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​Google's VR push: Now you can try out Chrome WebVR with Cardboard viewer

Google brings virtual reality for the web to its Cardboard viewer and unveils a new space for experimental VR apps.
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Written by Liam Tung, Contributor on

Google's WebVR Experiments page showcases VR apps and lets others contribute their work.

Image: Google

Google has launched a new catalog of WebVR virtual-reality apps that can be experienced though an Android phone and Google's budget Cardboard VR viewer.

The company wants to bring VR to the web to make it easier for developers to build an app once and then have it work on multiple headsets.

Key to its ambition for people to click a link to launch a VR experience is WebVR, a standard to enable browser support for VR apps made for the web.

In other words, for it to succeed, Google believes there shouldn't be limitations like app stores or a requirement for developers to rewrite apps to support different headsets. And there needs to be a cheap entry point for consumers to try it out, which is why it's built Cardboard and the Daydream viewers.

It's already enabled WebVR for Daydream, and the addition of Cardboard support means people with an Android phone and its cheap viewer can now try VR by "tapping a link".

Consumers will be able to find those links at Google's WebVR Experiments page, which showcases a dozen VR apps and offers a space for others to contribute their work, too. For those interested in contributing, Google is keener on ideas that are experimental rather than complete products.

Featured apps include a VR ping-pong called Konterball, a VR music experience featuring the Chemical Brother's Under Neon Lights, and a game called Spot the Bot.

The Experiment page offers a link to each app as well as a link to its code, which is hosted on GitHub to help others developers build different VR experiments.

The apps can be used with Cardboard or a Daydream View and a compatible Android phone, such as a Pixel. They're also viewable in 2D from Chrome without a headset.

Google notes that web support on Chrome for the Oculus Rift and HTC VIVE is "coming soon". To use these higher performance desktop headsets today, you need to use the nightly version of either Chrome or Firefox.

Read more on VR

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