The Immersive Web WG/CG met last week to tackle some outstanding issues in the WebXR Device API spec. Topics like controllers/input, session creation, and AR features (hit test, anchors) were addressed over the two days (meeting minutes Jan 29, Jan 30), as resolutions and decisions make their way to the specification's Github repo.
In related standards news, the First Public Working Draft for the WebXR Device API has passed(!) the working group's call for consensus. See the W3C docs that describe the journey of a spec from FPWD to Recommendation.
"It’s definitely going to break things": Apple is prepping an iOS change that may hurt AR and VR advertising
Apple released Safari 12.1 Release Notes this week which requires OS opt-in for the devicemotion and deviceorientation web APIs. These APIs expose data from (mostly mobile) devices' gyroscope and accelerometer, which is used to synthesize a user's view orientation for Cardboard VR experiences as well as web-based AR experiences. These APIs are also abused for terrifyingly accurate fingerprinting (for real) and lack the permission model of newer APIs, like its successor Generic Sensors. This will break XR experiences using these APIs on iOS (like A-Frame, or anything built on the WebVR Polyfill) unless users opt-in to exposing these APIs. There's discussion on the deviceorientation spec about adding a permission model to the API for a solution somewhere between deanonymizing users and breaking all existing XR web content on iOS.
Mozilla's VR browser, Firefox Reality, was announced to be the default browser for HTC Vive headsets. Firefox Reality was released last year, supporting all-in-one Android devices, available on Viveport, Oculus Go, and Daydream.
A handy cheat sheet for all things in the WebVR ecosystem: frameworks, browsers, social groups, resources and gear.