Google’s upcoming platform “Poly” will offer a new tool for building augmented reality and virtual reality applications. Poly is complete with a comprehensive art library to help people to build such apps more easily. It is now live in its own domain.
The Demand for a Tool like Poly
The problem with building AR and VR apps is that there is a shortage of content. Small developers find it difficult to develop AR and VR apps, as they have to produce several 3D objects to accompany the immersive applications. This can be a rather difficult and time-consuming job.
Google’s Poly platform offers a fix for this problem. It will help developers locate 3D objects to create these AR and VR apps in a timely fashion. The 3D model producers will be able to share their models on the platform, so that app developers can get more content for use.
You can compare Poly to Flickr. The only difference is that the platform is for developers of AR and VR apps, instead of photographers.
Making it Easy for Developers
The concept for Poly was unveiled in a Google Products announcement accompanying the live deployment of the platform.
App creators will find it easy to browse through the 3D assets that are uploaded on the Poly platform by artists. The resources are free to use, so VR and AR app developers could quickly and easily begin building a new app.
Developers can browse these 3D objects using their smartphones or through a web browser. Poly offers a variety of models, such as realistic animals and street renders. There are some simple 3D objects as well; anything from trees to pizza. The platform also offers some elaborate renditions, like an image of Wonder Woman for instance.
If the models don’t quite fit in with the developers’ requirements, they can customize the images as well. They can modify the 3D objects or models and even share them in the form of a GIF or see them through a VR viewer.
In addition, the objects work on various platforms, such as Google ARCore and even Apple ARKit. This offers more flexibility to developers, as they can use the models to create different experiences. Models that are created with Tilt Brush or Blocks from Google can also be uploaded to the platform.
How it Works
According to Google, modelers will upload their 3D work and offer it for free. It is possible for anyone to upload a 3D creation to the Poly platform, using a Creative Commons license.
App developers can then search for a specific object or download one that they would like to use in their AR and VR apps.
App developers can use the work directly or remix it or build on the original, creating new listings. They have to, however, offer credit to the original by linking back to it.
Google also claims that developers can pull the 3D object directly into AR/VR workspaces for editing.
The Future of Poly
As of now, there are many such services offering virtual objects. However, they are paid systems, whereas Poly offers more of a kind of a service for hobbyists. It is a simple platform meant for newcomers. Developers can simply browse through the Poly store to find what they need.
The platform will be enhanced with API in the near future, and developers will be able to sign up if they wish to preview the models.
Currently, Google has added several 3D objects that have been produced in-house. However, they expect that the Poly library will continue to grow, with more people sharing the 3D objects and models that they create.
The release of Google’s Poly does not mean that there will be a rush for augmented reality and virtual reality apps using the service. Many developers would like to give their apps a distinctive or unique look, whereas Poly might only be capable of offering uniform objects, which cannot be customized to a great extent.
However, small developers will find the service very useful, especially to begin with. Many of the bigger app developers might also use it to create a fast prototype.