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Unity is making a mistake not supporting actively web VR and web AR

Discussion in 'Web' started by JuanGuzmanH, Jul 5, 2021.

  1. JuanGuzmanH

    JuanGuzmanH

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2018
    Posts:
    74
    Unity is my main development tool covering most of the work my company develop (vr experiences, mobile apps, ar for android and ios, standalone touchscreen interactive apps, webgl games, ...) and it covers nearly all of our clients needs except when we talk about web AR and web VR.

    For me is very disappointing that, even today, web VR and web AR are out of the equation for the Unity webgl roadmap. I really dont get it. I can not understand how Unity is ignoring this huge demand and convenience of moving XR experiences out the respective brands stores.

    Every day I find myself doing more and more in three.js, using model-viewer web components and using third parties platforms to implement virtual tours compatible with VR and mobiles for web like A-frame and others.
    I have the feeling this is a train that is already passing by and Unity is really far to catch it, I would say more, I would say that Unity is not even planning to catch it, otherwise this would be mentioned on the webgl roadmap.

    The only project bringing hope to webvr was an exporter (open source project from Mozilla) not updated in more than one year (abandoned?), and with issues with the deprecated and new Unity input systems and other problems.

    Thats why, with this scenario as background, I will never think on Unity as an option when my clients ask for having XR experiences, accessible to everybody and open to every device. Web XR development is actually already happening but not in the Unity world.

    Definitely, It would help to reconsider my options when the webgl team from unity embrace this projects from mozilla or develop their own package and support even basic features (like other webgl tools are doing) and not having the feeling that I'm on my own to solve problems that comes with the development.

    Im curious about what other unity users and content developers are thinking about this new XR content trend and also to hear someone from Unity sharing some thoughts about it.
     
    mgear and xozzox like this.
  2. De-Panther

    De-Panther

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    Posts:
    589
  3. JuanGuzmanH

    JuanGuzmanH

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2018
    Posts:
    74
    Hi Panther, thank you for your link.

    First of all I want to say thank you for your project and to make available to the community.

    Please dont tell me "litlle more google", like meaning Im just crazy or complaining about nothing. Lets talk about the elephant in the room... today, even with the last version... Unity don't support officially WebGL for mobiles.

    https://docs.unity3d.com/2021.1/Documentation/Manual/webgl-browsercompatibility.html

    This does not mean that you can not make it work, this means that you are on your own if you find any problem, dont complain If you find any issue on your cool experience running on an iphone and expect nothing from Unity side.

    Its not a surprise that private initiatives like yours comes to the arena because, as I said before, the demand is already there and the benefits of developing for web XR experience are obvious.

    Without evaluating how good or bad are any project like yours or even third parties plugin from the store, what is already clear is that webgl xr mobile is out of the unity plans.

    I dont know how others do... but when I have to decide the technology and architecture to develop a web xr experience for a client, its not enough that a private project can help to export to webgl. What if tomorrow your project does not continue (like it happens already with the mozilla xr exporter)?

    For a production project, to rely entirely on the continuity of a third party project (even if its an open source) or in a private plugin... (based on my experience and lots of wasted resources of my company) is always a bad idea.

    Actually what a software engineer wants to hear is the magic word "Support". Today, to choose Unity as a platform for a serious web XR production targeting mobile devices is simply a kamikaze decision and you need to be ready for big headaches (to play at home or experiments maybe is fine). I don't want to put myself or my team on that situation. Its simply impossible to justify because the lack of support. I don't want to fix something that officially is not working even if there are external solutions to do that. Its simply not happening.
     
    xozzox likes this.
  4. KamilCSPS

    KamilCSPS

    Joined:
    May 21, 2020
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    448
    JuanGuzmanH and De-Panther like this.
  5. Mauri

    Mauri

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    JuanGuzmanH likes this.
  6. De-Panther

    De-Panther

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    Posts:
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    The google was to say that Mozilla is not the only exporter.

    I agree that I would like better mobile and XR support now.
    But following the forum, and looking on the public roadmap, there were lots of advances in those directions in the past year.

    In the current beta there are lots of relevant features and updates.
    And in the last months they got lots of bug reports about web iOS and Android and fixed them.

    Regarding XR, they made sure that the XR SDK would work on web.
    I guess it'll take time for them to support WebXR, but at least we can make our own support, the same as Google/Apple/Oculus work on their packages.

    So the current Unity web platform have lots of features that needs improvements.
    But Unity are awere and working on those improvements.

    And I agree, in general, if *currently* you want to publish commercial mobile web or WebXR experiences, you better use a web framework.
    I do see some benefits for using now Unity for mobile web or WebXR, but it depends on your use cases.
     
  7. brendanduncan_u3d

    brendanduncan_u3d

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2019
    Posts:
    432
    There are multiple topics getting mixed together here: mobile web support, and WebXR support. They are related, but not the same.

    Mobile web support is definitely something we take seriously. It's one of those things that isn't trivial to say "yes we now support mobile." It's more of an accumulation of issues large and small, that we have been working hard to get through and will continue to work through remaining issues. Some of these issues, like the upgrading of the Emscripten compiler we use, took a lot longer than anticipated for complicated reasons. Some issues, like iOS support of WebGL2, are completely out of our control but will happen in iOS 15. There are some issues, like mobile keyboard support, we are fully aware of and working on. This is not a complete list if issues of things we are working on toward mobile support, just a couple examples. Also, there is nothing preventing you from running web builds on mobile now; the warning is just a template feature that can be removed, and we accept and take seriously all mobile web related issues. We understand this is not enough for many developers, the official support label is required for them. The choice to target mobile web now, before we can list mobile web as officially supported with the expected performance from a base level of device, is a personal choice.

    WebXR is an great new API that we are excited about. It will have useful impact on our own internal teams as well as for many creators, we are not lost at all on its benefits. There are significant issues with it for us still, many outside of our control, that we are keeping our eyes on. Supporting third party solutions, like De-Panther's, is a compromise for now. Whether that works for you or not to rely on third party solutions, is also a personal choice, but that is the state of it.
     
  8. ROBYER1

    ROBYER1

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2015
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    1,450
    I apologize for reviving this old post but the question still stands, when can we see official unity WebXR support? I can see this is on the roadmap here:
    https://portal.productboard.com/brs...ort?utm_medium=social&utm_source=portal_share

    Is there any way to provide us with some transparency on why official WebXR support is blocked or still in the works?
     
  9. mgear

    mgear

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    newguy123 likes this.
  10. ROBYER1

    ROBYER1

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    They are mates of mine for a while now I stay in touch and use a lot of their tools, they are creating tools that run circles around what Unity is doing always! Unity needs to keep up!
     
    Shizola and mgear like this.
  11. iMagesBlues

    iMagesBlues

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    newguy123 and KamilCSPS like this.
  12. vriog

    vriog

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    +1 bump bump bump agree agree agree
     
  13. jimmy6dof

    jimmy6dof

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    Nov 7, 2022
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    Another Bump !!

    A $10B company can't leave it all on the shoulders of one open source dev like De-Panther !
     
    JuanGuzmanH and ROBYER1 like this.
  14. unityruba

    unityruba

    Unity Technologies

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    Nov 6, 2020
    Posts:
    270
    Getting these kinds of projects funded is a complicated process that none of us on the WebGL team are a part of. The only thing I can contribute here is that it takes a lot more time and money to add and then continue to support new API than most realize. Our own team only grew in number in the last two years, and we're all working as hard as we can to support WebGL.
     
  15. jimmy6dof

    jimmy6dof

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    Nov 7, 2022
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    I understand your position as a team but if Unity was smart the very least they could do is let you guys contribute directly to the opensource work or help @De-Panther put out a bounty and get some good will out of it all for Unity in addition to not forcing your potential XR developers into ThreeJS/BabylonJS and other ecosystems that don't have the same problems (or advantages). Have a look at the WebXR Exporter's Unity XR SDK branch and see that it's way behind the main branch while according to the De-Panther "It's not impossible, just takes lots of time" (from WebXR Discord #Unity - (WebXR Discord Invite). Anyways, Good luck and I hope the team expands in the future !!
     
    JuanGuzmanH and mgear like this.
  16. Evinewyork

    Evinewyork

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    Dec 31, 2018
    Posts:
    5
    I've done a lot of progress building VR app with XR interaction toolkit, but now that I want to bring this entire experience to the web - I feel stuck! There is a lot of engines that are working towards building stunning WebXR experiences, and we as Unity developers are just watching this train going by. How can I seamlessly integrate my current app which uses XR interaction toolkit with the web? Why do I have to scratch off what I already created and start rebuilding everything to work with WebGL?
     
    fschorr likes this.
  17. De-Panther

    De-Panther

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    Posts:
    589

    Just started to add XR Interaction Toolkit support to WebXR Export.
    https://github.com/De-Panther/unity...Documentation/Using-XR-Interaction-Toolkit.md
    It's in preview, so you'll have to use the package from git