Published: Tue, November 28, 2017
Industry | By Johnnie Johnson

Amazon Sumerian Aims to Make VR, AR App Creation a Breeze

Amazon Sumerian Aims to Make VR, AR App Creation a Breeze

"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, VP of Business Development, Mapbox.

Sumerian doesn't require any extensive 3D graphics expertise, and can be used by a broader group of professionals to create valuable experiences. 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.

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. The Amazon.com Inc. unit announced Sumerian during an unusual "Midnight Madness" event Monday for select attendees on the eve of its annual weeklong re:Invent conference in Las Vegas.

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It's created to eliminate the need for specialized tools for tasks like 3D modeling, environmental design, animation, lighting effects, and audio editing, as well as the additional step of adapting AR and VR applications for different hardware platforms. In any case, users of the toolkit can create animated characters that interact with the player or customer verbally.

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

Sumerian allows developers to design VR, AR, and 3D environments using drag and drop as well as a library of pre-built objects and templates with pre-populated scenes. Deploying those apps is also a problem, because each platform has its own unique specifications and processes that need to be tackled.

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Such applications typically run on mobile devices, in web browsers or specialised headsets such as the Facebook-produced Oculus Rift. Subscribers can embed their own objects, choose from a pre-loaded library, or use third-party offerings from repositories including Sketchfab and Turbosquid. That's thanks to Amazon's existing speech recognition and natural language-processing tech-Lex and Polly, respectively.

The Amazon Sumerian also assists with mapping services from Mapbox. The service is priced according to the amount of storage used for 3D assets and traffic volume. Amazon's Sumerian tool is available in limited preview started today.

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