Samsung's GearVR Gets Support for WebVR Standard

When Samsung first launched the Gear VR, they did so alongside the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge as an "Innovator Edition". Since then, it's become a fully-fledged consumer product in the $99 Gear VR and now works with the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge+, Galaxy Note 5 and of course the newly-launched Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. Samsung have taken a smart approach to virtual reality, partnering with the firm behind the Oculus Rift and more recently giving the headsets away free with the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. Now, it appears as though Samsung is starting to add more and more to the overall experience the Gear VR has to offer. Most recently, that means adopting the WebVR standard.

WebVR is an in-development Javascript API that will allow virtual reality headsets to browse the web and experience VR content on web pages. Right now, it's available in nightly or experimental builds of both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. As well as this, Samsung has recently added support for WebVR to their Samsung Internet for Gear VR app. This is an app that users can install through the Oculus app on their Samsung smartphones and essentially extends the Samsung browser to the VR headset. With WebVR support, it means that this browser will be able to display and interact with VR content found on the web. It is however, using a pre-1.0 version of the API, which is unfortunate, but updates should be coming soon, either way.

Right now the amount of content that's available online using the WebVR standard is fairly thin on the ground, but with big names like Samsung now adopting the standard, this could lead to more content hitting the web. Regardless, this does bring a somewhat novel web browser that Samsung developed for the Gear VR up to standard with an emerging API that should become more useful and better utilized in the future. This is just one more example of more and more content becoming available for Gear VR and we're sure before long that Samsung's offering could be one of the most fully-featured mobile headset out there.

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Tom Dawson

Former Editor-in-Chief
For years now I've had a heavy interest in technology, growing up with 8-bit computers and gaming consoles has fed into an addiction to everything that beeps. Android saved me from the boredom of iOS years ago and I love watching the platform grow. As an avid reader and writer nothing pleases me more than to write about the exciting world of Android, Google and mobile technology as a whole.