Published: Tue, November 28, 2017
Industry | By Dora Warner

Amazon Debuts Sumerian To Help Developers Make VR, AR, 3D Apps

Amazon Debuts Sumerian To Help Developers Make VR, AR, 3D Apps

Sumerian, a new service from Amazon Web Services (AWS), could make it easier for developers to build augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and 3D applications, the company announced in a Monday blog post. Amazon said Sumerian is flawless for creating things like on-boarding or training courses for remote employees, scenes that help market or sell a product, or scenes with a virtual concierge that can greet users and answer common questions. Now in preview, Sumerian allows creation of VR and AR scenes that target platforms like the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Google Daydream, and it works with several other Amazon products.

Amazon has tried to keep Sumerian simple so that developers new to building the 3D experience do not face issues while creating the immersive content.

The service is now in preview.

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Once users have built an experience in Sumerian, it can run on hardware such as the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and iPhone.

The move comes after Google launched Poly, a platform that lets you find, view, and download free AR and VR objects and scenes-everything from a rocket ship to a sandcastle, piano, and pirate.

But AR and VR experiences are still few and far between, not least because most developers lack the special skills needed to incorporate it into their applications. Amazon Sumerian also includes templates with pre-populated scenes. The Sumerian service includes an object library with 3D models along with assistance for importing assets from FBX and OBJ files.

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Naturally, you can drag and drop assets directly into the scene. "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", said Marco Argenti, Vice President, Technology, AWS in a statement.

Amazon Sumerian is a purely online web-based development engine that features no software to install or upfront costs - customers pay only for the storage used for 3D assets and the volume of traffic generated to access the virtual scenes they create.

AWS has launched a platform for developers to build AR, VR and 3D apps at speed. "For instance, we integrated Mapbox's points of interest and global terrain maps with Amazon Sumerian so data is delivered and rendered in real-time".

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