Nov 2, 2017 | By Benedict

Google has launched Poly, an object library for augmented and virtual reality applications. The 3D objects are free to download, and should be compatible with AR/VR platforms like Google’s ARCore and Apple’s ARKit.

Most people agree that AR and VR have a big role to play in technology of the future. Whether it’s a novelty game like Pokémon Go or surgeons carrying out cancer surgery with the aid of mixed reality glasses, the projection of full or partial 3D worlds in front of our eyes has massive potential.

If you’re a developer, however, it can be tough to get started in the world of AR/VR. To create exciting software in this domain, you need more than just bright ideas: you need a hell of a lot of digital competence, starting with the intricate creation of whatever 3D objects might be needed in your new system.

You just can’t sketch up a 3D virtual reality object in the time it takes to do something in 2D, which means developers using AR or VR platforms like ARCore, ARKit, and Unity need a huge number of resources and a huge amount of time just to make something as seemingly trivial as Pokémon Go.

Thankfully, Google might have just made AR/VR development a whole lot easier for those who don’t have the time or skills to come up with every 3D object in their virtual reality world.

It’s done this by launching Poly, an object library for augmented and virtual reality applications that will be compatible with existing AR/VR platforms and that will be free to use. Poly will work seamlessly with Google’s Tilt Brush (painting) and Blocks (sculpting) apps, and will aim to create of a thriving community of developers willing to share their models for reworking and remixing.

“Poly lets you quickly find 3D objects and scenes for use in your apps, and it was built from the ground up with AR and VR development in mind,” explains Andrea Zvinakis, Poly Product Manager. “It’s fully integrated with Tilt Brush and Blocks, and it also allows direct OBJ file upload, so there’s lots to discover and use.”

The scope of opportunity for Poly could be huge, Zvinakis says, allowing creators to find the 3D objects they need, whatever the project: “Whether you’re creating an intense space walk in VR or a serene garden of AR flowers, you’ll find the ingredients you need in Poly.”

Perhaps surprisingly, you’ll already find a lot of 3D models on the Poly library right now. That’s because Google asked several artists to create the first few thousand objects so the library is already well-stocked for the first users. As the name suggests, a lot of the models on Poly are low-poly, which works well with Google’s Daydream VR platform.

As is the case with popular 3D printing model platforms like Thingiverse, remixing shared designs will be an integral part of Google Poly. The library will allow users to download chosen models and send them straight to Tilt Brush or Blocks, where they can make any necessary amendments to a design. If the user then republishes the model to Poly, the platform will automatically credit the original author.

According to Google, Poly could even be a fun resource for those who aren’t in the business of developing their own augmented or virtual reality apps.

“In addition to being a great place for developers to find assets, anyone can use Poly to view 3D objects in a mobile or desktop browser,” Zvinakis explains. “You can search for specific things, like a fox or a pizza. Once you discover something you like, you can create a shareable GIF or view it in VR using Cardboard or Daydream View.”

Those interested in Google Poly are encouraged to sign up now in order to preview the API when it is released. You can also browse the nascent collection of objects here.



Posted in 3D Design



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