W3C AC Meeting 2017


Anssi Kostiainen
Intel Corporation

AC 2017 logo with fancy background.

Objective of this presentation

Where are we at with VR?

Is 2016 The Year of Virtual Reality? [...] Content is critical for VR

Fortune (Dec 2015)

Virtual Reality is about to go mainstream, but a lack of content threatens to hold it back

TechCrunch (Apr 2016)

Why 2016 Was Not The Year of Virtual Reality

Forbes (Jan 2017)

Where are we at with VR?

In short, without available content your VR headset is not very useful

Forbes (Jan 2017)

How to easily create & distribute content to diverse VR devices in a large scale manner?


1. Progressive

Progressive enhancement pyramid.

2. Ease of authoring

WebVR authoring story

  1. Low-level APIs standardized first
    • WebVR API: interface with VR devices
  2. High-level APIs provided by JS libraries, e.g.:
    • Three.js: simpler WebGL
    • A-Frame: declarative HTML markup
    • Standardize after JS experimentation

Inspired by the Extensible Web Manifesto

3. The Web architecture good for large scale content delivery

What is WebVR?

  1. Strictly, an API to access input and output capabilities of VR hardware
  2. Broadly, a catch-all term for features that enable VR on the Web

Use cases?

Excite with the next level experiences

Excited yet?

current status &
next steps

WebVR API goals

WebVR standards funnel

May 2014 Mozilla's VR Research kicked off
Dec 2015 W3C Headlight Project identified
Mar 2016 W3C Community Group created
Oct 2016 W3C Workshop organized
Feb 2017 W3C Working Group Charter drafted
Mar 2017 W3C Working Group Advance Notice sent
Next up W3C Working Group created?

Web and Virtual Reality W3C Headlight

As Virtual Reality product and solutions are gaining momentum, we should make sure we understand if and how the Web can play a role in this space, and chart the standardization needs that emerge from it.

W3C Highlights report prepared for the W3C AC Meeting 2016

W3C WebVR Community Group

Community Group story.

W3C Workshop

W3C Workshop topics

  • WebVR intro
  • VR user interactions in browsers
  • Accessibility of VR experiences
  • Multi-user VR experiences
  • Authoring VR experiences on the Web
  • High-performance VR on the Web
  • 360° video on the Web
  • Immersive audio
  • Breakout sessions
  • Demos
  • VR standardization landscape

Workshop summary

[Workshop participants] recognized the strong prospects already opened by existing and in-development Web APIs, in particular the WebVR API that was highlighted as an important target for near-term standardization, as well as the high priority of making the Web a primary platform for distributing 360° videos. They also identified new opportunities that would be brought by enabling traditional Web pages to be enhanceable as immersive spaces, and in the longer term, by making 3D content a basic brick available to Web developers and content aggregators.

W3C Workshop on Web & Virtual Reality report

Working Group Charter (informal proposal)

Working Group Charter (informal proposal)

  1. Strictly scoped, one normative specification:
    • WebVR API (adopted from the WebVR Community Group)
  2. Aggressive timeline:
    • ~6 months from FPWD to CR
  3. Coordination:
    • Device and Sensors WG, WebAppSec WG, Web Platform WG


WebVR for All
WebVR on Everything?

W3C Mission:

WebVR for All

  1. Democratize "long tail" VR content creation
  2. Scale from low-end to high-end VR devices
  3. Enable frictionless VR content discovery: "search and click a link"

WebVR on Everything

  1. Target widest range of VR devices & platforms
  2. Progressive enhancement built-in

Next steps

  1. Advance toward a WebVR Working Group
  2. Call for action: bring input to the WebVR WG Charter informal proposal
    • Is the scope too tight?
    • Is the timeline too opportunistic?
    • Ready to start the transition soon?
  3. Send your feedback to:

Thank you for listening

AC 2017 logo with fancy background.


WebVR interactions animation and Maslow’s hierarchy of a Progressive Enhancement project pyramid (Copyright with permission from Arturo Paracuellos), Tim Berners-Lee's proposal (Copyright CERN 2008), Google Cardboard (CC0), Gear VR (CC BY-SA 4.0), HTC Vive (Copyright HTC Corporation), Oculus Rift (CC BY-SA 4.0), all browser logos and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.