Sunday , June 25 2017

Web VR coming to Chrome for Android later this year


At the VR Keynote this morning at Google I/O 2017 Google announced a lot of new things in the mobile AR/VR space. One such announcement which seems to have a lot of potential applications is Web VR in Chrome for Android.

Chrome VR will make it possible to browse the web in VR and alongside this there is also support for AR within the browser too. Web VR was built into the specs three years ago when Google co-authored the Web VR specifications allowing developers to build immersive 3D apps with javascript and Web GL. These apps can then run in a browser.

The new Chrome VR for Android is coming later this year and will be controlled using the Daydream controller to follow links. The user experience is fully immersive with video getting a full theatre-like experience. The experience is also meant to be a similar experience to that of using a browser such that the learning curve will be very small and the use intuitive.

There will be easy access to notifications as well within the VR experience allowing the user to access notification as they would in normal interactions with a phone without having to leave the VR application/experience.

The other big announcement was the arrival of Web AR. Google gave a demonstration of their new Web AR showing a user who was looking for a new coffee table. They mapped the space they wanted the new coffee table to fit into in their loungeroom using their AR-enabled phone. This space was then input into the AR website (Wayfair) which selected from their range of coffee tables that would fit in the area. The user was then able to select a table they liked the look of and using AR was able to see how it would look in their loungeroom from all angles.

Web AR is not ready for primetime just yet but has been implemented into the Chromium github allowing users to build this immediately and begin experimenting.

With Google’s big push into the AR and VR worlds this year we expect them to attempt to get this to the market as soon as possible. Chrome VR on the other hand will be rolling out in the next few months.

With VR and AR developing strongly along with the hardware we expect these to push the market even more. Are you someone who uses VR in any form? Do you like the idea of using VR in a browser?

 

Scott Plowman   Associate Editor

Scott is our modding guru - he has his finger on the pulse of all things ‘moddable’, pointing us towards all the cutting edge mods hacks that are available. When he’s not gymming it up, or scanning the heck out of Nexus devices, you'll find him on the Ausdroid Podcast.

Outside of Ausdroid, Scott's a health care professional and lecturer at a well known Victorian university.

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