Chrome to get built-in augmented reality

Google will add support for native augmented reality (AR) and near field communications (NFC) in the next version of the Chrome browser.

The features are currently available in the Chrome 81 beta for Android, Linux, Mac, and Windows, which was released last week.

This means developers will be able to deploy elements on their sites which make use of AR or NFC.

Instead of using an app or system with built-in support for the technologies, the features can be used directly within Chrome.

AR in the browser

The company said its WebXR Device API, which was first enabled to allow for virtual reality applications in Chrome 79, provides a platform for an immersive experience to interact with the real world.

“We’ve also added support for the WebXR Hit Test API, an API for placing objects in a real-world view,” Google stated.

The added AR functionality will let users view and add virtual objects or markers in their surrounding environment, as illustrated in the images from Google below.

Augmented reality in Chrome

NFC use-cases

The other new feature – Web NFC – will let users scan tags that contain embedded information and view it on their device.

“Web NFC allows a web app to read and write to NFC tags. This opens new use cases to the web, including providing information about museum exhibits, inventory management, providing information in a conference badge, and many others,” Google stated.

Google will launch Chrome 81 on 17 March. The NFC feature is demonstrated in the GIF below.

Web NFC in Chrome

Now read: Google cracks down on malicious Android apps

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Chrome to get built-in augmented reality