl into a news article to be immersed in a visual representation of the story you were reading.

I got the job and joined the land of browser work and discovered an entire career path that changed my life. I didn't do anything with browsers in VR while I was at Microsoft.

Eight years later, I powered on a Meta Quest 3 in my little home office, fumbled through the setup, downloaded Igalia's open source browser Wolvic and crawled in a browser. Jhey was outside when I was suddenly immersed in a browser cityscape and very loudly exclaimed, "holy shit" and laughed.

I entered an art exhibition and then crawled into a painting. Exploring art in the 3D. "This is so cool." And that's what I kept repeating.

Hello Wolvic #

So, why exactly do I have an XR headset, and what does this have to do with your career? One of the projects I am slowly ramping up on at Igalia is Wolvic. Wolvic used to be Firefox Reality but Igalia took over stewardship of the project in 2022 and have been working on developing it since. It's the only open source browser available on several devices.

From a product perspective, this is a really cool space for me to flex some product management chops and think about user growth and how to make getting started with Wolvic easier. Then there's the project management side of things and finding partnerships for companies interested in developing the browser.

What could you use a VR headset for? #

I was sharing my first experience with my friends and one of them works for a telecommunications company. "I spend so much time in Google Earth exploring and drawing lines on maps between points. It would be pretty fun to do in VR."

That sounds pretty practical to me. Being "in" a view is completely different from viewing something on your normal computer monitor.

I'm pondering all the different use cases now, things I'd never thought of before. It's pretty cool.

Immersed in the Web #

I am sure I will be blogging more about Wolvic and building an XR browser. I'm excited to explore this space...a space I imagined eight years ago. It feels a little full circle and that's pretty neat for me.

Wolvic is Open Source & if you're interested in helping to fund the project or use it, here are a few links:

You can download Wolvic from the Meta App store. It's also available on Pico & Huawei devices.

If you're an XR developer, please let us know if you have any feedback for Wolvic. You can follow the project on GitHub.

More to come but for now I just wanted to say....this is SO freaking cool. Stay tuned for some posts and videos on YouTube.

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