Facebook Launches React VR to Let Devs Extend the Web into Virtual Reality

Facebook has officially launched React VR, an open-source JavaScript library that lets developers create cross-platform WebVR experiences.

Oculus and Facebook announced React VR in October last year, an open-source JavaScript library (based on the popular React library) that’s designed to make it easy for web developers and programmers to deliver WebVR experiences that can be served to a range of VR headsets directly through the web browser.

Following a pre-release, this week at Facebook’s F8 conference, the company officially released the full React VR codebase on GitHub so that developers can begin to use and contribute to the code. Along with the codebase comes a useful set of documentation, including a simple Hello World tutorial for developers to begin poking around with React VR to see how it works. Oculus writes on its developer blog:

Today we’re releasing React VR, a new library that lets developers everywhere build compelling experiences for VR. Expanding on the declarative programming style of React and React Native, React VR lets anyone with an understanding of JavaScript rapidly build and deploy VR experiences using standard web tools. Those experiences can then be distributed across the web—React VR leverages APIs like WebGL and WebVR to connect immersive headsets with a scene in a web page. And to maximize your potential audience, sites built in React VR are also accessible on mobile phones and PCs, using accelerometers or the cursor for navigation.

With React VR, you can use React components to compose scenes in 3D, combining 360 panoramas with 2D UI, text, and images. You can increase immersion with audio and video capabilities, plus take full advantage of the space around you with 3D models. If you know React, you now know how to build 360 and VR content!

Although React VR is maintained by Facebook/Oculus, the library is designed to create WebVR content with universal support for VR headsets regardless of vendor, at least that’s the vision; WebVR is still early, and although the majority of major browser makers are on board, development on the initial WebVR web specification is still ongoing, and most support for WebVR in today’s browsers is still through beta and other experimental releases.

With today’s release, developers can begin crafting WebVR experiences and take advantage of React VR as a supported and documented library as browsers continue to refine and bring WebVR support to mainstream releases.

The post Facebook Launches React VR to Let Devs Extend the Web into Virtual Reality appeared first on Road to VR.

Oculus Chief Software Architect to Detail ‘React VR’ WebVR Dev Platform at F8 Conference

react-vrMichael Antonov, Chief Software Architect at Oculus, is due to speak at Facebook’s F8 Developer Conference on April 18th about React VR, a framework that builds on Facebook’s React JavaScript library. This web-based framework allows easier creation of VR content that can run on VR headsets from the browser.

The F8 developer conference is Facebook’s annual event to discuss future technology related to the company and its various platforms; virtual reality is one of the key topics, with 7 sessions dedicated to VR content creation, social experiences, and WebVR.

This includes a session with Oculus Chief Software Architect Michael Antonov, along with Product Manager Andrew Mo, who will discuss the React VR framework. React VR builds on the well-established React JavaScript library, an open-source project from Facebook, used by many websites to build user interfaces. Working with React VR is designed to be comfortable and familiar territory for web developers, and in most cases does not require adjusting the low level WebVR layer. (WebVR is an API pioneered by Mozilla and Google that enables a VR experience to be embedded into a normal webpage.)

WebVR Officially Launches on Chrome for Android with Daydream Support

The April 18th F8 session will expand on their WebVR presentation at Oculus Connect 3 last year (where React VR was first announced), “[showcasing] the potential of React VR across verticals such as travel, news, commerce, and more.” On the 19th, software engineers Andrew Imm and Mike Armstrong will present another React VR session, showing, “how React VR builds upon React Native, and how the supporting layers and libraries interact.”

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