Amazon launches new tool aimed at people creating VR and AR apps

Laverne Mann
November 28, 2017

Amazon today revealed a new service called Sumerian that allows anyone to create and run augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and 3D applications easily.

Best of all, "Amazon Sumerian doesn't require you to have 3D graphics or programming experience to build rich, interactive VR and AR scenes", Walker wrote.

The resulting applications can run on Oculus and HTC Vive devices as well as iOS devices with WebVR-compatible browsers.

Amazon Sumerian uses a web-based editor that developers can use to create "professional-quality scenes", and a visual scripting tool to build the logic that controls how the objects and characters in the scenes interact and respond to actions. The web app should make it easier for developers to build 3D experiences for multiple platforms. The Sumerian tools let customers create 3D characters, called "Hosts" (which, by the way, also is what the AI robots in HBO's "Westworld" are called), to narrate and guide users through immersive scenes.

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Amazon Web Services doesn't charge a fee for designing and editing AR and VR applications. Sumerian allows developers to build realistic virtual environments and then populate them with 3D objects and animated characters. Deploying those apps is also a problem, because each platform has its own unique specifications and processes that need to be tackled.

Amazon said Sumerian is available in preview starting today, accessible via its AWS Management Console. If you find what you're looking for, you can view it in 3D and download it to use in your app.

"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", said Marco Argenti, Vice President, Technology, AWS, in a statement. That's thanks to Amazon's existing speech recognition and natural language-processing tech-Lex and Polly, respectively. "But customers are daunted and overwhelmed by the up-front investment in specialized skills and tools required to even get started building a VR or AR application". As more developers look to support AR and VR, and platform owners continue to expand what devices can do, Sumerian could help make AWS a key home for developing the applications of the future. The service is priced according to the amount of storage used for 3D assets and traffic volume.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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