With the launch of Firefox Quantum, Mozilla decided to team up with Disconnect Inc. to compare page load times between desktop versions of Chrome’s Incognito mode and Firefox Quantum’s Private Browsing.
Firefox Quantum is the fastest version of Firefox we’ve ever made. It is twice as fast as Firefox 52 and often faster than the latest version of Chrome in head to head page load comparisons. By using key performance benchmarks, we were able to optimize Firefox to eliminate unnecessary delays and give our users a great browsing experience.
Most browser performance benchmarks focus on the use of a regular browsing mode. But, what about Private Browsing? Given that Private Browsing use is so common, we wanted to see how Firefox’s Private Browsing compared with Chrome’s Incognito when it came to page load time (that time between a click and the page being fully loaded on the screen).
Spoiler Alert…. Firefox Quantum’s Private Browsing is fast…. really fast.
Why would Private Browsing performance be any different?
Websites have the ability to load content and run scripts from a variety of sources. Some of these scripts include trackers. Trackers are used for a variety of reasons including everything from website analytics to tracking website engagement for the purposes of targeted advertising. The use of trackers on websites is very common. Unfortunately trackers can delay the completion of page loads while the browser waits for tracking scripts to respond.
In 2015, Firefox became the only browser to include Tracking Protection enabled by default in Private Browsing mode. Tracking Protection, as the name implies, blocks resources from loading if the URL being loaded is on a list of known trackers as defined by Disconnect’s Tracking Protection list. This list is a balanced approach to blocking and does not include sites that obey Do Not Track (as defined in the EFF guidelines). While the feature is meant to help keep users from being tracked when they have explicitly opted to use Private Browsing, the side effect is a much faster browsing experience on websites which attempt to load content from URLs on the tracking list. A previous Firefox study in 2015 showed that there was a reduction in median page load time on top News websites of 44%.
Since Firefox Quantum is the fastest version of Firefox yet, we thought it would be interesting to compare page load times between Firefox Quantum’s Private Browsing ( which includes Tracking Protection), and Chrome’s Incognito mode which does not include a tracking protection feature.
The study was conducted by Disconnect, the organization behind the domain lists used to power Tracking Protection. Page load times for the top 200 news websites as ranked by Alexa.com were measured using Firefox Quantum (v57.0b10v57 beta) in both default and Private Browsing modes and the most recent Chrome version (v61.0.3163.100) that was available at the time of testing – also in default and Incognito modes. News sites were tested because these sites tend to have the most trackers.
Each of the news websites were loaded 10 times. In order for the test to measure comparable timings and to be reproducible by others, load times were measured using the PerformanceTiming API for both Firefox and Chrome for each page load. In particular, the total load time is considered as the difference between PerformanceTiming.loadEventEnd and PerformanceTiming.navigationStart. The tests were controlled through an automated script.
All rounds of testing were conducted on a new Macbook Pro (13’’ Macbook Pro 2017, 3.1GHz i5, 16GB memory, OSX 10.13). We tested on a fast network connection with the Macbook Pro connected to a Webpass 100Mbps connection over WiFi (802.11ac, 867Mbit/s). For a deep dive into the methodology, check out our Mozilla Hacks post.
Across the top 200 news websites tested, the average page load time for Firefox Quantum’s Private Browsing is 3.2 seconds compared to Chrome’s Incognito mode which took an average of 7.7 seconds to load a page for the fast Gigabit connection. This means that, on average, Firefox Quantum’s Private Browsing loads page 2.4x faster than Chrome in Incognito mode.
On average, Firefox Quantum’s Private Browsing loads page 2.4x faster than Chrome in Incognito mode
Comparing the average load times for Chrome also shows that Incognito mode alone does not bring any speed improvements. It is the Tracking Protection that makes the difference as can be seen from the results for Firefox Quantum.
Another way to look at this data is by looking at the time that is acceptable to users for pages to be loaded. A third party study by SOASTA Inc. recently found that an average session load time of 6 seconds already leads to a 70% user bounce rate. Therefore, it makes sense to put our measurements in the context of looking at the share of pages per browser that took longer than 6 seconds to load.
95% of page loads met the 6 second or faster threshold using Firefox Quantum Private Browsing with Tracking Protection
95% of page loads met the 6 second or faster threshold using Firefox Quantum Private Browsing with Tracking Protection enabled, while only 70% of page loads made the cut on Chrome, leaving nearly a third of the news sites unable to load within that time frame.
While the speed improvements in Firefox Quantum will vary depending on the website, overall users can expect that Private Browsing in Firefox will be faster than Chrome’s Incognito mode right out of the box.
In fact, due to these findings, we wanted users to be able to benefit from the increased speed and privacy outside of Private Browsing mode. With Firefox Quantum, users now have the ability to enable Tracking Protection in Firefox at any time.
Interested? Then try Private Browsing for yourself!
If you’d like to take it up a notch and enable Tracking Protection every time you use Firefox, then download Firefox Quantum, open Preferences. Choose Privacy & Security and scroll down until you find the Tracking Protection section. Alternatively, simply search for “Tracking Protection” in the Find in Preferences field. Enable Tracking Protection “Always” and you are set to enjoy both improved speed and privacy whenever you use Firefox Quantum.
When enabling it, please keep in mind that Tracking Protection may block social “like” buttons, commenting tools and some cross-site video content.
Tracking Protection in the new Firefox browser
If Tracking Protection is a feature that you’ve commonly used or that you will want to use more regularly, give Firefox Quantum a try to experience how fast it is!
Disconnect Inc. and Mozilla partnered up in 2015 to power Firefox’s Tracking Protection giving you control over the data that third parties receive from you online. The blocklist is based on a list of known trackers as defined by Disconnect’s Tracking Protection list. As a follow-up, we asked ourselves if Firefox’s Private Browsing mode with Tracking Protection might also offer speed benefits.
Contributors: Peter Dolanjski & Dominik Strohmeier – Mozilla, Casey Oppenheim & Eason Goodale – Disconnect Inc.
Firefox Quantum was released today. It’s the fastest Firefox yet built on a completely overhauled engine and a beautiful new design. As part of our focus on user experience and performance in Firefox Quantum, Google will also become our new default search provider in the United States, Canada, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Firefox default search providers in other regions are Yandex in Russia, Turkey, Belarus and Kazakhstan; Baidu in China; and Google in the rest of the world. Firefox has more choice in search providers than any other browser with more than 60 search providers pre-installed across more than 90 languages.
This is part of our ongoing search strategy, announced in 2014 to evaluate and select the best search experience in each region as opposed to having a single global default.
We are committed to providing the best Firefox experience for users and will continue to encourage growth in search, provide users with local choices and promote innovation in the space.
If you haven’t tried out the new Firefox, you can get it here.
Thirteen years ago, we marked the launch of Firefox 1.0 with a crowdfunded New York Times ad. It listed the names of every single person who contributed — hundreds of people. And it opened a lot of eyes. Why? It showed what committed individuals willing to put their actions and dollars behind a cause they believe in can make happen. In this case, it was launching Firefox, a web browser brought to market by Mozilla, the not-for-profit organization committed to making the internet open and accessible to everyone. And Firefox represented more than just a new and improved browser. It stood for an independent alternative to the corporately controlled Internet Explorer from Microsoft, and a way for people to take back control of their online experience.
Firefox Ad in New York Times on November 14, 2017
Fast forward to today and the launch of the new Firefox browser (check out our ad in today’s New York Times). No doubt, we are bringing a new, faster and more powerful browser to market but, the reason we’re in this business still remains the same. Now, more than ever, people need tech options that are not only built to work well for the individual user but which also improve the overall tech landscape. That’s exactly what the new Firefox does. Twice as fast, and still committed to putting people over profit. We are fighting for a healthy internet and we want the Internet to be accessible and open to all. We are a community of committed individuals standing up for what we believe is right.
The new Firefox browser is the best we’ve put in market since Firefox first launched, and the world of marketing has changed since that initial launch so we’ve put forward our best marketing to date as well.
Behind-The-Scenes of our New Firefox Campaign Launch
Our research tells us that Firefox and its parent organization Mozilla are both well-known brands. Yet not enough people see a distinction between Firefox and our biggest competitor, Chrome. And even fewer people understand that Mozilla is a not-for-profit responsible for pro-Internet technologies, policies, and programs beyond Firefox.
However, those who do understand the depth and breadth of Mozilla’s work view Firefox as a more iconic browser and are happier and more loyal users. So we’ve been hard at work to create a deeper understanding of Mozilla in order to create more differentiation for Firefox, and at the same time, be much clearer about what makes Firefox unique.
Part of that work is defining our key audience or the people for whom we can provide the most value with our products and who in return, can help us spread the word fastest and work with us to keep the Internet a healthy, open and accessible experience. We’ve identified a group of consumers, representing 23% of all Internet users, who we call Conscious Choosers. This segment takes time to research and understand products and companies in order to make a deliberate choice about who and what they support. They share a worldview that is against monopolies and centralized power hubs, and for democratic access to information, knowledge, and resources. They try hard to reconcile these values with their behaviors, and while willing to take the extra effort to do what is right, they are in a constant balancing act between choosing what is “easy” and doing what is “right.”
Understanding what makes Conscious Choosers tick has helped us make some important marketing decisions and guide the new Firefox launch.
The right promise
First, it led to our tagline for the new Firefox: Fast for good. This promise reinforces that with the new Firefox, there is no trade-off between performance (the “easy” choice) and purpose (the “right” choice). You get a browser that is 2x faster, and that uses 30% less memory than Chrome. A browser that’s already known for its powerful privacy options. And a browser that allows you to support a mission-driven not-for-profit too.
This positioning is spread across all of our marketing materials from the website to our advertising campaigns.
We think the new Firefox has to be felt to believed. So two of our creative executions that I am previewing here for you first, focused on what it feels like — and even sounds like — to use our blazingly fast new browser. We’re bringing these concepts to life in television spots and promoted videos.
Browsing at the Speed of Right
Wait Face. As you use the internet you’ve probably felt frustrated by the slowness of a page loading or a video buffering. Annoyance, boredom, and tiredness have become universal human expressions of waiting for stuff to happen online, and these expressions act as a foil for the new Firefox experience. We loved working with our teams of actors and directors to capture the essence of the wait face and we still smile when we watch the spots.
The antidote to wait face is the new Firefox. When our actors fire it up the waiting resolves to joy and excitement as people experience the sensation of speed. The internet is theirs to enjoy. And the energy that all the teams put into this spot can be felt.
Take a look.
What Does Speed Sound Like?
The Wait Face videos show what the new Firefox experience looks and feels like. Through the creative exploration, they made us wonder how else we might demonstrate the sensation of the new product. Watching the actors interact with the music and play on their Firefox faces made us wonder if we might be able to show what slow and fast sounded like.
For that, we turned to the music impresario Reggie Watts — bandleader for the Late, Late Show; intellectual improv artist; and beat-box musician with a large and growing following. We asked Reggie to improvise through sound the feeling of slowness and to contrast that with the joyful speed of Firefox. Our collaboration results in a funny and memorable performance where fast has a magnetic attraction that even Reggie can’t resist.
Reggie Watts in the new Firefox TV ads
In addition to a spot for TV and digital video placement, Reggie improvised a slew of video snippets that we’ll share by a combination of different tactics from social to video bumpers and more.
In Real Life
Our Conscious Chooser insights also led to another important component of our marketing strategy. While this segment is very confident in their ability to “vote with their wallet” offline to show support of the products and services that align with their values, they can sometimes be overwhelmed and even feel defeated with how to demonstrate their values and exercise their power online. So we’ve created a series experiences that make the intangible more tangible. Our Firefox Fast Ferry literally gets New Yorkers from Brooklyn to Manhattan and back faster by offering an alternative to the slower-than-ever subway (that happens to be under repair to boot). Our Firefox Fast Pass has sped up fans’ experience — and their time for fun — at events like TwitchCon, ComplexCon and Playlist Live.
In addition to experiences like these that reinforce what’s special about Firefox, we’ve also invested in programs that help people understand the broader work of Mozilla, in order to add even more differentiation to Firefox. Our podcast IRL shines a light on how our online and offline behaviors impact each other. And our Glass Room pop-up has taken the somewhat boring and often intimidating idea of data privacy and brought it to life through interactive exhibits, onsite experts and easy-to-use tools that make it real and easy to make smart choices about how, where and when to share your online identity.
Firefox, fast for good
This is why Firefox exists. Our CEO, Chris Beard summed it up nicely in an email to the community of Firefox users:
“When you use Firefox, you’re also contributing to a movement to ensure the Internet remains a global public resource, open and accessible to all. As an independent, not-for-profit organization, we’ve been committed since 2003 to building products that put you in control of your online life and advancing open technology and public policy that promote a healthier Internet. We put you at the center of everything we do.
On behalf of Mozilla’s global community, we’re proud to introduce you to the new Firefox. Fast for good.”
If you haven’t done so already, we invite you to check out the new Firefox browser and tell us what you think through Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
It’s fast. Really fast. Firefox Quantum is over twice as fast as Firefox from 6 months ago, built on a completely overhauled core engine with brand new technology stolen from our advanced research group, and graced with a beautiful new look designed to get out of the way and let you do what you do best: surf a ton of pages, open a zillion tabs, all guilt free because Firefox Quantum uses less memory than the competition. Your computer will thank you. ?
It’s by far the biggest update we’ve had since we launched Firefox 1.0 in 2004, it’s just flat out better in every way. If you go and install it right now, you’ll immediately notice the difference, accompanied by a feeling of mild euphoria. If you’re curious about what we did, read on.
The first thing you’ll notice is the speed. Go on, open some tabs and have some fun. The second thing you’ll notice is the new User Interface (UI). We call this initiative Photon, and its goal is to modernize and unify anything that we call Firefox while taking advantage of the speedy new engine. You guessed it: the Photon UI itself is incredibly fast and smooth. To create Photon, our user research team studied how people browsed the web. We looked at real world hardware to make Firefox look great on any display, and we made sure that Firefox looks and works like Firefox regardless of the device you’re using. Our designers created a system that scales to more than just current hardware but lets us expand in the future. Plus, our Pocket integration goes one step further, which includes Pocket recommendations alongside your most visited pages.
As part of our focus on user experience and performance in Firefox Quantum, Google will also become our new default search provider in the United States and Canada. With more than 60 search providers pre-installed across more than 90 languages, Firefox has more choice in search providers than any other browser.
Here’s a look at the new Firefox browser in action:
Making Firefox look, feel and perform faster was no small feat. Employees and volunteers from around the world worked in record time to create the best Firefox yet. Let’s take a moment to take a look at what we accomplished this past year to make this happen:
There’s more that could be said about all the amazing work that went into Quantum, or about some of the exciting stuff in the very near future, but at this point you should stop reading and download Firefox Quantum, because it will make you happy.
In the past weeks, both Apple and Microsoft have shipped new versions of Safari and Edge, respectively, that include support for WebAssembly. Since Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome already support WebAssembly, that makes all four major browsers capable of running code compiled to the wasm format on the web.
“Google, Apple, and Microsoft had all committed to supporting WebAssembly in their browsers. To have that support in market today is a really exciting development,” said Luke Wagner, the Mozilla engineer who created WebAssembly’s precursor, asm.js, and spearheaded work on the WebAssembly specification.
A Growing Standard
What’s the big deal about WebAssembly? First, it’s on its way to becoming an industry standard. It’s a proven way to run large, complex applications on the web. And it gives web developers a number of options they’ve never had before. For instance, now you can:
Get near-native performance without using a plug-in
Write code that is both performant and safe, because it executes within the browser’s security sandbox
How It’s Used Today
Today, the use cases for WebAssembly and asm.js have grown beyond online gaming. As people experiment with the process of using the WebAssembly format and its cohort, the Emscripten compiler, they’re finding ways to move increasingly sophisticated applications to the web. Things like:
“Asm.js and WebAssembly were really no-brainers for the gaming industry, because they had all this investment in massive C++ programs that they didn’t want to rewrite for the web,” Wagner said. “Now we’re seeing people using WebAssembly for all kinds of new projects. So there’s this real promise that we will someday be able to run most any application on the web and have it perform just as it would if it were running locally on your PC.”
You can also try out WebAssembly Explorer, an online tool which allows you play around with a C/C++ compiler and understand how WebAssembly code is produced, delivered, and ultimately consumed by the browser. Another online tool, WebAssembly Fiddle, lets you write, share, and run WebAssembly code snippets in the browser. For an even deeper dive, you can inspect WebAssembly binaries to understand how WebAssembly code is encoded at a binary level.
Is your smart toaster spying on you? Does your toddler’s new toy have an easily-hackable microphone or camera?
This holiday season, don’t buy your loved ones an Internet-connected gadget that compromises their privacy or security — no matter how nifty or cute that gadget may be.
Today, Mozilla is publishing *Privacy Not Included — a shopping companion to help consumers identify Internet-connected products that meet their privacy and security needs.
Mozilla’s researchers reviewed dozens of popular toys, game consoles, exercise gadgets, and smart home accessories ranging in price from $25 to $900. We asked critical questions, like:
Does this product have privacy controls? Does the company share data with third parties? And does the company claim to obey child-related privacy rules? Our goal: To make products’ privacy and security features as obvious as their price.
Our reviews are guided by the Digital Standard, a comprehensive rubric for evaluating items’ privacy and security features. The Standard is developed by Consumer Reports and its partners Disconnect, Ranking Digital Rights, and the Cyber Independent Testing Lab.
We also integrated Talk — an open-source commenting platform built by Mozilla — across our buyers’ guide, so consumers can talk to one another. *Privacy Not Included is available in both English and Spanish.
We’re releasing *Privacy Not Included at a critical moment. Every day, more and more products — from cars to dolls to salt shakers — connect to the Internet and collect our personal data. But people feel they can’t control these connected devices, according to a recent Mozilla poll of 190,000 individuals across scores of countries. 35% of respondents were “wary and nervous” about the future of IoT, and 45% feared a “loss of privacy.”
Unfortunately, the expectation in digital life today is that it’s the consumer’s responsibility to protect their online privacy and security. It’s the consumer’s job to wield VPNs and encryption, and to master a host of other technical tools.
It’s important to empower consumers — but it’s not enough. Makers of digital products must prioritize online privacy and security. We don’t ask people to install their own seat belts to stay safe in cars. Why are we asking people to install VPNs to stay safe online?
“Right now, the Internet of Things is at an inflection point,” Mark Surman, Mozilla’s Executive Director, recently wrote. “It’s pervasive, but also still in its infancy. Rules have yet to be written, and social mores yet to be established. There are many possible futures — some darker than others.”
With *Privacy Not Included, we can help shoppers choose more responsible technology. We can also do something bigger — fuel a movement for rules and mores that enshrine online privacy and security. We can demand change from the businesses that make digital products, and the governments that oversee them, to ensure privacy and security are built into our digital lives.
We inquired about people’s relationships with their connected devices, like smart TVs, Fitbits, and routers. Questions ranged from “What connected devices do you own?“ to “What is your biggest fear as we move toward a more connected future?”
Nearly 190,000 people around the world responded. People from the tiny islands of Tuvalu to the huge landmass of China and everywhere in between. (Mozilla released the survey in six languages: English, Spanish, German, Italian, French, and Portuguese.)
What we learned is fascinating. Like: People in India are more likely to own a smart appliance, whereas people in Argentina are more likely to own a smart TV. And: People everywhere are worried that a more connected future will jeopardize their privacy.
Below, read 10 fascinating things we learned. In the coming months, Mozilla will use these findings to help guide our advocacy and public education work around internet health.
#1: The world is pretty evenly divided between fear and optimism for a more connected future
The more tech savvy people are, the more optimistic they feel about a connected future. People who identified as the least tech savvy are most likely to be “scared as hell” about our more connected future—31% compared to the overall average of just 7%.
Respondents in India were the most optimistic about the connected future, with 25% being “super excited,” compared to the overall average of 7%. Mexico and Brazil also stood out as generally more optimistic countries. On the other hand, people in Belgium, France, the UK, Switzerland, and the U.S. expressed fear about the world becoming more connected.
#2: Everywhere in the world people are afraid of losing their privacy
When asked what they most fear about a more connected future, people overwhelmingly responded with loss of privacy (45%). All top responding countries pointed to the loss of privacy as their main concern, with the exception of Italy, which saw loss of connections with other people as their main concern.
The more tech savvy a respondent was, the more he or she was concerned about the loss of privacy. 33% of the least tech savvy group identified loss of privacy as their top concern—the number rose to 41% for average users, 48% for the savvy users, and 54% for the ultra tech savvy. Conversely, losing touch with one another was the highest concern for the least tech savvy respondents.
#3: The language of the connected future isn’t yet well known
Fewer than 30% of respondents said they could explain IoT (Internet of Things), botnets, blockchain, RFID, or Zero Day Vulnerability to a friend. Fewer than 40% of respondents said they could explain DDOS attacks or TOR. The only two things more than half of the respondents said they could explain to a friend were VPN (Virtual Private Network) and connected devices.
#4: The smartphone vs laptop divide is real In the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, more users reported owning a laptop than a smartphone. In most countries outside of North America and the UK—including Brazil, India, Argentina, Mexico, Italy, and Spain—more people reported owning a smartphone than a laptop. People who identified as the least technically savvy were more likely to own a laptop than a smartphone.
#5: When it comes to connected products, people around the world have different tastes Respondents from Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico own smart TVs at the highest rate—50% reported owning one compared to the worldwide average of 40%. U.S. respondents reported the highest ownership of fitness trackers (20%), smart cars (15%), and connected thermostats (8%). Respondents from India and Brazil reported the highest ownership of smart appliances—15% compared to the worldwide average of 7%.
#6: People are divided over who is responsible for making connected devices private and secure One-third of respondents believe the makers of connected products are responsible for building privacy and security into their devices. One-third believe it’s up to individuals to protect themselves online. The remaining third of respondents were divided between believing the government was responsible for online privacy and security and just not knowing who should be responsible.
#7: People aren’t sure who to trust to help them be secure online Most respondents—40%—trust non-profit organizations the most to help them protect themselves online. The more technically savvy that people viewed themselves, the more they trusted nonprofits. On the flip side, 27% of people reported they just don’t know who to trust. That number jumps to 45% among people who identified as the least technically savvy. Almost nobody said they trusted the media (3%) or the government (2%) to help protect them online.
#8: People don’t seem all that excited about the world getting more connected
The top response to the question “What are you most excited about as we move toward a more digitally connected future?” was None of the Above (27%). People in Canada, France, the UK, and U.S. saw the least amount of benefits to a more connected future.
People who are excited about a connected future are looking forward to how much easier it will make life (26.7%). Brazilian respondents stood out as the most excited about how easy life will be—44% selected it as the top benefit. In India, educational benefits of the connected future were what got respondents most excited (32%).
#9: Privacy and security aren’t top concerns for people shopping for connected products Nearly all people ranked price, features, and reliability as the top three things they consider when buying a new connected device, regardless of country or level of tech savviness. Security and privacy were ranked next. Overall, people reported friend or family recommendations and user reviews as the things they considered least when buying a new connected device.
#10: People all around the world like to take surveys
189,770 people responded to our survey. People from Andorra to Zambia and everywhere in between. The most responses came from France (18%), Italy (15%), Germany (13%), the United States (11%), and Brazil (7%).
At Mozilla, we believe in making data open and accessible to everyone. If you would like to go deeper into this survey data, here are links to dig in:
From augmented reality training for first responders, to robotics classes for high school students, Mozilla is supporting bright ideas that leverage gigabit internet to create more open and innovative cities
Today, Mozilla is announcing $275,000 to support creative, educational technology projects across the U.S.
Mozilla is partnering with museums, universities, nonprofits, libraries, and high schools in Texas, Louisiana, Kansas, and beyond.
“We’re focusing on projects that leverage gigabit internet speeds — up to 250x average speeds — to make a positive impact in the communities we serve and across the country,” says Lindsey Frost, who directs Mozilla’s gigabit work. “Projects use augmented reality to train first responders; raise awareness about coastal erosion through virtual reality simulations; bring robotics into high school classrooms; and much more.”
Through the Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund — a partnership with the National Science Foundation and U.S. Ignite — Mozilla invests in projects that leverage lightning-fast gigabit internet connectivity to further education and workforce development.
“The gigabit projects we fund are built and piloted by community members to address real challenges in education and workforce development in their cities,” Frost explains. “It’s all part of our mission to build a healthy internet that fuels a more open, equitable, and inclusive society.”
The Mozilla Community Gigabit Fund provides funding to technologists, educators, and entrepreneurs in five gigabit cities: Austin, TX; Chattanooga, TN; Eugene, OR; Kansas City; and Lafayette, LA. Funding supports pilots of gigabit technologies in individual cities, but also efforts to scale pilots to all five communities.
Our 18 latest grantees receive funds ranging from $5,000 to $28,000. Grantees are:
PerSim Training Simulation for First Responders | Austin, TX.PerSim provides affordable, portable, and realistic AR training simulations to paramedics. Led by MedCognition.
Latinitas VR Cinema Chica | Austin, TX. Twenty Latina girls ages 10 and older will work with an experienced VR filmmaker to create short documentaries about Austin’s East Side. Films will be featured at the Cine Las Americas International Film Festival in May 2018. Led by Latinitas.
Dove Springs Coding Academy-GO! Future VR Project | Austin, TX. This project provides 40 low-income youth with coding lessons through a VR curriculum. Students will present their learnings at a VR College & Career Fair. Led by River City Youth Foundation.
Cine Joven Breaking Borders Project | Austin, TX. This project allows students from Austin, Texas and Monterrey, Mexico to co-create a 4K short film over high-bandwidth internet. The final film will be screened in Monterrey before a live audience. Led by Motion Media Arts Center.
Virtual Storytelling Curriculum | Austin, TX. This project introduces students to careers in technology, and hones their storytelling skills, by having them catalogue local historic landmarks using 360-degree video and VR. Led by E4 Youth.
Gigabit Technology and the Arts in Creative Action After School | Austin, TX. Technology meets art in this project, as educators and artists integrate VR headsets, 360-degree video, and a variety of applications into theater classes, art classes, and mural making. Led by Creative Action.
VR Field Trip to the USA | Austin, TX, Chattanooga, TN & Kansas City. This project uses 360-degree 4K video to connect local classrooms with others around the world. Students will act as cultural ambassadors for their city, remotely introducing international students to Austin, Kansas City, and Chattanooga. Led by PenPal Schools.
CERN + Gigabit Challenge | Austin, TX & Kansas City. This project connects critical research taking place at CERN with classrooms in Kansas City and Austin. Students can view physics calculations and research in real-time. Led by KC Metropolitan.
Networking the Classroom of the Future | Chattanooga, TN & Lafayette, LA. The Classroom of the Future pairs 4K microscopes and video streaming with local aquariums and science museums. It brings hands-on science and technology education directly into local classrooms. Led by the Enterprise Center.
City Synth | Eugene, OR. City Synth will work with engineers, technologists, and students from the South Eugene Robotics Team to transform the city of Eugene into a musical instrument. A series of interactive mixed-media installations will remix audio and video. Led by Harmonic Laboratory.
Gigabit Residencies | Eugene, OR. This project provides residencies that will teach 200 students graphic design, audio engineering, and other skills by leveraging lightning-fast gigabit internet. The project also entails web-based professional development for teachers. Led by Lane Arts Council.
NEDCO | Springfield, OR. With this grant, low-income youth will have access to a mobile, interactive classroom that expands their horizons beyond the city of Springfield. The project entails high-quality interactive learning experiences and counseling opportunities. Led by NEDCO.
Redefining Women in Tech Interactive Video Learning Events | Eugene, OR. Redefining Women in Tech uses interactive 4K video alongside face-to-face meetings to help women navigate the often inequitable tech sector. This project will include job resource training, professional development opportunities, and community organizing to promote a more equitable industry. Led by Redefining Women in Tech.
Coder in Residence | Eugene, OR & Kansas City. The Coder in Residence program puts gigabots — gigabit-internet enabled robots — in elementary school classrooms. It provides robotics curriculum to students, and robotics curriculum professional development for educators. Led by Lane STEM.
Coastal Erosion VR | Lafayette, LA. The Lafayette Science Museum will develop “Coastal Quest,” a VR game that allows visitors to explore coastal erosion in Louisiana and select coastal defenses that slow or mitigate erosion. Led by Lafayette Science Museum.
Tiny House VR Project | Lafayette, LA. Students at David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy will create, design, test and demonstrate a VR walkthrough of the “Atomic Agora Tiny House.” This tiny house will be donated by Habitat for Humanity to families transitioning from shelters or displacement to permanent homes. Led by David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy.
Career readiness & 4K project | Lafayette, LA. High school students will participate virtually in a college level course via a 4K video stream. The project aims to increase college awareness and attainment rates for students, and develop a potentially scalable model. Led by University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL).
Kvasir-VR | Lafayette, LA . UL-Lafayette and David Thibodaux STEM academy will pilot an immersive VR field trip experience that allows educators and experts to guide and assess students through the Cleco Alternative Energy Center in Crowley, Louisiana. Led by University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL).
About the fund
The Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund provides grants and on-the-ground-staff to support projects that leverage gigabit internet to create more connected, open, and innovative U.S. cities. The Fund has granted more than $800,000 to over 60 projects during its four-year history.
The Fund is run in partnership with the National Science Foundation and U.S. Ignite.
Fund grantees can be individuals, nonprofits, and for-profits.
Fund cities are selected based on a range of criteria, including a widely deployed high-speed fiber network; a developing conversation about digital literacy, access, and innovation; a critical mass of community anchor organizations, including arts and educational groups; an evolving entrepreneurial community; and opportunities to engage K-12 school systems.
The Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund has a diverse roster of grantees. Below, learn about just one: My Brother’s Keeper Coding Maker Space, which teaches young men of color web VR in Austin, Texas. View other gigabit grantees here.
London, UK – 24th October 2017: At noon on Wednesday, the doors to The Glass Room, London’s latest sleek pop-up store, will open, offering curious visitors a glimpse into the implications of our increasingly digital lifestyles.
The Glass Room, produced by Mozilla and curated by Tactical Tech, highlights the flipside of life in the digital age through an animated, creative space that combines artworks, interactive workshops, videos and guest speakers to visualise our data and explore how it is freely harvested, traded and sold on a daily basis. Running from 25th October to 12th November in London, The Glass Room aims to help people identify and reduce their digital footprints, having helped more than 10,000 New Yorkers do the same in 2016.
Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, Mozilla’s Chief Marketing Officer, said, “Having debuted to national acclaim when it arrived in New York last year, we look forward to the opening of The Glass Room in London. As a not-for-profit, Mozilla invests in creative ways to make sure people are informed and ready to protect themselves online. With fake news and misinformation, the normalisation of surveillance, and so-called “free” services from powerful tech companies, The Glass Room opens your eyes to the invisible imbalance of power and the irony of referring to our most intimate data as ‘personal’. ”
Stephanie Hankey, of Tactical Tech added, “The Glass Room is where big data is displayed in a tangible and less abstract way. On the one hand, it is a personal experience, where you can playfully challenge your own relationship with the devices, websites and apps you use everyday. On the other hand, it is a space to ask important questions about the issues we face as a society, such as right to privacy, disproportional power, and the data-driven economy. Everyone has a reason to care, but sometimes you just need to see something from a new perspective to do something about it.”
The Glass Room’s sleek, minimalist storefront located in London’s busy West End is no accident. Shoppers may enter with an expectation to browse and buy the latest technology, yet they leave with a greater understanding that for many companies, we have become the product and our personal data has become a commodity. An experience created by artists, activists and technologists, The Glass Room features over 40 individual artworks inspired by four principal themes:
We Know You: The Big Five (Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft) are no longer the disruptive upstarts of their “Don’t Be Evil” origin stories and are today fully enmeshed in our daily lives. They are also the biggest companies in the world, with the power to influence everything, from the next hot consumer trend to shaping the global political stage, with the tweak of an algorithm. Pieces created by Tactical Tech and La Loma visualise this data and explore how much we know about these companies who know so much about us.
Something to Hide: We often hear the argument, “I have nothing to hide” but are we aware of how much we aren’t hiding in return for free or convenient services? These pieces explore the unbalanced and often invisible data exchange in a playful way and offers food for thought on how such data could be used and abused.
Big Mother: In this age of “Big Brother”, surveillance comes in many forms, with the State introducing a new brand of “care-veillance”. A new program designed to provide swifter access to in-home monitoring of elderly relatives is being welcomed as a safety net to allow safer independent living. But who holds that data and how is it protected? This installation investigates the risks and rewards of this new breed of surveillance society and explores if and how we can opt out.
Open the Box: Take a peek beneath the screen to the data patterns and traces we leave in our wake. This section visualises the data footprints that we leave behind for all to see, and examines how this data can be collected, analysed and used by others.
A series of guest speakers throughout the duration of the pop-up will host lectures, workshops and interactive sessions on many key issues raised by the proliferation of data and the exponential growth of our online lifestyles. Confirmed speakers include artists Adam Harvey and !Mediengruppe Bitnik, journalists Eliot Higgins and Carl Miller, and many others.
For those who wish to explore further, “Ingeniuses” at the Data Detox Bar will show you what the data brokers see, allow you to manipulate the online advertising that others see and even create fake news on real news websites – encouraging us all to think twice before taking anything online at face value. For those who wish to learn how to reduce their digital footprint and make more informed choices about their online activity moving forward, the Ingeniuses will be able to provide practical tips and everyone can try the ‘8-day Data Detox kit’, available from the event or online.
The Glass Room will be open to the public, free of charge, between 12pm and 8pm daily from Wednesday 25th October to Sunday 12th November 2017.
The Glass Room Experience will be touring the UK during the same period, offering visitors in towns and cities like Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Bristol an opportunity to gain insight into the implications of today’s digital life. More details can be found at https://theglassroom.org
At the same time as The Glass Room, MozFest, Mozilla’s week-long festival (23 October to 29 October) in London opens, focusing on Internet health issues like online privacy, web literacy, and misinformation.
Location:69 – 71 Charing Cross Road, WC2
A full list of the exhibits, workshops and guest speakers can be found online: theglassroom.org
Mozilla Mozilla is the not-for-profit behind the popular web browser, Firefox. We believe the Internet is a global public resource, open and accessible to all. We work to ensure it stays open by building products, technologies and programs that put people in control of their online lives, and contribute to a healthier Internet.
About Tactical Tech
Tactical Tech is a Berlin-based organisation working at the intersection of technology, human rights and civil liberties. They provide trainings, conduct research, and create cultural interventions that contribute to the wider socio-political debate around digital security, privacy and the ethics of data.
Today, Mozilla is announcing a new development program for Mixed Reality that will significantly expand its work in Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) for the web. Our initial focus will be on how to get devices, headsets, frameworks and toolsets to work together, so web developers can choose from a variety of tools and publishing methods to bring new immersive experiences online – and have them work together in a fully functional way.
In 2017, we saw an explosion of ways to create and experience Virtual Reality (VR) content on the web. Notable events included:
So the VR space is coalescing nicely, bringing VR models, games, and experiences online for anyone to enjoy and reuse. Unfortunately, the same is not yet true for AR. For instance, there is no way today to create a single web page that can be viewed by all these device types:
The Mixed Reality program aims to change that. We plan to work on the full continuum of specifications, browser implementations, and services required to create open VR and AR web experiences.
Proposing a WebXR API
We have created a draft WebXR API proposal for providing access to both augmented and virtual reality devices. The WebXR API formalizes the different ways these technologies expose views of reality around the user, and it exposes concepts common in AR platforms such as the Anchors found in Hololens, ARKit, and ARCore. You can take a look at an early implementation of this proposal, complete with examples that run on a range of AR- and VR-capable browsers.
WebXR is designed to make it easy for web developers to create web applications that adapt to the capabilities of each platform. These examples run in WebVR- and AR-enabled browsers, including desktop Firefox and experimental browsers such as one supporting ARCore on Android (although each small example is targeted at AR or VR for simplicity). We have developed an open-source WebXR Viewer iOS application that uses ARKit to implement AR support for these WebXR examples; it will be available in iTunes soon, but you can compile it yourself now if you have an iOS Developer account. We will be offering support for more browsers in the future, and welcome others to contribute to this effort and provide feedback on the proposal on GitHub.
Growing support for 3D Browsers
We are also expanding our browser support for Mixed Reality on the web. On desktop, we continue to evolve Firefox with broader 3D support, including recently announcing see-through AR support for Meta’s AR headset.
We look forward to your feedback on WebXR, as well as engaging with hardware and software developers who might wish to collaborate with us in this space or Servo. Stay tuned for upcoming updates from us on more ways to produce WebVR content from popular authoring tools, experimental browser features for better access to the GPU, in-headset content discovery, and open, cross-platform social services.