WebVR: The Building Blocks of WebVR Applications

Find out about three APIs needed to build an immersive experience. Explore recommended frameworks to help you write your 3D applications faster, and learn about controller support.

In this episode, we talk about the basics to create a WebVR application. I'm your host Alexis Menard, and I'll help you get started with WebVR and the building blocks required to create an immersive experience. This is WebVR.

To build an immersive experience on the web, you need three APIs—an API to run your 3D content, an API to access the controllers, and an API to access VR specific capabilities. WebVR doesn't do the rendering for you. You need a platform where you can create your 3D content.

The web platform uses WebGL. Its a specification that allows you to create 3D content similar to OpenGL. WebGL is supported on all web browsers.

While you can use [INAUDIBLE] WebGL, I recommend using a more high-level framework such as A-Frame, BabylonJS, or Three.js. These frameworks conveniently build on top of WebGL and help you write your 3D application faster. A-Frame, for example, has a declarative HTML API, making it extremely easy to develop an immersive experience. All of these frameworks work with the concept of a camera and views which help mapping with the VR content.

Next up is controller support. Immersive experiences are built by allowing users to interact with the content, whether it's with simple controllers or with more advanced, two handed experiences. On the web platform you can access controls using the Gamepad API, which was designed to handle a regular console type of controller. But extensions were added to support VR controllers.

Finally, to add VR support, you will use the WebVR API, which will allow you to create the HMD presence, its capabilities, and request to render your 3D content to the HMD. The API also allows you to get all the information needed to run [INAUDIBLE] and submit the final work to the HMD. Thanks for watching and subscribing to the Intel software channel. We will see you next week for another episode of WebVR.