Google has announced the extension of WebVR, a platform for virtual reality content running inside web browsers, to cover any Android device compatible with its low-cost Cardboard VR platform, along with a central repository of 'experiences' for people to try out.
Following Mozilla's experiments with browser-based VR content
back in 2014, which resulted in the A-Frame WebVR framework
, Google has been slowly adding WebVR support to its own Chrome browser. Its initial implementation, released back in February, was offered as a feature of Daydream, a high-quality virtual reality platform driven by the company's latest Android phones - a restriction which naturally excluded the vast majority of the smartphone market.
Its latest release, however, is more inclusive: Chrome on Android now supports WebVR content in both Daydream and its low-cost predecessor Google Cardboard
. Using a Cardboard-compatible headset and almost any Android-powered smartphone, users can now run WebVR content within the Chrome browser.
To help showcase WebVR's capabilities, the advertising giant has also launched WebVR Experiments
, a one-stop showcase of WebVR-powered 'experiences
' which can be played in-browser. Those with a Daydream or Cardboard-compatible headset and smartphone will be able to play these in full 3D immediately; those without a headset can view them in 2D. Google's Jonas Jongejan has also promised support for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets from the desktop release of Chrome 'soon,
' though without committing to a timescale.
Google's WebVR Experiments are available on the official website