Amazon launches web-based tool for developing VR and AR experiences

Nichole Vega
Ноября 28, 2017

Amazon Sumerian is created to help anyone become an AR and VR app developer. Amazon said Sumerian is flawless 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. According to Amazon, the VR and AR apps created in Amazon Sumerian will run in any browser that supports WebGL or WebVR graphics rendering. The web app should make it easier for developers to build 3D experiences for multiple platforms.

Amazon said Sumerian is available in preview starting today, accessible via its AWS Management Console. Amazon plans to make its tools compatible with Google's (goog) AR software tools for Android-powered devices soon, but it didn't say when. That includes mobile devices, web browsers and head-mounted displays such as Facebook Inc.'s Oculus Rift.

But AR and VR experiences are still few and far between, not least because most developers lack the special skills needed to incorporate it into their applications.

Amazon Sumerian uses a web-based editor that developers can use to create "professional-quality scenes", and a visual scripting tool to build the logic that controls how the objects and characters in the scenes interact and respond to actions. Subscribers can embed their own objects, choose from a pre-loaded library, or use third-party offerings from repositories including Sketchfab and Turbosquid. 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. 3D objects (e.g. furniture, buildings, and natural objects) and characters can be place into into "scenes" (e.g. rooms, office environments, and landscapes). "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", said Marco Argenti, vice president of technology for AWS.

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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.

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.

Additionally, if an app needs a map embedded, Amazon Sumerian supports location platform Mapbox.

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