As Samsung continues to ship out tens of thousands of their Gear VR virtual reality headsets, there is an ever-expanding need for new apps, games, and use-cases for the rather affordable headset. Today Samsung made a major announcement, which could eventually lead to a deluge of VR applications for users, all over the internet.
Samsung has enabled WebVR for their Gear VR web browser. What this means that users will now have access to immersive virtual reality via the browser, all through their Gear VR headsets.
“We at Samsung are actively working on and committed to support WebVR, wrote Laszlo Gombos on the release-note page at Mozilla.org. “The WebVR support is “experimental” status as the specification is still evolving. The current release is using the deprecated API set, and we hope to update it soon to the latest WebVR draft. This version of the Samsung Internet for GearVR has support for WebGL (on by default) and is based on the same open source chromium engine version (M44) as our latest version of the mobile Samsung Internet for Android product (which is now downloadable from the Google Play Store on most of the recent Samsung mobile devices https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sec.android.app.sbrowser).”
Prior to this announcement users of the Gear VR headset were able to explore the web via the device, but it lacked any major experiences that remotely reflected virtual reality. The browser simply placed the user within a 3D space, but the web is actually only displayed as a 2D screen. This all changes with the introduction of WebVR, as any application on the web which utilizes the API can be viewed on the Gear VR as an immersive experience. While there is not a tremendous amount of WebVR content as of yet, Samsung’s hope is that the library will grow, allowing users to experience more VR without the requirement of having to download new games and apps from the Oculus Store.
This move certainly looks to be one in the right direction, both for Samsung and the entire VR community as a whole. Let us know your thoughts on this latest update in the Gear VR WebVR forum on VRTalk.com. Check out a video of WebVR in use within the Samsung browser: