Virtual reality content producers are trying to make content more accessible for more users. For Google this equation means more accessibility for all. On this front Google introduces WebVR Experiments. Google added WebVR to Chrome on phones that were Daydream ready. This simulates the Samsung approach by making the Google Cardboard able to function with any Android phone to view WebVR content. However each of these experiences is accessible using a normal browser on any phone, tablet or computer in 2D.
This addition confronts a few of the current problems regarding quickly producing viable virtual reality content. Also effected are content creators who could be encouraged into producing more. The problems virtual reality proponents currently have to manage include equipment complexity, content coding and availability of experiences. The truth is it can be difficult to expose a large populations of people to virtual reality with current offerings.
One of the primary reasons for the lack of virtual reality exposure is equipment. Potential users have various access issues with VR due to equipment prices and lack of conformity across the market. This opening foray into a more flexible virtual reality experience is in light of other virtual reality entities trying to bridge the gap. Intel, Microsoft and Facebook have invested in ‘inside-out tracking’ to try and make the experience cordless. While this is a great goal to make VR less equipment oriented, it does not confront developing user exposure growth. These cordless headsets will still be considerably expensive. In addition, these innovations are months from being market ready.
With access to the web being one of the primary factors, content creation is also modified. Google’s WebVR Experiments opens the door for experimentation in virtual reality. Virtual reality creation is possible with little overhead or cost on the part of the consumer or content creator. This is an aspect they are hoping will create more content developers as a result. The examples currently available on WebVR Experiments have a variety of virtual reality interaction methods. Using a virtual reality headset, the user can interact with the content through directional and voice commands. The versatility comes with this being web based. This allows users to also interact with the VR experiences in a browser with a mouse or finger.
For the potential audience this opens up a new avenue and direction to explore virtual reality from. With more exposure through a web based platform, potential VR consumers will be able to ‘test’ drive the concept of virtual reality. This is a low cost way to determine what virtual reality can provide for their entertainment value and needs.
What are your thoughts on WebVR Experiments?