Amazon introduces new solution for building AR, VR and 3D applications

Amazon introduces new solution for building AR, VR and 3D applications

Amazon introduces new solution for building AR, VR and 3D applications

Amazon Web Services has launched a new tool that "lets anyone" construct environments in augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and 3D to run on multiple platforms. According to Amazon, the VR and AR apps created in Amazon Sumerian will run in any browser that supports WebGL or WebVR graphics rendering. Developers can choose from Amazon Sumerian's library of pre-built objects, download and import objects from third-party asset stores such as Sketchfab or Turbosquid, or create and import their own objects. 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.

AWS has launched a platform for developers to build AR, VR and 3D apps at speed. In any case, users of the toolkit can create animated characters that interact with the player or customer verbally.

In its description of the "immersive VR, AR and 3D environments", Amazon says the Sumerian editing tool will enable developers to "drag and drop 3D objects (e.g. furniture ...) into "scenes" (e.g. rooms, office environments and landscapes)".

In the enterprise, AR and VR are poised to make a big impact. You can request access to the preview with your AWS account number, but be warned: access is invite-only. Supported devices include Google's Daydream, HTC Vive, Facebook's Oculus Rift, and iOS mobile devices. Sumerian includes an object library of pre-built assets and templates, but users can also upload their own 3D assets to use as well.

"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", said Marco Argenti, Vice President, Technology, AWS, in a statement.

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The new tool looks like it could be aiming to lure away developers from software like Unreal Engine and Unity which are used to make the majority of VR and AR apps now available.

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

Amazon is also offering the integration of Sumerian with the artificial intelligence infrastructures, Amazon Lex and Amazon Polly, for automatic speech recognition, language understanding and text-to-speech capability applications.

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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