Greetings all, Gabe here from Frame. These are my quick thoughts on the Connect event, with a particular focus on WebXR and implications for Frame:
- The Quest Pro looks like a fantastic device, and of course Frame will be accessible on it from day one through the Oculus Browser. This is one of the reasons why we built Frame with web technology.
- Horizon coming to the web was an inevitability, because the web is a ubiquitous, rapidly evolving powerhouse platform. I believe it will be the way most people interact with Horizon for years to come.
- Seeing big names like Adobe get their apps on the Quest through PWAs (browser-based apps) is a good kick in the butt for us to publish Frame there the same way.
- The pass-through API being available to WebXR is a game-changer...we're thinking hard already about what AR means for Frame and the way it can enable new kinds of hybrid work environments. You'll see movement here from us in 2023.
- This space is changing QUICKLY. I went to Connect years ago when the Oculus Go was their major headset and the pace of development in this space is extraordinary. Meta is really betting the farm on this and despite the qualms I have with the company at large there is no denying that they are a huge part of what's making it move forward.
- The integrations with Microsoft aren't entirely surprising given Microsoft's new strategy of "get our services working everywhere". While gamers have no reason to be excited about "Office365 suite in VR", many companies will be due to their current lock-in with Microsoft enterprise tools. It will be years before "Office 365 in VR" is actually useful or interesting to anyone besides managers looking for a reason to get headsets for their employees....but that's a good thing for the space, in the long run (heh).
- "Teams in VR" - looks to be a pretty polished experience, and the "enterprise metaverse" isn't slowing down. We have our work cut out for us!
- I'm curious about what's up with Hololens, if anything these days. Microsoft might be smart to focus entirely on software, not hardware, to avoid more "Windows Phone" moments. Not sure about this one.
- Being able to pull up the browser while you are in another app, even a WebXR experience, without exiting the experience is amazing. Yay for the performance bump in the Quest Pro that makes this kind of thing possible.
- Meta taking a lot of subtle shots at Apple by positioning themselves as the advocate for the most "open" ecosystem possible, in contrast with Apple's more closed, walled-garden approach to delivering software/hardware. Meta should be concerned about Apple's upcoming AR glasses, but there's room in the market for a few big players just like with smartphones, computers, etc. Meta is obviously big enough to stay in the game if they provide the best hardware that fits into a Windows/Android/Web ecosystem. Apple will be delivering transformative AR hardware to those in the iOS/MacOS ecosystem.
The web might very well end up being the first level playing field that developers can use to confidently deliver experiences to both Apple and Meta hardware. Apple has already started bringing WebXR support slowly but surely to Safari, in anticipation of the launch of their immersive hardware. WebGPU might get adopted much faster than WebGL2 was, which would be a leap forward for the browser's ability to be a first class vehicle for immersive experiences.
Interesting times ahead!