Amazon launches web-based tool for developing VR and AR experiences

Amazon Launches Amazon Sumerian for Developing AR, VR, and 3D Apps

Amazon Launches Amazon Sumerian for Developing AR, VR, and 3D Apps

Experiences built in Sumerian aren't confined to a single platform, the post said. 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.

This is what AWS is trying to tackle with Sumerian. That engine is widely used among AR and VR developers, and providing a bridge between Unity and Sumerian could help attract developers. Amazon has its own template of pre-populated scenes, but developers can also use their own objects or those from third-party repositories. According to the post, Sumerian now supports FBX and OBJ projects, and it will soon support Unity projects as well. 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.

Asset Import: Upload 3D assets to use in your scene.

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As with similar applications, you start by selecting or creating a scene. That said, it is built on the WebGL JavaScript and WebVR JavaScript APIs, and it offers a JavaScript editor and scripting library.

The move comes after Google launched Poly, a platform that lets you find, view, and download free AR and VR objects and scenes-everything from a rocket ship to a sandcastle, piano, and pirate. Developers can sign up for the preview or view sample scenes on the AWS product page.

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.

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Amazon Sumerian, the post notes, "doesn't require you to have 3D graphics or programming experience to build rich, interactive VR and AR scenes", and "provides tools and resources that allows anyone to create and run augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and 3D applications easily".

Using Sumerian, developers will have the ability to design immersive environments using libraries of pre-built objects; the ability to create animated characters (using its Lex speech recognition and Polly for natural language understanding); as well as shipping the apps to various hardware devices.

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