A big week for WebVR, plus Daydream support

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We recently shared our thoughts on why we believe WebVR will play a major role in the future of VR, by enabling content distribution at scale, cross platform compatibility, and a seamless experience. As a reminder, WebVR is an experimental JavaScript API that provides access to Virtual Reality devices in your browser.

Following up on the topic, we wanted to share that it’s been a big week for WebVR!

Last Friday, Oculus launched the first preview of Carmel, their own WebVR-enabled browser. Sketchfab is featured as one of the 4 tech demos you can already explore.

carmel-sketchfab-webvr

And on Tuesday, Google announced the release of WebVR support in the beta version of Chrome for Android. Sketchfab is one of the first domains to benefit from the origin trials (sketchfab.com has been whitelisted to have WebVR work out of the box on Sketchfab content), which means you can already give it a try.

We took that opportunity to add Daydream support on Sketchfab! Some quick tips to make the most of it:

  • First, you’ll need to be using a Pixel phone and the latest build of Chrome beta for Android, or Canary.
  • It works very seamlessly, just go to any Sketchfab model, and if you slide your phone in your Daydream view it will automagically open it in VR.
  • We support the Daydream controller
    • Clicking on the center of the pad lets you teleport easily in a scene
    • Clicking on the left or right side of the pad lets you change the scale of the scene on the fly
    • Holding on the center of the pad will bring the menu (help/home) and let you step through annotations
  • Our full VR launcher which allows visitors to browse through Sketchfab content without leaving VR isn’t supported yet, but we are working on it.

WebVR has also been available on GearVR using the Samsung Internet browser, and they keep improving their support.

Side note that  WebVR support is still experimental on all browsers. We are working directly with them to improve performances and navigation issues.

These advances on the mobile VR front are a first step towards having WebVR fully available on standard desktop browsers, coming in Q1 2017.

Exciting times for VR and the web!

Alban

 

About the author

Alban Denoyel

Co-founder and CEO of Sketchfab.


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