Oculus revealed its very own VR web browser, Carmel, back at Oculus Connect 3 in October. Now, you can get a taste of what it offers.
Carmel is now available as a Developer Preview in the Gallery Apps section for Gear VR. As the name suggests, the current release is designed for those looking to create VR experiences that are viewed through the browser using the WebVR API, and won’t have much to offer other users. It contains an extensive set of samples to showcase what can be done with VR on the web, along with documentation to help developers get started making their own content.
It is in a very early state; you can’t even access the address bar right now.
Eventually, Carmel will allow you to access both traditional 2D content and VR experiences through the web, but for now it’s focusing on the latter.
Oculus also launched the Carmel Starter Kit either for download or viewable online if you’ve got a compatible browser. It teaches developers how to get their content running inside a headset, how to utilize the Gear VR’s touchpad on the web, how to navigate HTML5 in VR, and display 360-degree content on a web page. The company’s dedicated WebVR page also has some examples of what’s possible with the API.
According to a blog announcing the release, Carmel is based on a version of WebVR that “most major browser vendors believe can reach general availability in mid-2017.” The company also notes that it is taking steps “alongside our partners at Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla” to deliver what it calls a “key milestone” for the Web.
Rift support for Carmel should be arriving later down the line. Oculus is also still working on its React VR framework for building WebVR interfaces too.