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

Posted November 28, 2017

Amazon announced a new service at the AWS re:Invent Midnight Madness event. Amazon said Sumerian is ideal 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. With the service, developers can build experiences for the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and iOS devices that use WebVR compatible browsers. 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's Sumerian tool is available in limited preview started today.

In the enterprise, AR and VR are poised to make a big impact.

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Amazon is jumping onto the augmented and virtual reality bandwagon with the launch of Sumerian, a new application that's supposed to make it easier for people to develop 3D experiences for a wide variety of platforms. That engine is widely used among AR and VR developers, and providing a bridge between Unity and Sumerian could help attract developers. Subscribers can embed their own objects, choose from a pre-loaded library, or use third-party offerings from repositories including Sketchfab and Turbosquid. The Sumerian service includes an object library with 3D models along with assistance for importing assets from FBX and OBJ files.

Amazon writes, "Amazon Sumerian solves these challenges by providing a web-based editor that developers can use to easily and quickly create professional-quality scenes, and a visual scripting tool to build the logic that controls how the objects and characters in the scenes behave and respond to actions". Storage pricing for Sumerian 3D assets is 6 cents per gigabyte monthly, and the fees for the total volume of traffic generated by each scene is 38 cents per GB per month. From there, they can drag and drop a pre-built asset, such as a room or a piece of furniture.

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The public cloud computing giant took the wraps off its new Amazon Sumerian service, which provides a platform for developers to create realistic virtual environments that can be populated with animated characters and other 3D objects.

The Amazon Sumerian also assists with mapping services from Mapbox.

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