Amazon launches cloud-based 3D editor

Amazon launches cloud-based 3D editor

Amazon launches cloud-based 3D editor

Amazon's highly anticipated mixed-reality building service has officially been announced: Amazon Sumerian will allow enterprising entrepreneurs everywhere the ability to quickly build and host VR, AR or 3D apps online.

Amazon Web Services has launched a new tool that "lets anyone" construct environments in augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and 3D to run on multiple platforms.

The editor allows users to import 3D objects into scenes and includes features such as scripting, animation, and integration with Amazon's cloud services.

Amazon launched the project at midnight on Sunday at the launch of the AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, which continues through this week.

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.

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Amazon Web Services doesn't charge a fee for designing and editing AR and VR applications. Deploying those apps is also a problem, because each platform has its own unique specifications and processes that need to be tackled. Hardware including the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and iOS devices support the content created with Sumerian. Amazon Sumerian also includes templates with pre-populated scenes.

In a press release, Marco Argenti, Vice President, Technology, AWS said, "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". "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".

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

The announcement blog post highlights the biggest benefit of this service: The fact that it's so readily available: You can check out the preview version of the service now on any browser that supports WebGL or WebVR graphics rendering. These hosts integrate with Amazon Polly and Lex to provide natural language capabilities similar to those underpinning the Alexa virtual assistant.

Access to Sumerian is via the AWS Management Console - there is no software to install or upfront costs as Sumerian uses Amazon's normal "pay for what you use" billing.

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