Both new builds have an updated, and backwards incompatible, WebVR API. They now follow the official spec: http://mozvr.github.io/webvr-spec/webvr.html
Please read the release notes! https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dP9m3WLh2lsBs9jJ9LRwv1l0AtuBQAqGLAV-fUbtz2U/edit
The new Windows build uses the Oculus 0.5.0.1 SDK (yay!) but does not support extended desktop mode (boo!) Sorry! The loss of extended mode has nothing to do with the new SDK, it's related to recent Chrome code cleanups that removed an entry point I used. I'll be releasing Mac and Linux updates as soon and I can get extended mode working again (or Oculus enables Direct mode everywhere)
Also, as I get closer to landing this in Top-of-tree Chrome I've made WebVR a setting that you need to explicitly enable from about:flags. Just search for "Enable WebVR" (It's at the bottom of the "Experiments" list)
"Back to the actual question of WebGL. It's one of those things where it is probably unwise to bet against the web in general but I would say that if anything is going to be kind of a holdout on there... people argue applications vs native apps vs web apps and there's arguments for both sides. All of the arguments for native apps are stonger still for VR apps. There's good reason to not be expecting a web application to be the early phase of virtual reality. But I would not be surprised if once you have asynchronous timewarp sorts of things in there that you could wind up having VR scenes that are interesting rendered by the craziest source data formats. So I expect people will be doing things with that. It's not a major strategic focus at Oculus. There are going to be challenges for people doing that with the way the PC works. It's not going to be happening on mobile any time real soon."
I actually agree with a lot of this statement. I don't think it would be very productive for Oculus to focus on this space, and there ARE a lot of challenges to getting it to work well. As the man said, though: "It's probably unwise to bet against the web" :D
Slashdot, NYT, Google News, your e-banking portal, every blog you read, every graphics demo you look at, everything you do in a day, it's all apps. When your day is done, you've probably looked at hundreds of apps, and downloaded dozens of new ones. In a given year you'll churn trough thousands or tens of thousands of new apps. Every single one you'll need to download onto your machine and give it practically unlimited privileges.
That's the world Native VR people imagine. They don't live in that world for non VR content. Each of them visits more websites daily than they run apps.
Obviously if VR is going to evolve to a mainstay way to consume all kinds of content, to evolve to replace monitors in daily use even, this is completely unsustainable. Native apps are an increasingly endangered niche, currently confined to specialized productivity apps and games. They've retreated almost completely in every other use.
So yeah VR and the web (and even desktops and VR) is going to be difficult. There's challenges there, plenty. But it's completely delusional to think that VRs main use is going to be native apps.
There's a few minor caveats (Doesn't work with no-distortion mode yet) but otherwise seems to be working pretty well. As always, love hearing feedback!
Launch the browser from a command line with the --enable-unsafe-es3-apis flag (It's not in about:flags yet!)
Use "webgl2" instead of "webgl" when you call canvas.getContext();
If you want to test that it's working you can visit http://toji.github.io/webgl2-particles/ The particle cloud will spell "WebGL 2" if you are using a WebGL 2 implementation, and use the new transform feedback feature to drive the particles!
Please note that this is definitely a work-in-progress an there are some features, such as 3D textures, that we know simply don't work right now. The implementation also lacks a lot of the basic validation that we will eventually need to put in place before making the API more widely available. We want to start getting developer feedback right away, though, so that we can respond to concerns about performance, features, security, compatibility, or the general API early in the development cycle.
If/when you find bugs please report them at http://crbug.com, and make sure you attach the contents of your system's about:gpu page and, when possible, a minimal reproduction of the problem.
We've consistently been blown away by the creativity and talent of the WebGL community, and we can't wait to see what you do with these new features!
--The Chrome WebGL team
"Sort of. It's more like glasses."
"Can I see it?"
Now, I know that there's all sorts of warning about letting kids use these things, and I wouldn't want to strap it on to him (he'd fall over from the weight of it anyway) but I figured there was no harm to letting him peek inside. I was actually curious if he would be able to see anything at all, as I imagine his IPD is way out of range. So I fired up Tuscany and held the headset up for him. He looked around for a moment quietly.
"What do you see, little man?"
"A tree. And scary flower. It's a playground!"
I assume he equates grass with playground, since we have a big grassy field just up from our house with a playground. Not sure why sunflowers are scary. Honestly I was just impressed that it worked for him at all. Then he held up his hand, holding a little toy car.
"Daddy! Where's the car?" He ducked out of the headset to make sure his hand and car were still there, peered back in again, then giggled and ran out of the room. Apparently a virtual world with no toy cars hold no appeal for him.
I couldn't help but laugh. Even a toddler realizes that you need to be able to see your hands in VR.
Business man #1: Okay, emailed you the document.
Business man #2: Great. Wish I had my laptop, I'd read it on the plane.
#1: Just pull it up on your phone (Points to #2's iPhone 6)
#2: Can you do that?
#1: Sure, just click the link in your email and it should come up.
#2: I can get email on my phone?!? How? That would sure save me a lot of time.
o_O WHY DO YOU EVEN HAVE THAT PHONE?!?
Yes, that won't be a requirement in the future. So what I'm looking for is feedback on the following:
- Does it actually work for you?
- How is the performance?
- If you have a DK2, does it run at 75hz?
- Smooth or juddery?
Some known quirks of this build that should go away in the future.
- Browser image continues broadcasting to the Rift even after exiting fullscreen mode.
- Requires the aformentioned command line.
- Probably won't work correctly if you have more than one Rift connected.
Thanks for helping me test out this exciting improvement to the WebVR API!
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