Google has officially rolled out its Chrome browser to Daydream VR headsets, allowing users to browse the internet in virtual reality. People using the phone-based Daydream View headset or the standalone Lenovo Mirage Solo can now access Chrome from their home screens.
There's not much to say about the VR counterpart of the popular web browser. It mostly retains the same set of features as its desktop sibling, save for a "cinema mode" that optimizes web video for the best VR experience. Perhaps the most important thing to note here is that Chrome supports WebVR standards, which means users will be able to experience web-based VR experiments right within their Daydream headsets.
Google Chrome Finally Arrives On Daydream VR
As TechCrunch notes, Google has been languishing when it comes to Daydream updates lately, all while Facebook's Oculus VR platform has been stealing the spotlight thanks to new standalone hardware. Perhaps one of the biggest issues with Daydream is its lack of content — but porting over Chrome might help correct this, since more developers might become more interested in creating WebVR projects.
The web has so far remained largely alien to the concept of VR despite the various developments in that department. Web-based experiences are still far and few in between, making the VR space uncharted territory that's ready for conquest — a conquest no one seems interested in seizing, however, given that the number of people who own VR headsets isn't high enough to warrant consistent developer enthusiasm. Basically, VR for the web is for anyone's taking, but companies want to make sure there are going to be people who'll participate in their VR experiences.
The Barriers Keeping Us From Virtual Reality
There are a number of interesting stuff that the web enables for virtual social environments, but the problem is that people have to be interested in using them in the first place — and even if they do become enthralled with the idea, they must have VR headsets to get the full experience. That's the barrier major VR companies are trying to remove. Facebook, for starters, is trying to make cheaper VR offerings, and Google is doing much of the same thing. It's a "build it and they will come" situation, really.
Chrome arriving on the Daydream VR platform may not sound Earth-shattering and revolutionary, but it's a good start. It's a signal to developers that Chrome is ripe for VR experiences, and it gives consumers another reason to consider jumping into the bandwagon.