Sketchfab Mobile App

As soon as I heard that Sketchfab was making many of its models available to be viewed and interacted with in augmented reality (AR) through its mobile app, I had to check it out. It utilizes the ARKit framework, which requires iOS 11 and at a minimum, the A9 Apple processor. Unfortunately, my iPhone isn’t equipped with this, but I got access to one of the more recent iPad Pro tablets and quickly checked out the app. The tracking, stability, and quality of models are great. There’s some basic interactivity such as rotating, but no customization in this. For those models in Sketchfab that have animations built into them, the animations run well in AR, so a good workflow for a dynamic model seems to be to upload a model with a predefined animation. In any case, the video below shows the app in action with some of these observations.

I see it as a good example of what the ARKit framework can do with augmented reality. Many of the models in the Sketchfab library are fairly detailed, so there’s definitely the potential for high quality models in AR. Nevertheless, Sketchfab itself might be applicable in an architectural design workflow for showcasing conceptual building designs in a public online environment, if permissible. But a non-free subscription would be necessary for projects with confidentiality or requiring greater customization in interactivity.