Intent to Prototype: WebXR Depth API

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Piotr Bialecki

Aug 19, 2020, 7:20:47 PM8/19/20
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Depth API feature allows applications access to depth buffer information that conveys information about the user's environment in Augmented Reality scenarios.


By leveraging the depth API, web applications could offer more immersive AR experiences to their users. Example use cases are: - using depth information for physics (balls bouncing off of user's walls, projectiles burst when they hit the environment) - occlusion - virtual objects can appear as hidden behind real world objects Additionally, this helps close the gap between web platform and native APIs / SDKs.


Interoperability and Compatibility

The feature will be offered to Immersive Web WG / CG for adoption and to kick off discussions about interoperability. The design itself took into account ARCore (Android) and ARKit (iOS, marked as Beta) APIs to present an API shape that could be implemented in both of those platforms.

Gecko: No signal

WebKit: No signal

Web developers: No signals


This feature is an extension of WebXR Device API. The use of this particular feature does not depend on any other web features, although WebXR-enabled applications will most likely use WebGL.


The feature is usable as-is, although it will be more accessible to developers if used through libraries like three.js, <model-viewer>, A-Frame, etc.

Will this feature be supported on all six Blink platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, Android, and Android WebView)?

No. This will be supported on platforms where Chrome supports AR. Currently, this is only Android. There are no technical restrictions specific to this API preventing it from being implemented on other platforms. The specification itself will be implemented in Blink for all platforms, but the spec text leaves room for the UAs to signal that a particular API depends on the device support.

Is this feature fully tested by web-platform-tests?

No (N/A at this stage). WPTs will be added once a working prototype is developed.

Link to entry on the Chrome Platform Status

This intent message was generated by Chrome Platform Status.
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