IT

Amazon launches cloud-based 3D editor

Amazon launches cloud-based 3D editor

The Amazon.com Inc. unit announced Sumerian during an unusual "Midnight Madness" event Monday for select attendees on the eve of its annual weeklong re:Invent conference in Las Vegas. The Sumerian tools let customers create 3D characters, called "Hosts" (which, by the way, also is what the AI robots in HBO's "Westworld" are called), to narrate and guide users through immersive scenes. Now in preview, Sumerian allows creation of VR and AR scenes that target platforms like the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Google Daydream, and it works with several other Amazon products. The web app should make it easier for developers to build 3D experiences for multiple platforms.

AWS Sumerian is officially available in preview. That engine is widely used among AR and VR developers, and providing a bridge between Unity and Sumerian could help attract developers. Sumerian supports Apple's ARKit, which is an augmented reality platform for iOS devices. Sumerian includes an object library of pre-built assets and templates, but users can also upload their own 3D assets to use as well. 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.

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). "With Amazon Sumerian, it is now possible for any developer to create a realistic, interactive VR or AR application in a few hours". That said, it is built on the WebGL JavaScript and WebVR JavaScript APIs, and it offers a JavaScript editor and scripting library. If you find what you're looking for, you can view it in 3D and download it to use in your app.




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. "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, Technology, AWS in a statement.

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


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