Today retail giants Amazon, through its Amazon Web Services Inc, launched Sumerian, a new platform for developers to build and host AR, 3D and VR apps quickly and with minimal coding, for smartphones and tablets, head-based displays, digital signage and web browsers.
With this new development platform, immersive technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) could soon become much more commonplace.
Currently, companies across a range of industries are showing huge interest in AR and VR technologies.
However, even though they have become popular for building more realistic training simulations, AR and VR experiences are still few and far between because most developers lack the special skills needed to incorporate it into their applications.
The main problem with AR and VR apps is that creating them requires expertise in using a wide range of tools such as 3D modeling, environmental design, animation and audio editing.
Amazon Sumerian eliminates the need for such expertise and makes it possible for any developer to create a realistic, interactive VR or AR application in just a few hours. It makes it simple for developers to create AR- and VR-based applications and run them on any platform that supports WebGL or WebVR graphics rendering.
That includes mobile devices, web browsers and head-mounted displays such as Facebook Inc.’s Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Daydream, and iOS mobile devices.
The big picture for Amazon is to become the default platform for creating AR and VR applications by modernizing and simplifying the creation process.
It makes creating AR, 3D and VR apps quicker and with less coding by providing many pre-configured building blocks plus a number of scene templates into a web-based editor with visual scripting tools, allowing developers to “drag and drop” characters and objects into “scenes” they’ve created controlling how they behave and respond to actions.
Developers can also use the platform to create their own objects and scenes.
It also integrates third-party developers for certain features such as Mapbox for location services. It leverages Mapbox’s mapping services to allow developers to integrate 3D maps and location services into their AR and VR applications and bring location-based experiences to life.
The naming is symbolic of Amazon’s concept behind the service which fits Amazon’s ambition of bringing AR, VR, and 3D into the mainstream.
Sumerian was one of the world’s first written tongues and is considered to be the basis of many languages that followed.
Like other AWS services, Sumerian is free to use: you pay only for the storage of what you create.
It is available in preview from today.