Box today announced it has acquired Verold, a startup that develops a cloud-based 3D model viewer and editor for mobile devices and the web. The Verold team will be joining Box and will integrate its 3D conversion and previewing directly into Box’s enterprise content collaboration platform.

Founded in 2010, Verold has built an online visual editor for rendering 3D content into interactive presentations on the web. The Toronto-based startup’s solution uses WebGL, a JavaScript API for rendering interactive 3D computer graphics and 2D graphics in the browser without needing plugins.

Verold’s content creation and editing tools for interactive projects have broad applications for information workers, as the press release noted:

  • Engineers can share 3D product designs across a global manufacturing supply chain to reduce the time-to-market for new products.
  • Educators can create immersive, interactive experiences of complex models as a supplement to traditional drawings and static diagrams for engaging students.
  • Marketers can create and collaborate on interactive demonstrations of products that engage consumers, making it easier to understand key features and benefits that are difficult to communicate in traditional 2D formats.

Here is an example (more are available here) developed for NASA’s December 2014 Orion module test flight:

In the acquisition announcement, Box cofounder and chief executive Aaron Levie wrote that the acquisition of Verold will help his company change how people in various industries access information online and digitize their business processes:

Take for example a commercial construction contractor, faced with the challenge of collaborating on multiple projects at once with partners and contractors, or previewing detailed design drawings when in the field. Or an athletic wear retailer tasked with delivering the latest product design iterations across geographically dispersed teams. Being able to perform these workflows, right from a web browser, without having to download any additional software is a game-changing proposition in many industries.

In short, Box wants to offer its 45,000 enterprise customers new ways to preview, annotate, and collaborate on their “mission-critical information.” That’s not a very big stretch; Verold already has big enterprise partners like Amazon, Pearson Education, Mixamo, and Autodesk.