Amazon Sumerian Helps Devs Create AI, VR And 3D Apps

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Amazon jumps into virtual reality with Sumerian for building VR apps in the cloud

The company's Amazon Web Services unit announced Amazon Sumerian, a new service for building VR, AR, and 3D applications that can be viewed on mobile devices, head-mounted displays, digital signage, and web browsers.

This news comes as one of the first announcements out of AWS re:Invent, the cloud provider's major conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Sumerian allows developers to build realistic virtual environments and then populate them with 3D objects and animated characters. With the service, developers can build experiences for the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and iOS devices that use WebVR compatible browsers.

Sumerian is designed to be straightforward enough for developers who are new to building 3D experiences, while retaining the power needed to create engaging content.

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AWS Services Integration: baked in integration with Amazon Polly and Amazon Lex to add speech and natural language to into Sumerian hosts. That engine is widely used among AR and VR developers, and providing a bridge between Unity and Sumerian could help attract developers. It also allows anyone to import objects from third-party asset repositories such as Sketchfab or Turbosquid, or create and import their own objects.

The retail giant debuted software tools on Monday called Amazon (amzn) Sumerian that are meant to help coders more easily build virtual reality and augmented reality apps using 3D computer graphics.

In the enterprise, AR and VR are poised to make a big impact. It includes an object library full of models that people can put to use, as well as support for importing assets from FBX and OBJ files.

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Asset Import: Upload 3D assets to use in your scene. The library is fully integrated with Google's Tilt Brush and Blocks apps, letting you modify numerous objects to better fit your project.

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. "But, customers are daunted and overwhelmed by the up-front investment in specialised skills and tools required to even get started building a VR or AR application", said Marco Argenti, VP of technology at Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The Amazon Sumerian also assists with mapping services from Mapbox.

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