Google Cardboard lets you travel to far-off places and watch videos in virtual reality, but what if you just want to sit back and browse the web? Soon, you’ll be able to do that as well.
Google is working on a VR-enabled version of Chrome for Android, as recent builds of the Chrome Beta and Chrome Dev for Android show the beginnings of VR support. Chrome Beta includes a WebVR setting that lets you browse websites built for use in VR, while Chrome Dev also has a VR shell that would let you browse the web with a Cardboard or Daydream headset, even if the sites you visit aren’t VR-ready. As it works now, you’d have to take your Cardboard headset off to browse a site that’s not VR-ready.
The VR Shell in Chrome Dev isn’t totally ready for use yet, which isn’t too shocking since it’s in the Chrome Dev app that’s meant for testing unstable features. The fact that the VR shell in Chrome Dev — and the fact that Google’s own François Beaufort has talked about it — shows that Google is hard at work on making the feature happen.
It’s said that Google is also at work on adding Chrome support for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
Support for browsing the web in VR will make for a nice addition to Chrome for Android. A web browser may not be one of the first things that come to mind when you think about VR, but it could make for a more fun way to browse the internet, and it’ll add another bullet point to Daydream’s feature list when the VR platform launches later this year. Plus, Samsung already offers a browser for Gear VR, and I’m sure that Google wouldn’t mind bringing its own VR headsets more in line with Samsung’s.
Would you browse the web using a VR headset?