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Virtual Reality on the web with Latest Chrome, Improved ChromeVox Screen Reader

The latest bersion of Chrome bringing in Virtual reality (VR) to the web for a fully immersive experience—just use Chrome with Daydream-ready phone and Daydream View—and browse to a VR experience to view, then enter VR, and put the phone in the Daydream View headset.

For those, who don’t have a headset yet, “can view a VR content on any phone or desktop computer and interact using finger or mouse.”

Google says, in the coming months support for more headsets including Google Cardboard will be adding.

“Support for Origin Trials of WebVR launched in Chrome M56, that allows web developers to build VR experiences with a single web app that can reach people through all compatible browsers and VR headsets like Daydream View,” writes Loc Dao.

To remake Bear 71 for WebVR, “we rebuilt the site in HTML5 with three.js for multiple platforms — desktop, mobile and VR. For more details on the technical implementation, check out our in-depth case study,” explained Dao.

You can explore some early WebVR content available today, starting with critically-acclaimed documentary Bear 71 VR, produced by the National Film Board of Canada.

To experience the magic of VR on the web, check out these VR-enabled sites—with more coming soon.

Expereince VR on web with Chrome
WebVR: Expereince VR on the web with Chrome

Today a more efficient and powerful version of ChromeVox, which is now a default screen reader on every Chromebook running on Chrome OS 56 or above is made available Thursday.

The new ChromeVox can be enabled by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Z key combination. Also, existing keyboard commands are even easier and helps navigate through sites, apps and Chromebook interface like the Chromebook status tray menu without a mouse.

Here is what’s new in this ChromeVox:

New ChromeVox menus feature a list of all open tabs, ChromeVox options, speech options, and lists of key items on the given page, such as links, headings or tables. Press Search + Period, or click on the ChromeVox icon in the upper-left corner to open the menus and explore.

Also, now use braille display keyboard commands to navigate through Chrome. “USB braille displays, which generate braille based on content on screen.”

new ChromeVox Panel shows text and Braille captions, at the top of Chromebook screen, so that a teacher can follow along with what a student is hearing or reading on a connected braille display.

Finally, a new set of auditory features—known as “earcons” provide contextual information, like when you’ve reached a button, link or checkbox on a page, or when a page is still loading.

“Earcons have built-in stereo audio positioning that provide insight into how a given page or app is visually designed,” writes the team—for example, “if you navigate to a button on the left side of the screen, you’ll hear the button earcon from the left speaker or headphone.”

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