I’m excited to announce that we just released a Virtual Reality button in our 3D player:
This is a big milestone for us. While browsing 3D on a web page – or with touch on mobile – is amazing, we realised that browsing this content in VR had the potential to provide an even better experience.
Sketchfab at its core is essentially “just” a virtual cube, or 3D scene, in which you can put anything that has 3 dimensions, and share this scene to the world leveraging the power of the web. You can navigate within the scene with your mouse directly on any web page, but with VR it means you can actually put yourself right inside the scene, and walk in it.
This is really awesome, but when you think about it it is also very natural. VR is getting so much attention these days simply because we live in a 3D world, and it’s a natural evolution to be able to experience things virtually the way we already experience real life. Today, the technology is finally getting closer to living up to that hope.
What’s really cool is that we already spent the past few years building the easiest way to share and embed virtual content. As a result, we are now hosting more than 500k virtual things! You can find a digital preview of pretty much anything on Sketchfab: people, places, objects… There is so much content that someone even made a Sketchfab-powered Wikipedia mirror: volupedia.org. So now with this new feature, you can browse all that incredible content in VR from sketchfab.com or from our embeds.
This feature is already used in mindblowing ways. Just a few days ago, a surgeon practiced heart surgery using Sketchfab + Google Cardboard before saving a baby girl’s life. You can go ahead and discover how a beating heart works, teleport yourself inside Van Gogh’s room, or go back in time to confront this Triceratops.
This is just the first step. Today Sketchfab works with Google Cardboard and we’re planning to expand our VR support to all major headsets, next being the Oculus. The navigation itself needs a lot of work, to be as natural and seamless as possible. We’re also working to create better content categories, and a better browsing experience for VR.
We have two goals. One is to provide the easiest way for anyone making 3D content to publish it in VR; the second is to provide a huge interactive library of content for all the VR headset owners out there to explore. Get started today and stay tuned as we progress in the VR world!