With Virtual Reality being the next big ‘IT’ thing with many unprecedented areas of research, Google is now planning to bring a more immersive browsing experience to its browser — Chrome. With the introduction of this feature, users will be able to browse any website in VR, and not just those that support it.
As reported by RoadToVR, the latest builds of Google Chrome Beta and Google Chrome Dev have a new feature called ‘WebVR’. This setting enables the users to experience any website on the web in VR. The Chrome Dev version now contains a ‘VR Shell’ that enhances the device compatibility with websites that aren’t built using WebVR standards.
WebVR — to add to your knowledge — is a set of instructions that allow the creation of VR websites. These web standards make it easy to view VR-ready websites using a VR headset. But, if you’re visiting a non WebVR-enabled website, then you’d have to take off your headset to view the same. Google, who has played an active role in development and deployment of the web standard, now wants to make this less of a chore and extend the functionality to non-VR websites.
François Beaufort, Google’s Chromium Evangelist adds that,
It enable[s] a browser shell for VR, which allows users to browse the web while using Cardboard or Daydream-ready viewers.
The report also reveals that the ‘VR Shell’ isn’t fully-functional at the moment, but the team is currently working its way through various development channels. But, we should expect to see these VR features pop-up in a stable update of Chrome on Android pretty soon.
Samsung has already introduced a similar feature(specifically a browser) to expedite a similar functionality and run websites on their Gear VR headset. But, Google — as always — believes that if they build the functionality inherently into Chrome, it would be available to a wider audience of Android users. But we’ll have to wait to recognize the full potential of Daydream and ‘VR Shell’ platforms, as they are at a very nascent stage of development.
This, however, fuels our hopes that Google is committed to making Virtual Reality accessible to the general masses as soon as possible.