Sketchfab is back from Google I/O 2017 with standalone VR and WebAR news

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I just spent the past week in San Francisco to attend I/O, Google’s annual developer conference. It was a large 3 days event hosted on their Mountain View campus, with more than 5,000 developers attending. I wanted to share here some of the main news relevant to the Sketchfab community and the 3D world.

Standalone VR

On Wednesday, Google announced their upcoming standalone VR headset: an all-in-one device, combining the key ingredients everyone is looking for:

  • Inside-out tracking: no needs for external trackers to get 6 degrees of freedom, which is big news for us 3D people. This will leverage the Tango capabilities.
  • Untethered: no PC or mobile needed, it’s all in the headset.

Standalone VR is the holy grail for the VR world, and many see it as what is needed to bring VR to mass adoption, so we can’t wait to see how Google will deliver on that. The initial devices will be built by HTC Vive and Lenovo.

WebAR

WebVR is awesome, that’s what lets you explore any Sketchfab model in VR straight from the web. But what if you could also do this in Augmented Reality, and overlay any Sketchfab model on top of the real world? Well, Google announced on Thursday the release of WebAR, which is essentially the AR implementation of WebVR. We have already started playing around with it and hope to be able to show results soon!

Next generation Tango devices

The Lenovo Phab 2 Pro was the first Tango device to come to market with a built-in 3D camera letting you make real-time 3D capture from a phone. At CES, google announced the next generation with the Asus ZenFone AR. At I/O, they announced it would be available to purchase later this summer. We just got it at the office, and can confirm it’s working great, and really fits in the palm of your hand 🙂

Sketchfab showcase

Last but not least, it was a great honour to see Sketchfab featured 3 times at the conference. One of our main goals is to help 3D creators find an audience and get their amazing creations to be seen and discovered by millions of people through the web. But getting featured on stage by Google in real life is a nice addition 🙂

Mobile web keynote

WebVR keynote

Developer keynote

Congrats to my team for shipping a product that Google wants to tell the world about, and most importantly bravo to our amazing creators who make things that the rest of the world deserves to know about and explore.

About the author

Alban Denoyel

Co-founder and CEO of Sketchfab.


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  • It is really nice to follow and see the Sketchfab succes. We use it for package design, and we hope than the costumers soon accept ising this fantastic opportunt.

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