React 360 is Replacing React VR

Much has already been happened at F8, from announcements about Oculus Go to the reveal of AR integration into Facebook Messenger. One announcement involves the re-branding of React VR open source framework to the new name of React 360.

React VR was released back in April 2017 with the goal of creating a web-based framework that would allow developers to add an interactive element to immersive content.

The React VR content was designed to be available to work in any modern web browser, which enabled developers to reach a huge audience, both PC and smartphone users as well as those who used VR headsets.

Some of the content created using the framework included high-quality 360-degree photos from recognised names such as National Geographic, British Museum and the National Gallery. Immersive branded content was created by Sony Pictures and Dubai Tourism using the framework, while USA Today and NBC used it to supplement their 2D news coverage.

With all that in mind, React VR still suffers from significant limitations, such as performance issues and support for more immersive content. Soe of these issues will require time to resolve, while others are already being addressed.

AS part of an effort by Oculus and Facebook to improve the framework, with the release of the next major update, it will be renamed to React 360, as this is a name that better represents how the majority of developers engage with the framework.

Oculus from Facebook art

The newest update will include several improvements and changes, including the ability to let developers add 2D user interfaces, improved media support for 180-degree video and stereo video and faster loading and better playback performance for lower-end mobile devices.

Further information on the changes to React VR/React 360 is available on the Oculus Developer blog. For continued coverage of F8 and other coverage of the VR sector, keep checking back with VRFocus.

Oculus Replaces ‘React VR’ Framework With Rebranded ‘React 360’

At Facebook’s F8 developer conference, Oculus today announced it’s both overhauling and rebranding React VR, the company’s open-source JavaScript library that lets developers create cross-platform WebVR experiences. Now dubbed React 360, the company says the framework now “provides clearer prioritization for our future roadmap.”

Launched at last year’s F8, React VR was used to create web-based content for brands and intuitions such as National GeographicBritish Museum, the Global Seed Vault, and Sony Pictures. Many of these projects essentially present the user with a traversable WebVR environment containing linked 360 content, accessible both in VR and on traditional monitors.

Image courtesy Oculus

The rebranding, Oculus says, is intended to “more accurately represent how developers are using the framework and streamline its development focus,”—appearing to pull away somewhat from the overall emphasis on VR. React 360 is now on GitHub for devs looking to integrate the library into their web-based projects. There’s also a few of examples including guides to follow along.

“These [branded projects] are some of the best applications of React VR we’ve seen,” Oculus says in a developer blog post. “That said, React VR has very real limitations. While some of these limitations—like performance issues and support for more immersive content—can be immediately addressed, others—including Oculus Store distribution and complex 3D scene support—will take much longer to mitigate.”

Oculus says they’ll be revealing more details with the next major release.

Improvements introduced today include:

  • Better 2D: It’s now much easier to build 2D interfaces in 3D space, as the framework lets developers add 2D UI to surfaces optimized for clarity and ease of layout
  • Improved Media Support: We’ve added new environment features to better handle immersive media, including support for 180° mono and stereo video, built-in transitions, and faster loading
  • Better Performance: Developers can now take advantage of improvement in playback performance—especially on lower-end mobile devices—thanks to major changes in the runtime architecture

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Oculus Showcases the Best of What React VR can do

Earlier this year, Oculus unveiled React VR, a new library that would enable developers to quickly build and ship virtual reality (VR) experiences across multiple channels. Today, the company has decided to showcase several pieces of content that use React VR, covering entertainment, education, travel and more.

First up is entertainment, with Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle 360-degree experience available to try today on PC, mobile devices, and VR headsets including Oculus Rift, and coming to the Oculus Browser on Gear VR on 21st November. A sort of VR scavenger hunt, the experience tasks you with finding hidden objects to unlock new content – including behind-the-scenes footage – as you explore the treehouse.

“Building an immersive experience for this movie was a goal from the start. It was important for us to give fans the opportunity to journey into the rich world of Jumanji. Interactive 360° video and the React VR platform was the perfect solution,” says Sony Pictures Executive Vice President, Digital Marketing Elias Plishner on the Oculus Blog. “We were blown away with the technology and the fact that it could be easily accessed on a platform people use every day.”

Moving onto education, the British Museum teamed up with Oculus to create an exclusive tour, letting users reach out and examine 3D models of their most popular exhibits, from the tomb-chapel of Nebamun to mummies, funerary art, and more.

“We’re hugely excited to offer people around the world access to this first-of-its-kind gallery tour,” says Hannah Boulton, Head of Press & Marketing. “The British Museum has always been open to everyone, but this kind of technology means we can make this a reality in an unprecedented way, allowing anyone across the world to immerse themselves in our Egyptian collections. We’re proud to have worked with Oculus on this important project.”

Additionally, Oculus also worked with the National Gallery to bring its Sainsbury Wing galleries into VR, including the Wilton Diptych, Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait, Botticelli’s Venus and Mars, and Leonardo da Vinci’s The Virgin of the Rocks. All of which will be available in December.

“The National Gallery believes immersive media like VR has the potential to change the way people create, consume, and distribute art,” says Digital Director Chris Michaels. “We want to explore the many different ways that will impact what we do and are delighted to work with Oculus, Vizor, and Matterport on this brilliant collaboration.”

Moving further afield, has used React VR to build an interactive experience that lets travelers try before they fly. “Our goal at Oyster is to let travelers know exactly what they’re going to get before they check in,” explains Senior Product Manager Tracy Drossman. “We’ve done this through undoctored photos and honest reviews from our in-person hotel and cruise ship visits. With Oyster on Oculus, travelers can now feel like they’ve come along on those visits.”

In addition to all these collaborations to create content using React VR, Oculus has also begun testing native React VR integration and experience playback within Facebook News Feed.

As further details are released, VRFocus will keep you updated.

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.

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Oculus Open Source React VR Allowing Devs to Rapidly Build Immersive Experiences

As you’d expect from Facebook, the F8 conference is a highly social themed event with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) both having a big part to play. While VRFocus has covered the big keynote announcements today – Facebook Spaces, ARstudio and Zuckerberg’s cryptic talk about camera’s – there’s been more quietly going on. Oculus has announced the release of React VR, a new library that’ll enable developers to quickly build experiences for VR.

To utilise React VR content creators will need to have an understanding of JavaScript, if they have they can then build and deploy VR experiences using standard web tools. React VR also works with APIs such WebGL and WebVR, allowing head-mounted displays (HMDs) to connect with a scene in a web page.

React - F8 WebVR - British Museum

The software allows users to use React components to compose scenes in 3D, 360-degrees panoramas, 2D UI, text and images can all be combined alongside audio and video.

Oculus has already leveraged React VR for several partnerships to build experiencess. These include:

  • The Dubai Tourism board’s Discover Dubai – a treasure hunt game that encourages users to explore all of Dubai in 360.
  • USA Today’s tour of Buffalo Trace Distillery, letting viewers navigate the ins and outs of the oldest continuously-operating distillery in the US.
  • The British Museum created an exclusive tour the museum, letting users reach out and examine 3D models of their most popular exhibits.
  • The New York Times continues to explore news in VR with an exploration of the Antarctic ice shelves with stunning 360 photos and videos.
  • demonstrated how easy it is to create interactive 360 experiences that work in browsers and VR headsets with a behind the scenes tour of the Today show.
  • Airbnb showed off the flexibility and power of React VR by developing a prototype Airbnb experience in just a few weeks.

Head to the Oculus Developers site to get started, and for further updates on Oculus, keep reading VRFocus.

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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An Inflection Point for WebVR and the Open Metaverse

tony-parisiThere’s been a couple of key developments in the evolution of WebVR during the month of October. First, Nate Mitchell announced during his Oculus Connect 3 keynote that Oculus will be supporting the WebVR ecosystem with the React VR framework and a VR-enabled browser called Carmel. And then on October 19th and 20th, there was a historic W3C Workshop on Web & Virtual Reality where all of the major VR players gathered in San Jose to hash out the WebVR web standards for delivering VR and AR applications over the web. Some the participating companies included Mozilla, Google, Samsung, Oculus, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Valve, Sony, Yahoo, Unity, Intel, Qualcomm, NVIDIA, HP, Dolby, High Fidelity, JanusVR, and Sketchfab. With Oculus’ public support and the gathering momentum around delivering VR over the web, WebVR hit an inflection point of buy-in and momentum such that the future of the metaverse will more likely be based upon the principles of the open web rather than driven by a more closed, walled garden application ecosystem.



I had a chance to catch up with Tony Parisi at Oculus Connect 3, and he’s now started his own WebVR-focused company called Form VR that collaborated with Oculus on the TripAdvisor WebVR demo that was shown during the OC3 keynote. We talk about some of the latest developments in WebVR, how Microsoft is getting involved to get support for AR WebVR apps for the HoloLens, how Form VR is developing tools for creating WebVR applications, and some of the other big developments that are showing a lot of buy-in and momentum around WebVR.

Support Voices of VR

Music: Fatality & Summer Trip

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Oculus to Support WebVR Through New VR Browser Codenamed ‘Carmel’

Oculus announced at Connect, the company’s annual developer conference, that they’ll be officially supporting WebVR through their new VR web browser codenamed Carmel. WebVR is an API that provides headsets access to web-based VR content.

Touted as an easy way to share VR experiences over the web, WebVR allows JavaScript developers a way of delivering simple VR content into the hands of anyone with a VR headset just by navigating to a URL (i.e. no long downloads or installs necessary).

Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell took the stage and presented the new VR browser, stating the WebVR initiative “is going to lead to an exponential growth in VR content out there. Everyone in the future is going to have their own VR destination on the web.”

Google is Adding a VR Shell to Chrome to Let You Browse the Entire Web in VR

Mitchell then introduced a number of usecases for prospective developers, some that he said could even be completed in just a few days like a web-based photo sphere site, or a 3D rendering of a new car.

a simple photo sphere ‘destination’ that lets you tour a hotel

Oculus says Carmel is optimized for performance, designed for navigation and input in VR, and will be tightly integrated with Home and “run on any Oculus device.”

Samsung’s Gear VR web browser ‘Samsung Internet’ already has preliminary support for WebVR, but the move by Oculus to support it directly and offer the tools to do so means they’ll be throwing their full weight behind the initiative.


To help developers build VR web content, Oculus also announced React VR, a VR-focused version of the React open source javascript library created by Facebook in 2013 that helps developers build user interfaces for web-based content.

A developer preview of Carmel is said to come later this year along with React VR. Oculus has listed a number of real-world examples on their WebVR page to give prospective devs an idea of what to build for the coming VR web.

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‘Carmel’ Is Oculus’ Own Web Browser to Support WebVR

‘Carmel’ Is Oculus’ Own Web Browser to Support WebVR

Oculus announced a lot of exciting directions for the future of VR at its Oculus Connect 3 keynote today, but one piece of news that’s flying under the radar and really shouldn’t be is the company’s work with WebVR.

VP of Product Nate Mitchell talked about this area of VR — largely untouched by Oculus itself thus far — during his section of this morning’s show. It refers to VR and 360 degree experiences that are accessed in-browser, often making them simpler and more primative than native apps, but still providing essential services and entertainment. Mitchell himself exhibited a simple 360 degree hotel experience in which you could warp between locations, and a fully VR, position-tracked car viewer.

Today, Oculus revealed a new framework for building WebVR interfaces. It’s called React VR and, as the name suggests, it’s based on Facebook’s React, a JavaScript library designed to streamline the development of web-based experiences on mobile and PC platforms. This will do the same for creating WebVR content.

The biggest news, however, is that Oculus is developing its very own web browser to support experiences built with React VR. Currently codenamed Carmel, the browser will run on both Gear VR and Oculus Rift and is “fully optimized” for them. Little other information was revealed but Mitchell promised that a developer preview of the browser would be “coming soon”.

It’s easy to see why Oculus wants to boost this section of the VR industry; parent company Facebook is making a big push into 360 degree content with both images and videos. Oculus encouraging that growth means more people accessing that content in a shorter amount of time.

In the long-term, as VR adoption grows and headsets become more accessible, this could actually be one of the most important announcements out of Oculus Connect this year. For now, though, we’re more interested in the price of the Oculus Touch controllers and some of the new social experiences on display.

Oculus to Push VR Web Experiences With Own Browser Code Name Carmel

Oculus revealed that developers can make simple experiences on the web using two new pieces of software, one of which stems from React, a web making tool, and another is a whole new browser from Oculus made for virtual reality (VR).

The way in which Oculus said it was going to help users to create these experiences is with React VR, which is built on the foundations of React, letting web developers create these simple experiences easily. The way you can publish this is in a VR browser, code name Carmel, which is optimised for VR.


Nate Mitchell took to the stage to tease what he was about to reveal, saying that web VR was the next big thing for developers: “There’s another kind of ecosystem that we think is super important, and it’s a content ecosystem of simple vr experiences that are based on web technology and are accessed via a web browser. You can think of this VR ecosystem as the VR web, and it’s going to be huge for a number of reasons.”

As explained by Mitchell, with a few lines of Java Script you can create a VR experience and instantly share it, and because it’s in a browser it isn’t going to be limited to headsets as it reaches out to anyone with a laptop or PC. It is expected to lead to an exponential growth of VR content.

Two experiences were then shown, which includes checking out hotels using 360 degree photo spheres where you can embed reviews and so on within the scene. The other example was a look inside of a Renaut car.

React VR

There will be a developer preview released soon for Carmel, including React VR alongside it.

For more on the latest from Oculus Connect 3, as well as all the news, updates, and features in the world of VR, make sure to check back with VRFocus.