wnol.info December 18 2017

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

December 18 2017, 02:55 | Alexander Lowe

Amazon introduces new solution for building AR, VR and 3D applications

Amazon Launches Amazon Sumerian for Developing AR, VR, and 3D Apps

For those pivoting to video, or others who are just getting started, Amazon Web Services released five new video tools built by AWS Elemental that make it easier to use cloud computing as the engine for video distribution.

"Amazon Sumerian provides tools and resources that allows anyone to create and run augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and 3D applications easily", said AWS technical evangelist Tara Walker in a blog post. According to Amazon, the VR and AR apps created in Amazon Sumerian will run in any browser that supports WebGL or WebVR graphics rendering.

On top of this, developers get access to a set of "hosts" - 3D characters that they can customize to interact with an end user.

The public cloud computing giant took the wraps off its new Amazon Sumerian service, which provides a platform for developers to create realistic virtual environments that can be populated with animated characters and other 3D objects.

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.

In the enterprise, AR and VR are poised to make a big impact.

Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy at a previous re:Invent conference
Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy at a previous re:Invent conference

AWS Sumerian is a new service that allows developers to build AR, VR, and 3D apps for a variety of platform such as the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive.

The service is now in preview. You can request access to the preview with your AWS account number, but be warned: access is invite-only. Sumerian includes an object library of pre-built assets and templates, but users can also upload their own 3D assets to use as well.

"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, VP of technology at Amazon Web Services. The hosts will be integrated with Amazon Polly and Lex to deliver natural language abilities, not unlike those present on the Alexa personal assistant.

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

Amazon says that there is no cost associated with the software and that customers must only pay for the storage used for their 3D assets and the volume of traffic generated by the content they create.

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