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Amazon's highly anticipated mixed-reality building service has officially been announced: Amazon Sumerian will allow enterprising entrepreneurs everywhere the ability to quickly build and host VR, AR or 3D apps online.

The new tool looks like it could be aiming to lure away developers from software like Unreal Engine and Unity which are used to make the majority of VR and AR apps now available.

Best of all, "Amazon Sumerian doesn't require you to have 3D graphics or programming experience to build rich, interactive VR and AR scenes", Walker wrote.

Amazon launched the service during the AWS "Midnight Madness" pre-show event in Las Vegas.

A year ago online retail giant Amazon launched its first foray into videogame development with its Lumberyard game engine, adding and improving support for virtual reality (VR) content creation in the following months.

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). It comes with its own object library that's full of models that developers can use. Storage pricing for Sumerian 3D assets is 6 cents per gigabyte monthly, and the fees for the total volume of traffic generated by each scene is 38 cents per GB per month. Sumerian allows developers to build realistic virtual environments and then populate them with 3D objects and animated characters.

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Amazon is also offering the integration of Sumerian with the artificial intelligence infrastructures, Amazon Lex and Amazon Polly, for automatic speech recognition, language understanding and text-to-speech capability applications. Hardware including the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and iOS devices support the content created with Sumerian.

Object Library: a library of pre-built objects and templates.

"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".

Given previous requirements to launch AR or VR apps, businesses have been "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 Argenti.

The Amazon Sumerian also assists with mapping services from Mapbox.

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