Since its creation by Apple in 2004, the HTML5 Canvas element has increasingly become woven into the fabric of the web.
At a basic level, Canvas is supported by all modern browsers and Google’s ExplorerCanvas allows developers to build for pre-IE8. That said, support for some other functionality like CSS drawings, is varied. While Chrome’s DevTools previously had a Canvas inspector tool, it was removed last year and this was briefly detailed in a Chromium bug report (https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=475808). This was probably the result of a phenomenon called ‘Canvas fingerprinting’ in which advertisers can exploit the Canvas element to profile a user’s graphics card and track their online activity. Firefox has retained its Canvas tool set for debugging animation frames, which is especially useful when building games and visualisations.
A-Frame and Mozilla’s larger MozVR initiative are especially exciting because they represent the first major push from a large tech organisation towards bringing virtual reality to the web.
Virtual reality will allow companies to design advertising that connects with customers on a very personal level. For example, clothing retailers might use VR to help customers visualise themselves wearing a piece of clothing before buying it.