Amazon Web Services releases five new Elemental cloud tools for video publishers

Above A screenshot shows Amazon Sumerian

Amazon Web Services has launched Amazon Sumerian, a cloud-based service which allows developers to build VR apps for mobile devices, browsers, and VR headsets.

AWS Sumerian is officially available in preview. Sumerian also takes a note from Unreal's Blueprints interface, allowing creators with no coding experience to use a visual scripting tool to put together all the logic needed to make the world interactive. Developers can choose from Amazon Sumerian's library of pre-built objects, download and import objects from third-party asset stores such as Sketchfab or Turbosquid, or create and import their own objects.

This news comes as one of the first announcements out of AWS re:Invent, the cloud provider's major conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Amazon wants a part of the nascent markets for virtual and augmented reality.

Amazon Sumerian's editor lets developers drag and drop 3D characters and objects (like furniture or buildings) into "scenes" (e.g. rooms, office environments, and landscapes). Amazon said Sumerian is flawless for creating things like on-boarding or training courses for remote employees, scenes that help market or sell a product, or scenes with a virtual concierge that can greet users and answer common questions.

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You can select from pre-existing assets from Amazon or import your own in FBX and OBJ files. These hosts integrate with Amazon Polly and Lex to provide natural language capabilities similar to those underpinning the Alexa virtual assistant. Sumerian supports Apple's ARKit, which is an augmented reality platform for iOS devices. That said, it is built on the WebGL JavaScript and WebVR JavaScript APIs, and it offers a JavaScript editor and scripting library.

It's created to eliminate the need for specialized tools for tasks like 3D modeling, environmental design, animation, lighting effects, and audio editing, as well as the additional step of adapting AR and VR applications for different hardware platforms.

"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".

The Amazon Sumerian also assists with mapping services from Mapbox.

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