The WebXR Developer Summit ran in May 2021, with some great contextual insights:
- Exporting WebXR from Unity is viable, but build sizes and download times are major downsides;
- WebXR needs to reach the Candidate Recommendation stage for a chance to become a W3C official standard;
- We must ensure that development is conducted safely, and without imposing on the user’s privacy;
- There are many different services which help developers support their growth.
Kent Bye made a great summary of the event, which can be found here.
On my own thoughts: I am slightly biased as I am a sponsor for the event, but I do believe that WebXR technologies have a bright future. The less friction there is for access, the more likely it is that people will adopt the technologies. Friction beats fidelity.
I’ve come across several app developers who are limited to created app-only variations of their experiences, as the workload and capabilities require the heavy lifting. And for many types of experiences, that is okay. But for those who want a quick jump into the world of WebXR, any sort of waiting is unenviable. Why download an app over ninety seconds for a thirty-second experience? Or while shopping, why force people to download an app when they can scan a QR code with their phone?
Currently there are a range of tools and approaches being built to create browser-based experiences. What I am looking into is which ones developers leap onto, and the kinds of great experiences they will make over the future. The WebXR Developer Summit was a great showcase of the potential.