Google Brings WebVR API Into Chrome

Google is updating its Chrome browser to support WebVR, a JavaScript application programming interface (API) that enables virtual reality (VR) experiences delivered over the web to work with VR headsets.

For software developers this opens up a new avenue on which they can build VR and 360 degree experiences that are not limited to specific apps or platforms.

WebVR in Chrome

Google has mostly introduced WebVR for Chrome to enable it to be used with its Daydream VR platform found on smartphones such as its own Pixel phones and the Daydream headset.

For a fully immersive experience, use Chrome with your Daydream-ready phone and Daydream View—just browse to a VR experience you want to view, choose to enter VR, and put the phone in your Daydream View headset.

If you don’t have a headset you can view VR content on any phone or desktop computer and interact using your finger or mouse,” explained Megan Lindsay, product manager and claimed collector of VR headsets.

But the search company is looking to spread the use of VR within its devices and software further, according to Lindsay:  “We want to bring VR to everyone on any device, and in the coming months we’ll add support for more headsets, including Google Cardboard.”

Such a move should help make VR less application and device specific, particularly as most Android smartphones come with the Chrome browser as default. This also means that time and money invested in creating VR experiences need not be limited to say a Google Cardboard app or the Oculus app used with Samsung’s Gear VR headset.

Even as more smartphones come with the power and display quality to support solid virtual experiences, VR is still a fairly niche area; it is growing but likely needs less disparate platforms and more API such as WebVR to expand is spread and make accessing a wealth of virtual experiences an easier process.

How much do you know about virtual reality? Try our quiz!

Roland Moore-Colyer

As News Editor of Silicon UK, Roland keeps a keen eye on the daily tech news coverage for the site, while also focusing on stories around cyber security, public sector IT, innovation, AI, and gadgets.

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