Along with a ton of other fun stuff detailed at Google I/O last week, a tasty update for both VR and AR efforts from Google looks to bring the goodness of Chrome into both of those experiences.
The new update coming to Daydream will be 2.0 ‘Euphrates’ and will come with quite a few upgrades. Most notably, the addition of a custom version of Chrome built specifically for Daydream.
There are a few immediate benefits I can see from this addition.
First, being able to quickly search for things while in the VR environment would be very handy. At this point, if you needed to look up something on your phone, your VR session is halted as you remove your phone, close Daydream, and take care of your task.
Being able to handle that in VR sounds really enticing.
Second, WebVR is a thing now and will only continue to develop. As cool as serving up VR experiences via the web sounds, doing this with a Daydream View has been clunky. I navigate to the WebVR URL, set the phone in the Daydream, Daydream launches and totally forgets what I was doing in Chrome, I close Daydream and go back to Chrome, repeat.
With a built in browser, I could simply use Chrome inside the VR setup and navigate right to the URL of the experience. Way smoother.
Lastly, Google is bringing web-based AR to Chrome as well. Augmented Reality lets you overlay text, graphics, etc. on real-life scenes captured by something like a camera. So, for instance, Home Depot could add a feature to their website that would allow you to measure your room via Chrome and your camera and place furniture, curtains, or wall decor in a virtual view.
The use-cases could be quite broad for this, I would assume. There’s no telling how this could be rolled out and utilized down the road.
As VR and AR continue invading the browser, the low barrier of entry the web provides will likely make these types of experiences evolve and grow faster than they ever have before.