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Learning Virtual Reality by Tony Parisi

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Chapter 5. WebVR: Browser-Based Virtual Reality in HTML5

And now for something completely different.

In previous chapters we saw how to use native platform SDKs to create virtual reality applications with great graphics, high performance, and a sense of presence. If we are developing a single-user experience for a specific desktop or mobile platform, and don’t mind that it requires an app download and install, then this approach may be all that we ever need.

But many of us creating VR would prefer to build web applications. Why? Because integrating VR with the Web offers the following advantages over native applications:

Instant access

No download and app install required; just type a URL or click on a hyperlink to launch virtual reality experiences.

Easy integration of web data

Data from sources like Wikipedia, YouTube, and social networks can easily be incorporated, and there are open APIs to thousands of web services.

Cross-platform compatibility

HTML5 runs on all desktop and mobile devices. On mobile platforms, HTML5 code can either be delivered via browsers or embedded in apps.

Faster, cheaper development

HTML5 and JavaScript are arguably the easiest cross-platform system for creating apps ever devised, and we can use our choice of open source development tools, most of which are free of charge.

Easier deployment

The cloud is set up to deliver web applications, and updates just happen without having to go through app stores.

There is such a strong belief in this ...

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