Chrome Beta gets built-in webcam and microphone support

Jul 10, 2012 by Nancy Owano report
Chrome Beta gets built-in webcam and microphone support

(Phys.org) -- A Google company blog announcement this week announced the Google Chrome Beta (of Chrome 21) and all that it brings, namely fresh ways to grant Web applications access to your camera and microphone within the browser without having to deal with plug-ins. Users can forgo having to deal with Adobe Flash and Silverlight for using the webcam in the browser. Google software engineer Robert Toscano explained what the changes bring for the browser, which competes with Internet Explorer and, by some research firm counts, narrowly edges IE in popularity.

The Chrome grants access to users' web cams and microphones without a plugin through the HTML5 getUserMedia API. Google notes that this is the first big step for WebRTC, a new real-time communications standard aiming for high-quality video and audio communication on the web. The WebRTC project enables browsers with capabilities via Javascript APIs.

Reveling in the beta playground featuring the getUserMedia API, creatives have come up with interesting examples of how the new browser enablements add fun and communication. Two sites highlighted by Google as illustrations of the new communication features are Webcam Toy and Magic Xylophone.

Romuald Quantin and Magnus Dahlstrand at Stinkdigital created a Magic Xylophone experience where the user waves hands in front of the camera to elicit notes. The demo shows a person able to play the xylophone using the in his browser. The virtual instrument is overlaid in the user's webcam feed. The blog announcement invites its visitors to install the Chrome Beta or to just watch a video that shows the virtual instrument in action.

Paul Neave’s Webcam Toy is described as a “photo booth” application with special effects to explore, such as snow and fire. Neave used the WebRTC getUserMedia API for HTML5 camera access. WebGL fragment shaders (GLSL) were used for applying realtime special effects to the camera video feed.

This week’s release announcement also highlights improved printing options. The update puts Google Cloud Print printers directly in the print dialog for easier access to printing tasks. What that means is that Chrome users have the options to send their documents to cloud-connected printers, Googe Drive (the place to access all your files), Chrome on a mobile devices or a FedEx office, right in the print dialog box of the beta.

Aside from the getUserMedia API, there is another API with the beta being especially noted by developers. That is the Gamepad API for JavaScript, which helps developers access input from any standard gamepad connected to the user’s machine. This is intended to result in a “richer gameplay experience.” According to Tommy Widenflycht, a , “Gamepad access was made available for NaCl in May, and since its introduction has enabled awesome games like AirMech. We’re excited to see what developers will create in JavaScript."

Explore further: Microsoft expands ad-free Bing search for schools

More information: www.google.com/landing/chrome/beta/

Related Stories

WebRTC puts video chats all in the browser

Apr 10, 2012

(Phys.org) -- “It’s all in the browser. No plugins. And you don’t just need only Chrome either, Good stuff.” Those are the comments you can hear when in WebRTC circles. For those who have ...

Google Chrome 5 beta released

May 06, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Internet search engine giant Google has released a new beta version of its Chrome browser, and it is visibly much faster than the previous version, and faster than most other browsers.

Bringing Chrome to Android more than wishful thinking

Oct 05, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- The first version of Chrome for Android should be just around the corner, according to ConceivablyTech. “Google is heading toward the finish line for the first release of Chrome for Android,” ...

Google Chrome 4.0 stable version released for Windows

Jan 27, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- All PC users running Windows can now have access to Google Chrome's new extension gallery, with the release earlier this week of a stable version of the Chrome 4.0 browser for Windows.

Recommended for you

Microsoft expands ad-free Bing search for schools

18 hours ago

Microsoft is expanding a program that gives schools the ability to prevent ads from appearing in search results when they use its Bing search engine. The program, launched in a pilot program earlier this year, is now available ...

Growing app industry has developers racing to keep up

Apr 20, 2014

Smartphone application developers say they are challenged by the glut of apps as well as the need to update their software to keep up with evolving phone technology, making creative pricing strategies essential to finding ...

Android gains in US, basic phones almost extinct

Apr 18, 2014

The Google Android platform grabbed the majority of mobile phones in the US market in early 2014, as consumers all but abandoned non-smartphone handsets, a survey showed Friday.

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

Apr 17, 2014

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

Microsoft CEO is driving data-culture mindset

Apr 16, 2014

(Phys.org) —Microsoft's future strategy: is all about leveraging data, from different sources, coming together using one cohesive Microsoft architecture. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Tuesday, both in ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

US urged to drop India WTO case on solar

Environmentalists Wednesday urged the United States to drop plans to haul India to the WTO to open its solar market, saying the action would hurt the fight against climate change.