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

Posted November 28, 2017

Amazon today revealed a new service called Sumerian that allows anyone to create and run augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and 3D applications easily.

The service is now in preview.

Amazon writes, "With Amazon Sumerian's editor, developers can build realistic virtual environments, populate them with 3D objects and animated characters, and script how they interact with each other and the application's users". Sumerian also takes a note from Unreal's Blueprints interface, allowing creators with no coding experience to use a visual scripting tool to put together all the logic needed to make the world interactive.

Amazon Sumerian can be used by developers to drag and drop 3D objects into scenes, such as offices or landscapes, to create VR, AR, and 3D environments.

In their scene, the post said, developers can add-in a 3D character and customize them for gender, voice, and language.

The scene view resembles powerful 3D rendering and game development applications, but it is relatively simple and streamlined.

The five tools announced Monday, just as the cloud industry descends upon Las Vegas for re:Invent 2017, allow publishers to deliver live video and video-on-demand to mobile devices without having to invest in the equipment required to accomplish that goal on their own, AWS said in a press release.

A year ago online retail giant Amazon launched its first foray into videogame development with its Lumberyard game engine, adding and improving support for virtual reality (VR) content creation in the following months.

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

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. Deploying those apps is also a problem, because each platform has its own unique specifications and processes that need to be tackled. That said, it is built on the WebGL JavaScript and WebVR JavaScript APIs, and it offers a JavaScript editor and scripting library.

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.