A month of A-Frame !

A beginner's guide from a beginner's view on how to get started with A-Frame (and why) ! 

Well, this is how I did...
A-Frame is an awesome library built by Mozilla to simplify the development of Virtual Reality websites. I initially heard this term quite recently from one of my mentors when I was evaluating the hot technologies, I could speak about, as a Tech Speaker at Mozilla.

Fortunately enough, I  attended the Mozilla Pan India meetup, a month ago, where I met some very good enthusiasts working towards some great contributions to A-Frame. Ram Dayal, took a beginner's session at the meetup and that was the first time I realised how easy it was to make simple VR websites using A-Frame.
The focus team for WebVR India is set up and I'm a part of it. Here's something I'd like to share !

A technology that started out in 1938 evolved massively over the many years. Like most of the other counterparts, VR too had huge hardware set up back then which is now reduced to a very small piece of gear fixed like an eye mask.

Ever since it's most recent evolution to simulate a virtual 3D environment anywhere, instantly, most of the tech giants have explored it's many facets to be used for business intelligence, gaming and surprisingly also to solve the social problems in the world (I'm not even kidding).

“A lot of people will make a very cool, very expensive VR experience that very few people will see.” - A VR enthusiast expressed this on the internet.

That is arguably, the harsh truth ! But with the new developments in this area, as well as a growing base of contributors towards related open source projects, using VR not just for a fun experience but may be for a more meaningful and useful experience, such as a VR teaching kit that simulates the reality of a profession or a VR experience that helps people, who are not so literate, from far off places, understand war and disasters and a way to prevent themselves in case of distress, will only lead to new horizons of VR.

All this sounds very tricky and far from reality to actually implement. But wait, that's what Virtual Reality is, after all ! Far from reality :)

So, while I while evaluating all such use cases of VR in the real world and also reading up why those tech giants are keen on putting up a VR unit, it made a lot of sense to have it work for a variety of audiences, a variety of scenarios and a variety of uses. And to be a contributor to such a great boom in technology is pure bliss.

Initially though, when one goes through a first time experience of VR, he/she is most likely to reconsider taking this up for development (even as an open source contributor), but trust me, the one library that Mozilla built in this front, the A-Frame, just dissolves all such concerns in one shot.  The A-Frame library allows you to build websites easily runnable on a normal web browser with a very simplified implementation. It's just another HTML tag that you include in your HTML document which let's you do all the awesome stuff around WebVR.

The A-Frame documentation too, is one of the most simplified ones ever found on the web. Mostly aimed at absolute beginners, literally anyone with a practical knowledge of (but not limited to)  mere HTML taught in High Schools can build some great starter VR websites by merely reading up the documentation.

The minds behind A-Frame also blog weekly about the new things happening around it from all over the world and just one edition of it, is enough to last a month full of inspiration around doing great and meaningful things around WebVR.

A minor technical confusion around it among new contributors is a distinction between Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. The answer though, is out of the scope of this small blog post, both maintain their own beauty in implementing completely different solutions to very different problems. Read more about it, here.

Again, this is just the beginning of an bigger and very meaningful revolution. VR can change the way we lead our daily lives !

On a lighter note, the masterminds behind those sci-fi movies that project the future in the most unrealistic way have given some great inspiration to people around the world coz why not, nothing is impossible after all. Atleast, that's what seems to be, when someone says VR, right !