Amazon launches cloud-based 3D editor

Alyssa Bailey
November 28, 2017

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. It leverages AWS services such as Amazon Lex, Amazon Polly, AWS Lambda, AWS IoT, and Amazon DynamoDB. Amazon said Sumerian is ideal for creating things like on-boarding or training courses for remote employees, scenes that help market or sell a product, or scenes with a virtual concierge that can greet users and answer common questions.

Apps created in Sumerian are said to work in "any browser that supports WebGL or WebVR graphics rendering, including Daydream, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and iOS mobile devices".

On Monday, Amazon launched the service, Amazon Sumerian, to ease the development of augmented reality and virtual reality apps for different platforms. That engine is widely used among AR and VR developers, and providing a bridge between Unity and Sumerian could help attract developers.

In the enterprise, AR and VR are poised to make a big impact. Subscribers can embed their own objects, choose from a pre-loaded library, or use third-party offerings from repositories including Sketchfab and Turbosquid. It comes with its own object library that's full of models that developers can use.

Amazon Sumerian includes a web-based editor that allows anyone to drag and drop 3D objects (e.g. furniture, and buildings) and characters into "scenes" (e.g. rooms, office environments, and landscapes).

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Object Library: a library of pre-built objects and templates.

"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", said Marco Argenti, Vice President, Technology, AWS, in a statement.

AWS has launched a platform for developers to build AR, VR and 3D apps at speed.

However, customers are afraid of the up-front investment and specialized tools needed to craft useful VR or AR apps. Amazon Sumerian is a solution that aims to make it easier for developers to build virtual reality, augmented reality, and 3D applications. "For instance, we integrated Mapbox's points of interest and global terrain maps with Amazon Sumerian so data is delivered and rendered in real-time".

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