Virtual reality has to be personally experienced to be understood and appreciated, but it’s not exactly the most accessible thing at the moment. Both in terms of equipment as well as content. Google Cardboard solved half the problem by making it almost too easy for anyone with an Android phone to get a cheap VR headset. WebVR solves the other half by making it easier to create content to work on almost any device that has a browser. Now Google is bringing those two together by making WebVR on Chrome work on Google Cardboard.
WebVR is an up and coming standard that enables 360-degree content to be viewable on web browsers, whether that be via a headset or even on desktops. Given technical limitations of browsers, the kind of content you can achieve with WebVR won’t probably hold against dedicated platforms like Oculus and Vive. You are practically trading in depth for breadth. But as web technologies become more sophisticated, so too will WebVR content.
One of the best, and most immediate, beneficiaries of WebVR are smartphones, given their ubiquity as well as their utility. Google kicked this off by making WebVR work on Chrome for Daydream-ready smartphones. Now it’s doing likewise for its older, and cheaper, Cardboard.
But VR is only as good as the content available for it, which is why Google is also launching its WebVR Experiments. Similar to how its Chrome Experiments push the boundaries of web and browser technologies, WebVR Experiments offer users a glimpse into what’s possible with WebVR. Fancy a ame of table tennis? Konterball will satisfy your competitive craving. Is your sense of adventure more on the exploration side? Speak To Go will let you tour the world with only your voice. Ever dreamed of becoming a scarf-wearing Donut? Sure, why not!
WebVR Experiments isn’t just for consumers either. Google is also providing developers with resources and open source code to get them started on crafting such delightful, if not absurd, experiences. After all, VR is much about content as it is the hardware, and someone definitely has to create that content.