Easily Build VR/AR Applications With Amazon Sumerian


At this weeks's re:Invent conference, Amazon announced a new service for developers looking to create AR, VR and 3D apps.

Sumerian doesn't require any extensive 3D graphics expertise, and can be used by a broader group of professionals to create valuable experiences. Any browser supporting WebGL, Web VR or ARKit graphics renderings will run apps created with Sumerian.

The company says Sumerian allows even novices to create virtual environments, populate them with objects such as furniture and build the logic "that controls how the objects and characters in the scenes behave and respond to actions".

Amazon launched the service during the AWS "Midnight Madness" pre-show event in Las Vegas.

"We now bring Mapbox location services to Amazon Sumerian, enabling users to integrate 3D maps and surfaces into their AR and VR applications and bring location-based experiences to life", said Alex Barth, vice president of business development at Mapbox.

AI support lets developers create animated 3D characters that can guide users through a scene by narrating scripts or answering questions.

Amazon Web Services doesn't charge a fee for designing and editing AR and VR applications.

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. You can request access to the preview with your AWS account number, but be warned: access is invite-only. The preview for the new service, called Amazon Sumerian, starts today. That includes mobile devices, web browsers and head-mounted displays such as Facebook Inc.'s Oculus Rift.

"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". 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 hosts will be integrated with Amazon Polly and Lex to deliver natural language abilities, not unlike those present on the Alexa personal assistant.

The Amazon Sumerian also assists with mapping services from Mapbox. As with other AWS offerings, customers are charged based on the amount of storage used for the 3D assets and the volume of traffic generated by their apps.



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