Amazon Sumerian is a purely online web-based development engine that features no software to install or upfront costs - customers pay only for the storage used for 3D assets and the volume of traffic generated to access the virtual scenes they create.
With virtual reality, people wear headsets like Facebook's Oculus Rift to immerse themselves in digital worlds. Support for Android devices is "coming soon", Amazon Web Services Technical Evangelist Tara Walker wrote in a blog post.
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The main interface for Sumerian is a dashboard available through AWS. Subscribers can embed their own objects, choose from a pre-loaded library, or use third-party offerings from repositories including Sketchfab and Turbosquid.
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.
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But AR and VR experiences are still few and far between, not least because most developers lack the special skills needed to incorporate it into their applications.
Amazon's press release states specifically that "specialized skills and the use of multiple different tools for disciplines such as 3D modeling, environmental design animation, lighting effects, audio editing and more" will not be required to use Sumerian.
Amazon Sumerian uses a web-based editor that developers can use to create "professional-quality scenes", and a visual scripting tool to build the logic that controls how the objects and characters in the scenes interact and respond to actions.
AWS Sumerian is a new service that allows developers to build AR, VR, and 3D apps for a variety of platform such as the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. 3D objects (e.g. furniture, buildings, and natural objects) and characters can be place into into "scenes" (e.g. rooms, office environments, and landscapes).