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A Quest to Innovate: Building cross-platform WebXR experiences for Meta Quest 3 and mobile

A look at how participants in the Niantic Innovation Lab created sample WebXR experiences that seamlessly deploy across devices and platforms

Mar 11, 2024 . 3 min read
A Quest to Innovate: Building cross-platform WebXR experiences for Meta Quest 3 and mobile

At Niantic, we're committed to fostering the true potential of AR - using technology to improve our reality, promote connection, and be more than an indoor fascination. In late 2023, we teamed up with Meta to host our second Niantic Innovation Labs. The focus of this innovation lab was to bring mixed reality to mobile and Meta Quest devices via the browser by working with leading developers who would focus on building experiences optimized for the Quest device line that also work on mobile, create a multiplayer headset experience that connects with other headset or mobile players, and to create a headset-first experience that demonstrates how mobile can extend play outdoors. 

At the center of this cohort was the use of Niantic 8th Wall's Metaversal Deployment. This powerful feature enables developers to create WebAR experiences and deploy them across various platforms like Meta Quest devices on browser or smartphones. As we await the mass adoption of HMDs, this feature makes it possible to democratize access to immersive experiences and ensure mixed reality experiences are accessible to a broader audience, regardless of their hardware. 

Over ten weeks, three teams embarked on a voyage of creativity and technological innovation, with just two mandates: their creations must thrive on both headsets and mobile, leveraging our Metaversal Deployment and multiplayer module. Beyond these parameters, they were free to innovate without bounds.

The outcomes were impressive, underscoring WebAR's dynamic capability to forge connections and deliver captivating experiences across diverse devices, bringing people together in a shared digital continuum.


BeeQuest by Indie Devs 

BeeQuest, an asymmetrical sample game optimized for Meta Quest and Mobile, emerged as a shining example of how a game can leverage mobile and HMDs to encourage both outdoor exploration and indoor engagement. In the game, players are plunged into the charming world of a honey bee, tasked with collecting resources, expanding their colony, and fending off wasp invasion.

The game's design leverages the strengths of each platform: precise tracking for HMDs and location-based experiences for mobile devices. In the real world, players can use their phones to follow the map and uncover AR flowers, where they assign players to harvest pollen and nectar. With these resources in tow, they can either continue playing on mobile or switch to a headset to manage their resources and use the pollen and nectar to create more honey and bees. On Meta Quest 3, players can also enter a battle mode to protect their hive from pesky wasps wanting to steal their honey. 

This demo experience used the Multiplayer Module and Lightship Maps Module to get up and running quickly with location-based experiences on 8th Wall. Indie Devs also leaned on Metaversal Deployment and React Three Fiber to create cross-platform components to make development faster. 

Dive Into Magical Forest by Designium

Dive Into Magical Forest was created by the team at Designium and transports players to a magical AR forest inhabited by a fairy named Kobbito. In this adventure, players are invited to explore this magical realm and asked to aid Kobbito in finding missing magical bugs in the forest. 

This sample experience, built on Shared AR through the Multiplayer Module, invites players into a cooperative exploration, enhancing the social aspect of gaming. The project underscores the potential of mixed reality to create compelling, interactive narratives that merge the digital and physical worlds. 

Cardboard Crashers by MousePack
Cardboard Crashers introduces a fun, competitive edge to the mixed reality experience created by this innovation lab cohort. This multiplayer, turn-based experience has players navigating balloon-powered vehicles in a quest to be the last one standing. The game demonstrates the precision of 8th Wall physics as the collisions cause cars to crash to the floor, creating a lively, competitive environment. 

Available across mobile and HMD, this sample experience shows how players can engage in shared gameplay, even if not all players have an HMD themselves, creating an engaging and collaborative environment.

This Niantic Innovation Labs cohort redefined the possibilities of mixed reality and set exciting examples of what can happen when we blend the digital and physical world with unparalleled creativity. Through BeeQuest's strategic gameplay, Dive Into Magical Forest's enchanting exploration, and Cardboard Crashers' dynamic competition, we've seen how AR can connect and captivate us in new ways. As we move forward, these projects not only inspire future innovations but also make us excited about how asymmetrical experiences across devices can help people explore the world together.

Learn more about building with Metaversal Deployment or sign-up now for your 14-day free trial to start building with 8th Wall. To learn more about joining future Niantic Innovation labs, fill out this form to connect with our team. 


Written by 8th Wall

Niantic's 8th Wall platform is equipping developers, agencies and brands with a complete set of tools to create web-based augmented reality. 8th Wall's WebAR works across iOS and Android devices with an estimated reach of 5 billion smartphones worldwide - all with no app required to download. 8th Wall has powered thousands of commercial experiences for top brands which have engaged millions of users around the world.

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