Last year, VR and 360° photos and videos took center stage for a lot of major tech companies. Facebook added the ability to view 360° photos and quite a few VR headsets were released. Companies are pushing these two new media formats more than ever but the truth is, VR technology is still too expensive to be massively popular. 360° videos and photos are slightly more affordable to capture if you have the right equipment and they are pretty astounding to look at. SVRF Tabs is a Chrome extension that adds a 360° image to every new tab you open. You can pan around and explore the photo.
Install SVRF Tabs and open a new tab. Chrome will tell you that your new tab page has changed. This is a security measure to prevent extensions from hijacking your new tab page. Click ‘Keep changes’ in the pop-up.
The new tab page will feature an awesome landscape with the current time superimposed on it. Click and drag the cursor on the image to look around. Click inside the Omni bar to search for something.
The images are fairly quick to load and are duly credited to the people who took them. They are sourced from Flickr. You can get a direct link to the photo from a share button at the bottom left of the new tab page.
SVRF Tabs is a pretty neat extension but we should warn you that it will slow Chrome down if your hardware is dated. We’re not saying the extension has the power to freeze your system but it will likely increase CPU usage due to the nature of the content it serves.
This is where the problem lies with distributing 360° content; users need to have reasonably powerful systems to view it. The extension itself is larger than most Chrome extensions are on average and it will tax your systems resources more. If you accidentally leave a new tab page open, Chrome’s CPU usage could rise considerably.