Browser-Based Virtual Reality with HTML5

Tony Parisi (Wevr)
3:00pm–3:30pm Tuesday, 04/21/2015
Graphics and visualization
Location: Salon 1/2
Average rating: ****.
(4.50, 2 ratings)
Slides:   1-PPTX 


Virtual reality hardware systems like Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard and others have made the decades-old vision of low-cost, immersive VR a reality. Millions of units are in production, and projected to be sold in 2015 and beyond. And developers are flocking to this amazing new medium – some to kick the tires, others to maybe get in on the next startup land grab. So far, most of the cool demos are happening in native applications, packaged as big downloads, and built using proprietary software tools.

Cool! But why let Unity and Unreal devs have all the fun? Today’s HTML browser does virtual reality, too. The nightly builds of Firefox and Chrome support stereo 3D rendering of WebGL and CSS3 content, as well as the head tracking APIs and advanced inputs required to create fully immersive VR experiences. In this session we’ll take a look at the state of browser support for VR, and explore the software stacks being used to build applications, including Three.js, Tween.js, the GLAM 3D tag set, and 3D content creation tools.


* jQuery
* Intermediate JavaScript
* Familiarity with graphics APIs (Canvas, WebGL) is helpful

Photo of Tony Parisi

Tony Parisi


Tony Parisi is an entrepreneur and career CTO/architect. He has developed international standards and protocols, created noteworthy software products, and started and sold technology companies. Tony’s passion for innovating is exceeded only by his desire to bring coolness and fun to the broadest possible audience.

Tony’s first startup, Intervista Software (1995-1998), developed the first-ever real-time VRML plugin for Internet Explorer, which Microsoft bundled with millions of copies of their browser. His most recent company, Vivaty (2007-2010), created a novel end-to-end virtual world system fully integrated with the web and serving up millions of virtual goods transactions.

Tony is perhaps best known for his work as a pioneer of 3D standards for the web. He is the co-creator of VRML and X3D, ISO standards for networked 3D graphics. Tony continues to build community around innovations in 3D as the co-chair of the WebGL Meetup ( and a founder of the Rest3D working group ( Tony is also the author of the upcoming O’Reilly Media book, WebGL Up and Running.

Tony is currently a partner in a stealth online gaming startup and has a consulting practice developing social games, virtual worlds and location-based services for San Francisco Bay Area clients.