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Amazon Web Services launches platform to build AR, VR and 3D apps
28 November 2017, 01:18 | Denise Dawson
Amazon launches cloud-based 3D editor
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.
Being a browser-based tool for now, Amazon Sumerian would allow developers to use the 3D models in VR and AR applications.
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. As such, Sumerian could help democratize AR and VR app creation for more professionals without a 3D graphics background, the post said. Deploying those apps is also a problem, because each platform has its own unique specifications and processes that need to be tackled.
AWS is aiming Sumerian at businesses across a range of industries for applications including training simulations, virtual concierge services, enhanced ecommerce experiences, and virtual real-estate tours. Hardware including the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and iOS devices support the content created with Sumerian. The visual scripting tools draw on AWS services such as Amazon Lex and Amazon Polly, which provide automatic speech recognition, natural language understanding and text-to-speech capabilities so these virtual characters can interact with human users.
Sumerian lets developers build applications without requiring any specialised programming or 3D graphics expertise, and can be accessed from a web browser.
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Given previous requirements to launch AR or VR apps, businesses have been "daunted and overwhelmed by the up-front investment in specialized skills and tools required to even get started building a VR or AR application", said Argenti.
Sumerian also leverages mapping services from Mapbox Inc.
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 says that there is no cost associated with the software and that customers must only pay for the storage used for their 3D assets and the volume of traffic generated by the content they create.
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