It is widely known that virtual reality is this year’s
favourite child, technology-wise, but did you know that you can now start
looking forward to browsing the internet in virtual reality too?
Chrome and Mozilla are two of the current internet service providers looking into customising the browsing experience for virtual reality. Virtual reality headset manufacturers are not sitting by idly though, Samsung has already introduced the catchily named ‘Samsung Internet for Gear VR’. Other headsets have a virtual space – a foyer, if you will, to the wonders of the virtual internet, from which the user can navigate to wherever they want to go. There is also WebVR, a standalone utility to merge current internet browsing with existing virtual reality technology. There are other companies working on similar goals, albeit from different industries – but all have the same end goal in mind: that of getting people to use their service and/ or product to use the internet, bringing them a larger slice of the internet pie.
At present, landing pages only need to be decent quality photographs or graphics, with embedded videos where relevant, with two-dimensional text and imagery. For virtual reality, the specifications are more like very high-end three-dimensional, needing two stacked images for each view, more resolution and with everything crystal sharp and perfectly aligned so the user has a realistic and comfortable experience.
Initially, the web will look similar to how it looks now – with graphic user interfaces little changed from what they look like at present. But in time, as developers and creative minds get to grips with the full extent of the amazing possibilities of a virtual reality browser, you might find icons floating in the sky, hidden inside fruit on trees, and even along a beautiful trail that you have to follow in order to access your desired website or file - even a wizard to tell you the answer to your search query! (Obviously, they will need to pack shortcuts into these scenarios, for those users who are in a hurry to get to their chosen cyber locations in a more conventional manner!)
Accessing files and sites can be managed with hand gestures – even password protected to allow only you into the file using facial or gesture recognition, or even simply being tailored to measure your very specific body measurements.One thing is clear: virtual reality is here to stay. It is only limited by the breadth and depth of the developers’ imaginations!