Amazon revealed its new online service, Sumerian, on Monday at its AWS re:Invent kick-off event. Sumerian is available for developers as a part of Amazon Web Services, and it can be used to quickly develop virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and other 3D apps suitable to run online, as well as mobile devices. It is obvious that virtual and augmented reality holds the key to the future of so many industries, but whether it’s technical difficulties or financial obstacles, developers haven’t been able to optimize their unique skillsets. Sumerian will allow them to do just that, as it can be easily accessed from the AWS Management Console with no further subscription required. Instead, customers will just need to pay for the storage they use when creating and saving apps.
What It Does
The browser-based tool allows developers to drag and drop 3D objects into a series of scenes for use in VR and AR applications. Customers can choose from a pre-loaded library of objects, embed their own objects, or use third-party offerings from repositories like Sketchfab or Turbosquid. Templates are also included in Sumerian. Users will be able access some of Amazon’s artificial intelligence capabilities via Amazon Lex and Amazon Polly. This will allow developers to implement things like automatic speech recognition, natural language understanding, and text-to-speech capabilities. The scenes produced on Sumerian can run in browsers that supports WebGL or WebVR graphics rendering.
During Amazon’s kick-off event, the Vice President of Technology at AWS, Marco Argenti explained why Sumerian is pivotal in today’s technological marketplace. "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," Argenti said. "But, customers are daunted and overwhelmed by the up-front investment in specialized skills and tools required to even get started building a VR or AR application. With Amazon Sumerian, it is now possible for any developer to create a realistic, interactive VR or AR application in a few hours."