Amazon Sumerian Launches as New Service for Building Augmented Reality Apps

Monday Nov 27th 2017 by Sean Michael Kerner
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Making augmented, virtual and 3D reality apps is about to get a whole lot easier in the cloud.

Among the newest areas of application development is augmented reality (AR), where normal everyday life gets overlaid with technical information, content or media.

Building AR apps hasn't been easy, which is why Amazon on Nov. 27 announced its new Sumerian service. The promise of Amazon Sumerian is that it is a fast, easy way for organizations to build AR, virtual reality (VR) and 3D applications.

"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, vice president, technology, at AWS, said in a statement. "With Amazon Sumerian, it is now possible for any developer to create a realistic, interactive VR or AR application in a few hours."

A core part of Sumerian is the Sumerian "hosts," which are 3D characters that help to guide users through AR/VR experiences. Developers will need to upload 3D asset files that the host is able to interact with. The Sumerian services include a visual editor that enables developers to script logic for the host and the objects with which it interacts.

Application experience built with Sumerian can run on popular VR hardware, including Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, as well as any mobile device that has a WebVR-capable browser.

"All the things that we dreamed about building while we sweated through our algorithms and discrete mathematics classes or the technology we marveled at when watching Star Wars and Star Trek are now coming to fruition," AWS technical evangelist Tara Walker wrote in a blog post. "So hopefully this means it will only be a matter of time before I can hyperdrive to other galaxies in space, but until then, I can at least build the 3D virtual reality and augmented reality characters and images like those featured in some of my favorite shows."

Amazon Sumerian is not yet generally available, but interested users can request access to the preview here.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseAppsToday and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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