Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched a web-based development platform which allows users without specialised programming or 3D expertise to create and run virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR) applications.
Currently in invitation-only preview mode, Amazon Sumerian allows users to build scenes and import objects in its WebGL and WebVR based editor, and script the logic that controls how objects act. Sumerian runs on popular virtual and augmented reality hardware including Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and iOS mobile devices (through support for Apple’s ARKit) with support for Android ARCore is coming soon, the company said.
Sumerian also includes easy to create and animate 3D characters, called Hosts. After some basic gender, voice and language options, the Hosts can be integrated with Amazon’s automatic speech recognition and natural language understanding engine Lex to understand user questions and Amazon’s Polly so input text can be expressed in a ‘lifelike’ way in response.
Potential use cases suggested by AWS include creating a virtual classroom to train remote employees and onboard new ones, or a virtual environment that enables people to tour a building. Designing and editing AR and VR applications in Sumerian is free, although you will need to have an AWS account to get started. Users will be charged based on the amount of storage used for the 3D assets stored in Sumerian and the volume of traffic generated by scenes, plus any other services like Lex or Polly that Sumerian Hosts use.