Everyone is exploring the VR field these days. Both startups and big names in the tech industry are looking into it for all kinds of purposes. In 2014 this gave birth to WebVR – a technology that allows browsing the web through a virtual reality device.
Right now, WebVR usage is very limited. The only browser to support it officially, and not in an experimental build, is the Samsung Internet Browser for Gear VR. Other than that, the technology can be found in test branches of the Firefox and Chromium browsers.
That, however, will soon be changing. At W3C's Web & VR Workshop, Google announced they will be adding official WebVR support to Chrome's Android version in January next year. This means that we'll be able to experience full VR browsing through other handsets as well, not just Samsung ones.
But wait, can't we watch 360 videos on Facebook and YouTube with our smartphones already? Yes, we can. But in order to do that, we have to load the content through the respective Facebook and YouTube apps, which could prove cumbersome, if you're randomly surfing the web and you come across good VR-worthy (or VR-specific) content in your Chrome browser. WebVR support will eliminate that restriction and you will be able to enjoy the VR page, video or whatever it may be without switching applications.
Microsoft also made an appearance during the workshop and confirmed that they're working on WebVR support for their Edge browser. Oculus also had something to say on the subject, as it announced a new project. It appears the pioneers of VR gaming are working on a new VR-enabled browser, named Carmel, which will be compatible with Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR.
It appears that with the Daydream View arriving in a few days and the race for WebVR integration, we'll have plenty of options for browsing the web with VR headsets. Which one would you choose?