Google is planning to release a public version of Chrome for Android with WebVR 1.1 support in January, after the beta launch that will come in December. The company also plans to launch WebVR in Chrome for Windows with a limited public release in early 2017, and a full rollout later in the year.
Megan Lindsay, WebVR Product Manager at Google, made the announcement during the two-day W3C Workshop on Web & VR hosted by Samsung. Major companies like Microsoft, Mozilla and Oculus all attended to discuss the future of the WebVR ecosystem.
WebVR support for Chrome will mean that users can access VR web content directly through their browser, rather than download individual apps. The initial release is targeted for Daydream, Google’s VR platform, meaning that WebVR capability may only be immediately available on ‘Daydream-ready’ phones and the Daydream View VR headset. The initial release will fall under the Origin Trials Framework, where websites must apply for free access if they wish to make WebVR 1.1 experiences to provide a feedback period as WebVR continues to develop.
Eventually, Chrome with WebVR support will come to all Android compatible phones, which could result in the biggest output of VR web content yet (Chrome has been downloaded billions of times on Android alone). And, with Google’s plans to launch WebVR for Windows, HTC Vive and Oculus users will add even more numbers to the pile come 2017.