A Cardboard VR implementation of a WebVR 1.1 VRDisplay for polyfilling the WebVR API

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1.0.194 years ago6 years agoMinified + gzip package size for cardboard-vr-display in KB


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A JavaScript implementation of a WebVR 1.1 VRDisplayVRDisplay. This is the magic behind rendering distorted stereoscopic views for browsers that do not support the WebVR API with the webvr-polyfill.
Unless you're building a WebVR wrapper, you probably want to use webvr-polyfill directly rather than this. This component does not polyfill interfaces like VRFrameData and navigator.getVRDisplays, and up to the consumer, although trivial (see examples).

How It Works

As of 1.0.4, CardboardVRDisplay uses RelativeOrientationSensor for orientation tracking, falling back to DeviceMotionEvents using sensor fusion and pose predictionfusion. RelativeOrientationSensor is a new API (read more about the new Sensors on the websensors) first implemented in Chrome M63. This API uses the new Feature Policy specification which allows developers to selectively enable or disable browser features.
It can also render in stereo mode, and includes mesh-based lens distortion. This display also includes user interface elements in VR mode to make the VR experience more intuitive, including:
  • A gear icon to select your VR viewer.
  • A back button to exit VR mode.
  • An interstitial which only appears in portrait orientation, requesting you switch
into landscape orientation (if orientation lockol is not available).


By default, main frames and same-origin iframes have access to Sensor APIs, but cross-origin iframes must specify feature policy and allow gyroscope and accelerometer features. If your experience is attempting to use the native WebXR Device API in an iframe, you'll have to specify that feature as well (WebXR's feature name may change). All of these features require HTTPS to function, except for localhost, where HTTP is allowed.
<iframe src="" allow="gyroscope; accelerometer; xr"></iframe>

While devicemotion is a fallback for Sensors, eventually devicemotion will be behind the same Feature Policy as Sensors and it is encouraged to adhere to these policies in the meantime. If the Feature Policy for Sensors is denied, CardboardVRDisplay will not always attempt to fall back to devicemotion. Using Feature Policies now will guarantee a more future-proof experience.


  • On iOS, cross-origin iframes do not have access to the devicemotion events.
The CardboardVRDisplay however does respond to events passed in from a parent frame via postMessage. See the iframe exampleiframe-example to see how the events must be formatted. This results in Chrome M63/M64 only supporting Sensors in main frames, and these browsers will fall back to using devicemotion if in iframes.

Magic Window

It is possible to have a magic window using a VRDisplay that isn't 100% width/height of the window, and can jump into fullscreen WebVR. See the magic windowmagicwindow-example for usage.


$ npm install --save cardboard-vr-display

Browser Support

Should support most modern browsers (IE11 is missing a few, for example) and requires ES5 JavaScript support. If you want to support a non-ES5 browser, or browser lacking some DOM globals, you must use a transformation or provide polyfills to support older environments.
Globals required:

Additionally, WebGL support, devicemotion events, and common browser globals (window, navigator, document) are also required in the environment.


cardboard-vr-display exposes a constructor for a CardboardVRDisplay that takes a single options configuration, detailed below. Check out running the demo to try the different options.
import CardboardVRDisplay from 'cardboard-vr-display';

// Default options
const options = {
  // Optionally inject custom Viewer parameters as an option. Each item
  // in the array must be an object with the following properties; here is
  // an example of the built in CardboardV2 viewer:
  // {
  //   id: 'CardboardV2',
  //   label: 'Cardboard I/O 2015',
  //   fov: 60,
  //   interLensDistance: 0.064,
  //   baselineLensDistance: 0.035,
  //   screenLensDistance: 0.039,
  //   distortionCoefficients: [0.34, 0.55],
  //   inverseCoefficients: [-0.33836704, -0.18162185, 0.862655, -1.2462051,
  //     1.0560602, -0.58208317, 0.21609078, -0.05444823, 0.009177956,
  //     -9.904169E-4, 6.183535E-5, -1.6981803E-6]
  // }
  // Added in 1.0.12.

  // Select the viewer by ID. If unspecified, defaults to 'CardboardV1'.
  // Added in 1.0.12.

  // By default, on mobile, a wakelock is necessary to prevent the device's screen
  // from turning off without user input. Disable if you're keeping the screen awake through
  // other means on mobile. A wakelock is never used on desktop.
  // Added in 1.0.3.

  // Whether or not CardboardVRDisplay is in debug mode. Logs extra
  // messages. Added in 1.0.2.
  DEBUG: false,

  // The URL to JSON of DPDB information. By default, uses the data
  // from; if left
  // falsy, then no attempt is made.
  // Added in 1.0.1
  DPDB_URL: '',

  // Complementary filter coefficient. 0 for accelerometer, 1 for gyro.
  K_FILTER: 0.98,

  // How far into the future to predict during fast motion (in seconds).

  // Flag to disabled the UI in VR Mode.

  // Flag to disable the instructions to rotate your device.

  // Enable yaw panning only, disabling roll and pitch. This can be useful
  // for panoramas with nothing interesting above or below.
  YAW_ONLY: false,

  // Scales the recommended buffer size reported by WebVR, which can improve
  // performance.
  // UPDATE(2016-05-03): Setting this to 0.5 by default since 1.0 does not
  // perform well on many mobile devices.

  // Allow VRDisplay.submitFrame to change gl bindings, which is more
  // efficient if the application code will re-bind its resources on the
  // next frame anyway. This has been seen to cause rendering glitches with
  // THREE.js.
  // Dirty bindings include: gl.FRAMEBUFFER_BINDING, gl.CURRENT_PROGRAM,
  // and gl.TEXTURE_BINDING_2D for texture unit 0.

const display = new CardboardVRDisplay(options);

function MockVRFrameData () {
  this.leftViewMatrix = new Float32Array(16);
  this.rightViewMatrix = new Float32Array(16);
  this.leftProjectionMatrix = new Float32Array(16);
  this.rightProjectionMatrix = new Float32Array(16);
  this.pose = null;

const frame = new (window.VRFrameData || MockVRFrameData)();

display.isConnected; // true

frame.rightViewMatrix; // Float32Array
frame.pose; // { orientation, position }


  • npm install: installs the dependencies.
  • npm run build: builds the distributable.
  • npm run watch: watches src/ for changes and rebuilds on change.

Releasing a new version

For maintainers only, to cut a new release for npm, use the npm version command. The preversion, version and postversion npm scripts will run tests, build, add built files and tag to git, push to github, and publish the new npm version.
npm version <semverstring>

Running The Demo

View the example to see a demo running the CardboardVRDisplay. This executes a minimal WebVR 1.1 polyfill and parses query params to inject configuration parameters. View some premade links at index.html. For example, to set the buffer scale to 1.0 and limit rotation to yaw, go to View all config options at src/options.js.


This program is free software for both commercial and non-commercial use, distributed under the Apache 2.0 License.