How AWS Sumerian Will Enable People to Explore VR, AR App Development

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How AWS Sumerian Will Enable People to Explore VR, AR App Development

In recent years many companies including Apple, Google and Microsoft have invested heavily in virtual reality augmented reality development efforts. Now Amazon Web Services is joining in with the introduction on Nov. 27 of Sumerian, a new cloud platform that individual users or corporate development teams create 3D virtual reality and augmented reality experiences. With Sumerian, users will be able to use Amazon’s cloud assets to create virtual worlds enable people around the world to play them on everything from smartphones to virtual-reality headsets. Best of all, AWS claims the tools it provides are simple enough so that users don't requires specialized expertise or high-level development still. This slide show will discuss how Sumerian will enable Amazon to expand its role in virtual reality.

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AWS Sumerian Is a Cloud Virtual Reality Workbench

In a blog post, Amazon said Sumerian will serve a development platform for eye-riveting 3D virtual reality and augmented reality applications and content capable of running on a variety of devices.

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Content Coming to a Headset Near You

According to Amazon, Sumerian creations will initially work with a variety of hardware products, VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The apps can also be ported to Apple iPhones, iPads and other mobile devices.

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ARCore Support Is Coming to Sumerian

Google said Sumerian will also support its recently announced ARCore, the search giant’s alternative to the augmented reality technology baked into iOS 11. Amazon said that Android ARCore support is “coming soon” to Sumerian, but it didn't say exactly when it would be available.

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Novices Should Try It Out

Although AWS Sumerian might sound like a platform designed for expert developers, Amazon said that it’s developed the platform to work well for novices, too. Using software “building blocks,” amateur developers will be able to add objects and create 3D environments with little development expertise.

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A Cloud-Based Editor

No surprise here, but Amazon said that AWS Sumerian will run entirely in the cloud. That means users will be able to access Sumerian development dashboard from a web browser. They will save their work in the cloud where it will always be available when they want to work on it.

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Sumerian Includes an Inventory of Virtual Objects and ‘Hosts’

To make it easier for users to get started, Amazon said that it will supply them with a variety of objects and “Hosts” that will act as characters in the user’s creations. Sumerian will provide everything from landscapes to in-game furniture so users can quickly create virtual environments.

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Users Can Bring Their Own Assets to Sumerian

Besides the objects supplied by Amazon, users will also be able to upload their own 3D options and virtual objects into the cloud-based editors so they can craft their own avatars or environments that are entirely unique from any others.

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AWS Speech Technology Integration

In addition to relying on Amazon’s cloud AWS Sumerian will work with cloud services such as Amazon's Polly text to speech technology and Amazon Lex conversational chatbot development tool. These features will enable characters to speak through a natural language interface. Amazon also said that a voice scripting library can be used with AWS Lambda.

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Amazon Is Offering Limited Free Access for the First 12 Months

Users who sign up for AWS can get free access to Sumerian and can create a 50MB scene that gets 100 views per month at no charge for the first 12 months, According to Amazon. Beyond that, Amazon will charge 6 cents for each GB of storage and 38 cents a month for each GB of traffic transferred. Amazon Lex and Amazon Polly charges will also apply.

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Sumerian Is in Preview

Amazon acknowledged that AWS Sumerian is still in preview and is a work in progress. However, the company said users won't be charged to use the service during the preview period. AWS will start charging users after the previous period ends, but Amazon didn’t say when that might happen.

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