Google rolled out a new virtual reality app, dubbed Google Blocks, on Thursday (July 6) in which users can build 3D models.
The free app, which works on the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, is reportedly intuitive enough that it’s easy for newbies but also has enough features to make complex models. The objects can also be exported to be viewed online, or they can be placed in 3D scenes in both virtual reality worlds and outside them.
According to the report, Google Blocks is one of many design tools that have been developed to work with VR headsets. Oculus, as one example, has a sculpting app called Medium. Meanwhile Google also has a 3D painting tool dubbed Tilt Brush. Artwork from both Tilt Brush and Blocks can be exported, which means they can also be combined.
With VR still slow to take off in the U.S., Google has been coming up with new ways to draw more mainstream users to the technology. In May, Google said that instead of adding text comments in YouTube VR, it will be creating shared rooms where users can voice chat about the videos they’ve watched on the site.
According to news from TechCrunch, the system doesn’t sound much different from Oculus Rooms, which allows you to hop into a room with friends and watch videos together. With the YouTube system, users can go into a 360-degree space in avatar form and chat — similar to what Facebook showed off at F8 with its Spaces social networking app.
However, there won’t be as much potential for social interaction because of the limitations of mobile VR. Google didn’t specify if it will be available for random users or friends who can go into a room to chat, so there are some issues to be addressed to make sure it’s a safe platform for people to meet up.