In the 90s, when the web was young, CD-ROMs were the distribution method for quality digital content because the connections were too slow and web browsers were not evolved enough to do more than display formatted text, still images, and sometimes animated gifs. As we entered the 2000s, plugins like Shockwave and Flash facilitated what was called “Rich Media” back-in-the-day which was the introduction of audio, video, and animation. With the introduction of smartphones and the ubiquity of broadband, downloadable apps came into vogue, and the App Store model became the way to distribute content that relied on more compute resources than the browser or plugins could handle.
The Promise of the Immersive Web
In addition to the WebXR Device API standard, there are other standards that will increase the quality of WebXR experiences: Web Assembly language, which allows browsers to leverage the CPU; WebGPU, which does the same for the Graphics Processor; and WebRTC, which is the standard for Real-Time Communication that facilitates voice, video, and text interactions. These technologies turn lonely single-user websites into live places you can visit with other people. The key challenge for WebXR right now is rendering content at high enough quality and remaining performant over the web.
Apple had a profound impact on the web by banning Flash in favor of open standards. Recently, it marked as "In Development" WebXR integration into WebKit, which we can expect will run in Safari for Apple Glass. Apple has been actively recruiting WebXR talent. The WebXR train has left the station on immersive content, and by the time Apple gets its long-awaited XR hardware to market, the space will be highly evolved. Therefore, the time for agencies to get advertisers to start investing in immersive web content is here, now.