Chrome users can now surf the web in virtual reality

According to Google’s Brandon Jones, Chrome, at least the Windows and OS X versions, now support WebVR letting you use virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift or Google’s Cardboard with it. What does that mean for Chrome users right now? Not much, and definitely not surfing your favorite sites or checking email on some spinning 3D cube. But Chrome’s WebVR support does pave the way for virtual reality experiences to be delivered through a browser. And it could revolutionize shopping, letting you see a product from any angle, or finally browse an entire store’s offerings from the comfort of your office chair.

Good news if you’ve been waiting to surf the Web using an Oculus Rift headset or a homemade version of Google Cardboard: Chrome and Firefox developers have been busy adding virtual reality components to the beta editions of their respective browsers, which could eventually enable websites to feature interactive walkthroughs and other immersive experiences. The Chrome news comes courtesy of Google’s Brandon Jones, who explains how Web developers could include VR components within pages: “In the case of a piece of clothing you could see it on a virtual mannequin, walk around it, lean in and examine the stitching, and so on as if it were actually sitting right in front of you,” he writes. “You could also imagine similar experiences with educational tools, data visualization, mapping, and so on.” Online gaming is another area where virtual reality could be implemented. The new VR capabilities have been added to Chromium, an early build of Chrome used to test out experimental features and work through bugs in the software. That means It will be some time before it comes to the stable versions of Chrome used by the majority of its users. Jones provideslinks to the Chromium builds and some demos if you want to try out the technology (and have access to a compatible headset).

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