It’s no secret that Google is heavily interested in virtual reality technology and now it’s looking to bring some of that technology to Chrome. As noticed by Road To VR, the latest builds of Chrome Beta and Chrome Dev bring the beginnings of support for WebVR.
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Chrome Beta now includes a WebVR setting that allows VR devices to be compatible with VR websites built with WebVR standards. Chrome Dev contains a “VR Shell” setting that, as explained by Chromium Evangelist Francois Beaufort “allows users to browse the web while using Cardboard or Daydream-ready viewers.”
The Chromium team is working on several features to bring the web to VR. They’ve recently added an experimental flag at chrome://flags/#enable-vr-shell to enable a browser shell for VR. This allows users to browse the web while using Cardboard or Daydream-ready viewers.
They’ve also been working towards WebVR support in Chromium and launched VR view² to help web developers embed VR content in their web pages. The team is just getting started on making the web work well for VR so stay tuned, there’s more to come!
Essentially what the WebVR standard does is help expedite the creation of VR-enabled websites, but the issue is that going to a non-VR website from a VR website has always been a pain. The new VR Shell for Chrome, however, suggests that one switch could make every website available in virtual reality. Samsung introduced a similar technology with its Gear VR headset, but Chrome for Android would dramatically expedite the adoption of such a technology seeing as its reach is much larger.
It’s important to note that this VR Shell is still in its very early stages and won’t truly reach full its full potential until Google releases its Daydream platform. Nevertheless, Google working to incorporate WebVR into Chrome signals that the company is committed to bringing virtual reality to as many people as possible.