The public cloud computing giant AWS has announced a new realistic virtualization platform called Amazon Sumerian, that enables developers to easily build and host Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and 3D applications, with optimized coding.
The developers can run these apps on smartphones and tablets, head-mounted displays, digital signage, and web browsers.
Sumerian includes a library of pre-built objects from AWS including Amazon Lex, Amazon Polly, AWS Lambda, AWS IoT, and Amazon DynamoDB. This library allows developers to drag and drop 3D objects into scenes to create realistic virtual environments, settle them with animated characters, and script those characters how they interact with each other.
They can also create and import their own objects, or download and import objects from third-party repositories like Turbosquid or Sketchfab.
Amazon Lex and Amazon Polly in Sumerian enable developers with AI capabilities such as automatic speech recognition (ASR), natural language understanding (NLU), and text-to-speech capabilities. These capabilities let the Sumerian characters understand and respond to users in realistic conversations.
The new platform is aimed at addressing the complexities developers faced while creating realistic virtual environments. They needed specialized skills and use of multiple tools like 3D modelling, lighting effects, audio editing, etc. for it. Also, they had to implement unique specifications and deployment processes for each major hardware providers once the AR or VR application was ready.
“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,” said Marco Argenti, Vice President, Technology, AWS. “With Amazon Sumerian, it is now possible for any developer to create a realistic, interactive VR or AR application in a few hours.”
It will help customers in many industries including virtual concierge services, enhanced online shopping experiences, virtual houses, training simulations etc.
The apps created in Sumerian will run in all the browsers that support WebGL or WebVR graphics rendering, like Daydream, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and iOS mobile devices.
Amazon Sumerian is already available in preview, and can be accessed via AWS Management Console. It doesn’t require any upfront costs or additional software to be installed, and it is priced according to the storage customers use for 3D assets and volume of traffic generated to access virtual scenes.