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Firefox Reality Launches on the Oculus Quest

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Browsing the web is about to get a whole lot more immersive.

“Mozilla has taken advantage of the Quest’s higher performance capabilities to deliver the best VR web browsing experience to date,” says Janice Von Itter, Staff Program Manager at Mozilla.

This follows from the release of the Firefox Reality browser for other 6DoF (Six Degrees of Freedom) headsets including the HTC Vive Focus Plus and Lenovo Mirage.

Firefox Reality is available in 10 different languages, including Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese, with more on the way Click To Tweet

Firefox Reality is available in 10 different languages, including Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese, with more on the way. Voice search is also enabled to make browsing faster and easier.

Voice search is also enabled to make browsing faster and easier Click To Tweet

Whether you’re watching immersive video or meeting up with friends in Mozilla Hubs, Firefox Reality takes advantage of the Oculus Quest’s boost in performance and capabilities to deliver the best VR web browsing experience.

You can now try the new featured content on the FxR home page or build your own to see what you can do in the next generation of standalone virtual reality headsets.

Firefox Reality takes advantage of the Oculus Quest’s boost in performance to deliver the best VR web browsing experience Click To Tweet

Like all Firefox browser products, Firefox Reality is available for free and users can get it now from the Oculus Quest store. In the coming months Firefox will also be rolling out support for the nearly VR-ready WebXR specification, multi-window browsing, bookmarks sync, additional language support and other exciting new features.

Like all Firefox browser products, Firefox Reality is available for free Click To Tweet

Privacy Please

Enhanced Tracking Protection on the Firefox Reality browser automatically blocks sites from tracking you, and the icing on the cake is that all these protections work unobtrusively in the background and actually make the browsing experience faster.

“To protect our users from the pervasive tracking and collection of personal data by ad networks and tech companies, Firefox Reality has Enhanced Tracking Protection enabled by default. We strongly believe privacy shouldn’t be relegated to optional settings,” says Von Itter.

This is part of a broader move by the company to make all of its browser versions much more privacy (and user) friendly and set a new standard for the industry where it come to protecting our data Click To Tweet

“What if I told you that on nearly every single website you visit, data about you was transmitted to dozens or even hundreds of companies, all so that the website could earn an additional $0.00008 per ad!” asks Peter Dolanjski. Product Lead, Privacy & Security at Firefox, who says their research has shown that Firefox users are seeking out privacy protection, particularly through the use of Firefox’s Private Browsing mode. In fact, nearly 25% of web page loads in Firefox take place in a Private Browsing window. The good news for these users is that Firefox’s Private Browsing mode has long put users first by blocking tracking. Yet privacy features such as Chrome’s Incognito mode do not actually prevent third-party tracking, and a recent study found that users don’t understand this and think their data is being protected, when it is, in fact, anything but.

The hope is that by setting a new standard they will force the tech industry at large to also change and put the user’s interest first Click To Tweet

This approach will not come as a surprise to anybody familiar with Mozilla. A while back Tech Trends covered a story about The Glass Room – Mozilla’s Black Mirror-like installation in London – which used a range of creative installations to force users to confront their complex relationship wth data, privacy and identity, and to open their eyes to how closely the companies they interact with are monitoring their every move.

The burden of due diligence, according to the Mozilla ethos, needs to shift from the consumers to the companies Click To Tweet

The burden of due diligence, according to the Mozilla ethos, needs to shift from the consumers to the companies whereby the complexity of privacy settings shouldn’t be placed on users to figure out. The approach taken by Firefox is beautifully simple: align your product with customer expectations rather than the other way around. They are now rolling out enhanced tracking protection on the browser, so that new and existing Firefox users will have much stronger privacy protection on their default settings from the moment they install. The hope is that by setting a new standard they will force the tech industry at large to also change and put the user’s interest first, because, as they put it, “consumers deserve better.”

After Cambridge Analytica and other debacles over recent months and years, I don’t think many people can disagree with that.

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Alice Bonasio is a VR and Digital Transformation Consultant and Tech Trends’ Editor in Chief. She also regularly writes for Fast Company, Ars Technica, Quartz, Wired and others. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow @alicebonasio on Twitter.