Google Bringing Immersive VR Web Experience To Android Version Of Chrome

One of the biggest complaints about VR in general is that it only works with VR-related creations. Google is working on changing that perception -- the company is attempting to add a fully immersive browsing experience to Chrome. This would allow users to browse any part of the web in VR, not just sites that were specially built for VR.


Google has recently been working on WebVR, which is a set of standard capabilities that allow for the creation of VR websites. Users currently would need to take off their headsets in order to view non-VR websites. The latest builds of Google Chrome beta and Google Chrome Dev on Android make it so that users will never need to take off their VR headsets while browsing the internet. Chrome beta now includes a WebVR setting while Chrome Dev contains a VR shell.  

The VR shell is only available for Android while WebVR can be accessed on Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS, and Android. The VR shell is not quite fully functional, but should be open and running soon. Both options are available in the browser’s Flags page, which can be accessed by entering chrome://flags in the URL bar.


Google WebVR developer Josh Carpenter remarked

Today I can view a WebVR scene on an iOS [device], even if Mobile Safari doesn’t support WebVR API, thanks to a polyfill + device accelerometers. Which is awesome. The web’s got reach. What the WebVR API gives us on top of that is much richer ecosystem support, things like link traversal between WebVR experiences without dropping out of VR mode, and more.

Samsung introduced a VR browser for its Gear VR headset last year. This included 2D, 3D and 360 video and even extra large text. Google Chrome is far more popular than Samsung’s browser and therefore could have a much wider reach.