Google has brought its Tilt Brush virtual reality drawing app to the Oculus Rift VR headset. The launch isn’t just big news for Rift owners, it’s also the first time Google has officially supported any of Facebook’s VR platforms.
Tilt Brush is a 3D drawing app that allows users to step inside their creations and illustrate complex sceneries while wearing a headset. The Oculus Rift version, which is now available on the Oculus store for $30, makes use of the headset’s Touch controllers as drawing tools.
Tilt Brush originally launched on the HTC Vive headset last April, and quickly became a favorite app among users of the headset. One of the better-known users of Tilt Brush is none other than Disney animation legend Glenn Keane, who used the app to recreate Ariel in virtual reality.
But Tilt Brush isn’t just a great app, it’s also the first time Google has launched any of its VR projects on Facebook’s virtual reality platforms. Google obviously has its own irons in the fire for virtual reality, both with its low-end Cardboard viewer and its Daydream mobile virtual reality headset and platform.
But the company has also been embracing HTC’s Vive VR headset for some time. Not only did it release Tilt Brush on the Vive early on, the company’s Oscar-nominated short film Pearl was also released on the VR headset.
That preference for the HTC Vive over Facebook’s Oculus Rift headset can be explained in part by Facebook and Google being direct competitors, including in VR, where Daydream directly competes with the Facebook-powered Samsung Gear VR headset.
But Google also has a history of working with competitors; the company’s apps have long been a mainstay on Apple’s iPhone, for example. Google bringing Tilt Brush to the Rift may signal that the company could use the same approach for virtual reality devices.