Google's Chromium project is about to become a bit more "open-source," after it was recently discovered that previously blocked users may be able to contribute to development again. Interestingly, the contributors in question are those with tie-ins to either Facebook or Oculus. It is really impossible to ascertain why Google would suddenly open up to those developers, but it could lead to any number of enhancements and features for either Google Chrome or the associated Chrome OS. It could also be some time before users see any of those since Google's policies on the matter were only just updated, according to the source, on July 31.
Among the more interesting speculations as to why Google would remove the blockade to such developers suggests that the move could be down to the growing popularity of VR and AR. More specifically, the decision could have come down to wanting to entice Oculus developers to work on the project. Facebook is currently the parent company to Oculus and that the updated policy is inclusive would not likely go unnoticed by any who may want to become involved. For Google's part, the company has several partnerships in the VR space that are expected to bring products to the market within the next year – including several stand-alone VR headsets. Importantly, the company also has a deep connection to the market in that it has already been working on creating a virtual internet browsing experience using WebVR. That Google has that particular goal in mind for its browser adds some weight to the speculation, since having experienced developers from Oculus would be hugely beneficial in those efforts.
Whether or not this points toward Google's eventual release of a fully functioning, hyper futuristic VR web experience, however, remains to be seen. For one, not all of Google's projects come to fruition. VR has also not yet managed to really capture the minds of consumers in the mainstream whether for pricing reasons or because the experience itself is just not there yet. Beyond those points, there is always the possibility that there won't be any interest from the developers the company appears to be calling out or that Google has a completely different goal in mind. In that case, progress will likely continue as normal with Chromium. Whatever the case ends up being, some who were previously barred from contributing are free to start working again and that should lead to interesting future developments.