Google is prepping big things for the future of its mobile virtual reality program.
The company revealed plans to update Daydream, the hardware-software platform that powers Google’s VR services, to version 2.0 in the near future. This update, which Google is calling Daydream Euphrates, is about making VR easier to explore and experience. One of the biggest new features is Chrome VR, which will enable Daydream owners to navigate the web inside their headsets when it rolls out this summer.
“We were an early supporter and contributor to WebVR standards,” Google VR boss Clay Bavor wrote in a blog post. “Chrome VR, which will make it possible to browse the web in virtual reality, is coming to Daydream this summer. And we’re excited to support AR for the web, too. We’re releasing an experimental build of Chromium with an AR API coming soon, so stay tuned.
Daydream 2.0 will also attempt to make VR more social by adding sharing options so you can capture your virtual moments and send them to friends on social media. Google is also adding a cast option so that you can mirror the VR screen on a television so your friends and family can see what you’re seeing. YouTube is also getting a VR space where you can connect with friends and watch videos as if you were in the same room.
Finally, Daydream is getting improvements for developers. Instant Preview is a new feature where creators can make changes in an environment and then experience them in a headset seconds later without having to wait for lengthy rendering sessions.
Google is dedicated to VR. It recently acquired developer Owlchemy Labs, which produced the popular HTC Vive, PSVR, and Oculus Rift game Job Simulator and, more recently, Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality. Now, it is setting up a vision of a world where VR and its sister technologies empower humans to interact with computers in the same way that they interact with the rest of the world. And that’s a long-term vision that is likely inevitable.