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article imageGoogle launches Poly, a marketplace for 3D objects

By James Walker     Nov 2, 2017 in Technology
Google's announced a new service to help VR and AR developers find 3D objects for their apps. One of the biggest challenges facing VR is a lack of content. Poly will let 3D model creators share their work, giving app creators more assets to use.
Google announced Poly in a blog post this week, describing it as a way for developers to "build on everyone's work." App creators will be able to search and browse through 3D assets uploaded by artists and modellers. Each resource will be free to use, giving VR studios and interested developers a starting point for their new app.
You can view any of the objects on the platform using your web browser or a smartphone. There's already several different kinds of model available, ranging from realistic animals through to renditions of city streets and simple food items.
Many of the assets can be "remixed" with customisations. This allows you to add parts, change styles or combine different models to create a unique 3D object. You can then publish the result back to the community. Poly automatically credits the original author and provides a link back to the object.
Although Poly's primarily aimed at resource-limited developers, it's also meant to spur creativity amongst artists and modellers. You can use Poly to find and share 3D models that you make. According to Google, the service will be a "single place" for people to discover and download freely available 3D assets.
"If you're building for virtual and augmented reality, you need 3D objects for your apps," said Google. "With Tilt Brush and Blocks, we've made 3D creation easier. Now, we want to enable creators and developers to build on everyone's work. That's why we created Poly: one place to browse, discover and download 3D objects."
Google's not the only tech firm with ideas for 3D though. Microsoft's already got its own 3D object marketplace in Remix 3D, launched earlier this year. Both platforms can be used to view, share and remix models on the web.
Google Poly
Google Poly
Comparing the two services, Poly is more developer-centric than Remix 3D. Whereas Microsoft is presenting 3D content creation directly to consumers, Google wants to get objects into the hands of developers.
Google's wider aim is to spur adoption of VR and AR by helping app creators find assets for their projects. In contrast, Microsoft's encouraging consumers to use Remix 3D as a kind of social network for 3D creativity. The two overlap but retain distinct areas of specialism.
You can get started with Poly today by visiting the service's dedicated website. Google also confirmed an API is in development, enabling developers to get information about the available assets without having to visit the site. Developers can sign-up to get access when it's made available.
More about Google, google poly, 3d, Virtual reality, augmented reality
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