3D scene-hosting company Sketchfab is announcing new features for its service which delivers VR experiences across the Web in much the same way YouTube distributes videos.
The new features include the ability to teleport around a VR scene on Cardboard, Rift, Gear VR or Vive, as well as additional “View in VR” buttons to browse whole sections of the site in VR. Creators can also pick where a person is positioned inside the scene to start off with as well as set the scale and floor level — all key functionality that turns an otherwise lifeless 3D model into a virtual world you can walk around.
The site now claims to be “the largest destination for VR content in the world” with more than 500,000 members and nearly 1 million experiences you can see in VR. Sketchfab steadily built a feature set that could make it a destination for creators to upload their 3D models in the same way YouTube is the place for most people to put their videos.
Getting a 3D object from one place to another is not an easy task. Creators in apps like Tilt Brush and SculptrVR can explore other people’s creations in those apps, but there’s no easy way to pop from something made in sketching software to something made through sculpting. There’s a new standard on the way that could make transmitting and viewing these 3D scenes easier, but right now Sketchfab seems to be one of the only practical ways to share art made in VR. Phones are poised to get 3D-scanning capabilities too and, if that happens, the list of 3D objects and models people want to share with each other will skyrocket.
Sketchfab seems to have all the right tools in place. Now the real question is: Will creators and users flock to the service?