Sketchfab Aims to Become the YouTube of VR Experiences
Producing virtual reality content is primarily comprised of computer-generated 3D assets and 360 video technologies. In the near future, we can anticipate that all cellphone cameras will be embedded with 360 video recording function, and also pocket-size 3D scanners that can capture any objects and turn it into a 3D model.
As 360 video recording and playback technologies are rapidly involving, YouTube and Facebook, two of the largest online media platforms have already set their presence in 360 video hosting and playback. Other startups such as Littlstar and Vrideo, too, are all video-focused.
While computer-generated virtual reality experiences can be created via software engines such as Unity and Unreal, developers are currently limited to submission of their content to platforms such as Oculus store or SteamVR.
Sketchfab, a leader in hosting of 3D models, aims to become the leading virtual reality platform. The goals of Sketchfab are to provide the easiest way for anyone making 3D content to publish it in VR, and also to provide an interactive library of VR content for all the major headsets.
“I’m excited to announce that we just released a Virtual Reality button in our 3D player.”
Alban Co-founder and CEO of Sketchfab
“Sketchfab VR does not offer a wild gaming experience where you have to shoot monsters and think about how to survive. It’s much more of a contemplative experience: you are here to explore the world around you. It’s about places, things, objects, people. It’s about discovery. It’s about learning. Ever dreamed of teleporting yourself to Rome, inspecting a beating heart, or walking along dinosaurs? You can do all these things in Sketchfab VR.”
Sketchfab at its core is essentially a virtual 3D scene or cube, where the user can upload and share any 3D scene/object to anyone via a simple URL link. While browsing 3D on a web browser or mobile phone is cool, Sketchfab found that browsing 3D content in virtual reality provides an exceptional user experience.
Over the past years, Sketchfab has already developed the simplest way to share and embedded virtual content and is currently hosting over half a million virtual assets. You can find pretty much just about anything on Sketchfab such as people, places, and objects. Here is an example: https://skfb.ly/GQrQ
Currently, the user can navigate the scene with a mouse. However, with Sketchfab's VR integration, this means your can literally put yourself in the scene as if you are actually there, and being able to walk in it.
A doctor can now practice surgery using Sketchfab, or an art class student will be able to teleport inside Van Gogh’s room. In the future, virtual reality artworks created with Tilt Brush can be easily exported and shared among these apps.
The user will be able to upload and embed their 3D model on Sketchfab and easily share an experience such as a room, a pet, or a pair of shoes as easily as uploading and playback on YouTube.
Sketchfab is planning to expand VR support to all major headsets, and will be releasing a series of VR app for the Cardboard, Oculus, Gear VR, and the HTC Vive. We can only imagine that sooner or later, everyone will be a creator of 3D objects, and Sketchfab is already ahead of the game.