Amazon's Sumerian Is A Web-Based Development Service For VR/AR Apps


For those pivoting to video, or others who are just getting started, Amazon Web Services released five new video tools built by AWS Elemental that make it easier to use cloud computing as the engine for video distribution.

On Monday, Amazon launched the service, Amazon Sumerian, to ease the development of augmented reality and virtual reality apps for different platforms.

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.

Amazon Sumerian includes a web-based editor that allows anyone to drag and drop 3D objects (e.g. furniture, and buildings) and characters into "scenes" (e.g. rooms, office environments, and landscapes).

You can select from pre-existing assets from Amazon or import your own in FBX and OBJ files.

Amazon launched the service during the AWS "Midnight Madness" pre-show event in Las Vegas. If you find what you're looking for, you can view it in 3D and download it to use in your app.

Image AWS Amazon
Image AWS Amazon

Built on Amazon Web Services, the toolkit is meant to help with building experiences like "training simulations, virtual concierge services, enhanced online shopping experiences, [and] virtual house or land tours". Amazon says that before Sumerian arrived, building this sort of content required special skills in tools for 3D modeling, environmental design, animation, lighting effects, and audio editing. 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. That's thanks to Amazon's existing speech recognition and natural language-processing tech-Lex and Polly, respectively.

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

Object Library: a library of pre-built objects and templates.

As more developers look to support AR and VR, and platform owners continue to expand what devices can do, Sumerian could help make Amazon Web Services a key home for developing the applications of the future.

Additionally, if an app needs a map embedded, Amazon Sumerian supports location platform Mapbox.