Amazon Launches Sumerian Tool For Building Immersive AR, VR And 3D Apps

28 November 2017, 12:24 | Myrtle Hill

Amazon launches cloud-based 3D editor

Amazon jumps into virtual reality with Sumerian for building VR apps in the cloud

Announced on the eve of the company's Re:Invent AWS event, Amazon Sumerian is a new platform for developers to build and host VR, AR and 3D apps quickly and with minimal coding, for smartphones and tablets, head-based displays, digital signage and web browsers.

The retail giant debuted software tools on Monday called Amazon (amzn) Sumerian that are meant to help coders more easily build virtual reality and augmented reality apps using 3D computer graphics.

A web-based editor for constructing 3D scenes, importing assets, scripting interactions and special effects, with cross-platform publishing.

Amazon has launched a suite of tools that makes it quick and affordable for any business to create slick-looking 3D virtual reality and augmented reality apps.

However, Unity Labs EVP Sylvio Drouin told Ars previous year that the Unity Labs team has focused heavily on making its own way for creatives to build VR worlds without advanced technical knowledge. Amazon Sumerian is a solution that aims to make it easier for developers to build virtual reality, augmented reality, and 3D applications.

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AWS Sumerian is a new service that allows developers to build AR, VR, and 3D apps for a variety of platform such as the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. Deploying those apps is also a problem, because each platform has its own unique specifications and processes that need to be tackled. Amazon's Sumerian tool is available in limited preview started today.

Such applications typically run on mobile devices, in web browsers or specialised headsets such as the Facebook-produced Oculus Rift. Users can import their own 3D images of objects or "choose from Amazon Sumerian's library of pre-built objects, (or) download and import objects from third-party asset repositories".

"Customers across industries see the potential of VR and AR technologies for a wide range of uses-from educating and training employees to creating new customer experiences".

The Amazon Sumerian also assists with mapping services from Mapbox. The visual scripting tools draw on AWS services such as Amazon Lex and Amazon Polly, which provide automatic speech recognition, natural language understanding and text-to-speech capabilities so these virtual characters can interact with human users.

Access to Sumerian is via the AWS Management Console - there is no software to install or upfront costs as Sumerian uses Amazon's normal "pay for what you use" billing.



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