VR industry leader Oculus continued on its journey towards integrating Virtual Reality with regular web-based experiences with the developer’s preview of Carmel, Oculus’ browser for its own WebVR technology first announced in October 2016. Oculus has released a series of instructions and manuals on its developer’s website shedding light on technical issues developers and technical-minded users to try out. The company plans to introduce the VR experience across all types of users and considers WebVR as the future of the entire VR industry.
Simply put, WebVR is the combination of VR and augmented 360-degree experiences that can be sought via a web browser; such realistic VR experiences often make the user feel more at home as compared to standard apps, while retaining the same level of entertainment, information and other services. At the Oculus Connect 3 event in October, VP of Product Development Nate Mitchell exhibited how to experience better VR technologies in mundane places like hotel rooms as well as warped reality, a style of VR where the environment changes dramatically to the user. Continuing on that trajectory, Oculus launched the Carmel Developer Preview, giving developers tools and APIs (Application Programming Interface) to start the process of building, testing and fixing content for the web when used in conjunction with the Oculus VR headsets.
The Carmel browser is still a long way away even for niche use, however; not even an address bar is present. This will induce more developers to come and get in the ring, making other important content on the way.The preview has no two-dimensional content of any form. We know that already the developer versions of both Firefox and Chrome have already introduced amounts of WebVR in their newest avatars, although the entry of Oculus will boost development. Oculus‘ parent company Facebook , with its ‘React’ feature, is helping the development of web-based VR experiences on mobile and PC platforms as well. This feature is being called ‘React VR’ for obvious reasons.
No standard configuration of Oculus WebVR is known currently as it is still work in progress. The Carmel Developer Preview is built upon the most common version of the API, in order to enable easy access for all developers. More news is yet to come and we know Oculus has big plans for this field in the near future, including partner collaborations with major browser makers. You can download the Carmel Developer Preview here. Watch this space for more news.