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

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

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

Amazon's highly anticipated mixed-reality building service has officially been announced: Amazon Sumerian will allow enterprising entrepreneurs everywhere the ability to quickly build and host VR, AR or 3D apps online.

"Amazon Sumerian provides tools and resources that allows anyone to create and run augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and 3D applications easily", said AWS technical evangelist Tara Walker in a blog post. Available immediately, the service will initially be browser-based and will support WebGL or WebVR graphics rendering, such as Daydream, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and iOS mobile devices.

Sumerian includes a web-based editor, a scripting library, and an asset library to make it easier for developers to build experiences that could help with corporate training, field service, and more.

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The way the elements interact with one another and users can be controlled using scipts and the applications can be linked to Amazon Polly and Amazon Lex, which provide speech and natural language support for hosts, allowing characters to respond to users in a lifelike way.

Amazon Sumerian's editor lets developers drag and drop 3D characters and objects (like furniture or buildings) into "scenes" (e.g. rooms, office environments, and landscapes).

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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. According to Amazon, the main problem with AR- and VR-powered apps is that creating them requires expertise in using a wide range of tools, including things such as 3D modeling, environmental design, animation and audio editing. 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". The preview for the new service, called Amazon Sumerian, starts today.

Sumerian could be a step toward further popularising AR and VR applications, which now require specialised tools and skills to develop and deploy across different devices. 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.

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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