Google’s Chrome browser now supports virtual reality.
The move is part of the company’s efforts to make mainstream access to virtual reality content as it begins to push in earnest, its mobile virtual reality platform, Daydream.
Those lucky enough to have any of the few devices that support Daydream and Google’s own Daydream View headset can, in addition to the several VR apps available, immerse themselves to virtual surroundings right from the Chrome browser installed on their smartphones. Those without the VR headset can join in the fun using their fingers as long as they are using compatible devices.
For a start, users will be able to explore sites such as those showcasing works of art like museums, play games and watch films. Google says in a statement announcing the new developments that more VR-enabled sites will be popping up soon. Support for Google’s earlier VR effort, Cardboard, will also be added going forward, opening up Chrome’s newfound VR features to a much wider audience.
Google’s approach to virtual reality is different from Samsung, which managed to ship over 4 million units of its Gear VR headset last year. The Korean company’s VR platform is locked down with just a handful of its high-end devices being compatible with the headset and access to content outside the Oculus store app being limited to very few sites.