For the last couple of weeks I have been developing a Virtual Reality Browser. In true Linux fashion, I was not satisfied with the VR Browsers available in the Google Play Store, so I developed my own. Yes, I know, to really adhere to the fashion I should fork an existing one…
It is, has been, an interesting experience. This is mainly due to me not having any experience in Android app development, at all. Having no OpenGL experience did not really help either.
My idea was to have a plane some distance away from the camera (the eyes of the user), onto which a browser (WebView) is projected. The blog post of Felix Jones helped me a lot of getting to my destination. In his blog post he explains how to render any View onto an OpenGL surface.
Having that as a starting point I started hacking away. Currently I am in a state where the VR Browser works. Sure there are still a couple of bugs which make the application crash. But on the other side. Basic browsing can be done. It even supports multiple tabs.
The way to control the browser happens exclusively through an external keyboard. I made a number of keyboard shortcuts to do everything. From the usual browser shortcuts to moving the camera. There is also a keyboard shortcut for simulating a tap on the display.
Hopefully this application will come to the Google Play Store soon.