WebVR: The VR Software Stack

Learn how WebVR fits in the VR software stack and how the components are architected. Get a brief introduction to the next evolution of the VR ecosystem with OpenXR*.

Overview of OpenXR*

See the WebVR 1.1 Specification

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In this episode, we talk about the VR software stack. I'm your host, Alexis Menard, and I will help you understand how VR is rendered into the HMD, and how WebVR works in this space. This is WebVR. 

To create a VR experience, you must understand all the pieces involved in your system. In this episode, we cover the software side and how this will evolve in the future. 

First, when you create a VR experience, you need to start either with native or with WebVR. On native, you can use Unity* or Unreal* and develop C++. On the web with WebVR, you develop in JavaScript, and your code will work in almost any browser. 

Both native and the browser ultimately talk to a VR runtime, or engine. These engines are responsible for post-processing your frames, and they push them to the head-mounted display or HMD. 

One of the main challenges with VR today is fragmentation. Each VR runtime supports a given set of HMDs and platforms. As a developer, even if your code runs on any browser, it may not work with the user's system because the browser doesn't support the associated runtime. Luckily, this is going to improve very soon with the release of Khronos OpenXR*, a new standard API for VR application developers. 

In WebVR, this means that the browser can just support the OpenXR API, and all the OpenXR runtimes will work. The specification even goes further by helping also at the HMD level. Every HMD that is compliant to OpenXR will work in any OpenXR runtimes. 

As a developer, thanks to OpenXR, you will not have to worry which HMD the user has, or which browser he or she is using. This makes your content very scalable. 

Thanks for watching and subscribing to the Intel Software channel. We will see you next week for another episode of WebVR.