Sumerian, a new service from Amazon Web Services (AWS), could make it easier for developers to build augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and 3D applications, the company announced in a Monday blog post.

Experiences built in Sumerian aren’t confined to a single platform, the post said. With the service, developers can build experiences for the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and iOS devices that use WebVR compatible browsers. Additionally, the post noted, support for ARCore on Android devices is forthcoming.

The main interface for Sumerian is a dashboard available through AWS. Building scenes and applications in the tool is done through a point-and-click UI, adding a low-code flavor to the process. As such, Sumerian could help democratize AR and VR app creation for more professionals without a 3D graphics background, the post said.

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Much of the content creation is done through Sumerian’s web-based editor, which handles the building of scenes, asset management, and interactions, the post said. Sumerian includes an object library of pre-built assets and templates, but users can also upload their own 3D assets to use as well. According to the post, Sumerian currently supports FBX and OBJ projects, and it will soon support Unity projects as well.

Scripting capabilities are provided to the developer via a JavaScript scripting library. This library can be used with AWS Lambda to access other AWS services, while Amazon Polly and Amazon Lex are pre-integrated to add speech and language capabilities.

In their scene, the post said, developers can add-in a 3D character and customize them for gender, voice, and language.

To get started, developers simply click the + button to create a new scene. From there, they can drag and drop a pre-built asset, such as a room or a piece of furniture. “For example, you can build a virtual classroom that lets you train new employees around the world, or you can build a virtual environment that enables people to tour a building remotely,” a separate AWS post said.

In the enterprise, AR and VR are poised to make a big impact. Developers can use services like Sumerian to create training programs for employees who need to work with specialized equipment, the post said, or to help field service workers and retail professionals get a better sense of their environment.

AWS Sumerian is officially available in preview. Developers can sign up for the preview or view sample scenes on the AWS product page.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. 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.
  2. Sumerian doesn’t require any extensive 3D graphics expertise, and can be used by a broader group of professionals to create valuable experiences.
  3. Sumerian includes a web-based editor, a scripting library, and an asset library to make it easier for developers to build experiences that could help with corporate training, field service, and more.