Google Poly, a repository of 3D objects for use in AR and VR experiences, is the latest Google offering to fall victim to the company's habit of axing products and services, regardless of popularity.
Sensing an opportunity, competing 3D content marketplace Sketchfab has swooped in to throw a lifeline to Poly users during this trying time.
On Tuesday, Sketchfab announced Poly to Sketchfab, a web-based tool, built in collaboration with the Google Poly team, that enables users to transfer their Poly 3D files over to Sketchfab.
After connecting their Poly and Sketchfab accounts to the tool, migrators are presented with a list of 3D files for transfer, with only Tilt Brush and Tour Creator 360-degree files being ineligible. Once they have selected their files, they can complete the process by uploading their assets to Sketchfab.
Speaking of Tilt Brush, another sunsetting Google product, users can export their creations to Sketchfab within Tilt Brush itself.
In addition, Sketchfab has a solution for developers who integrated Poly into their apps as an asset library. Its Download API offers similar functionality. The Download API tool gives users more than 500,000 free 3D models licensed under Creative Commons.
"We've spent the past nine years working on building the best place to publish, share, embed and host 3D content," said Alban Denoyel, co-founder and CEO of Sketchfab, in a Twitter thread following the original announcement of Google Poly's end of life. "We support free unlimited uploads, and everything you share becomes VR/AR ready. We don't [rely] on advertising, and just became profitable, so we are here to stay."
Poly's demise, set for June 30, 2021 with uploading of 3D models shut off by April 30, shouldn't be taken as a sign of Google's dimmed enthusiasm for AR technology, though. The company continues to iterate on its ARCore toolkit for mobile apps, and it boasts two of the more useful AR features, with Live View for Google Maps and View in 3D functionality in Google Search, currently available for mobile devices.