Amazon today announced that Sumerian, a tool that aims to make creating web-based applications for VR/AR and traditional monitors an easy process, is now available to the general public. First announced at last year’s AWS re:Invent, Amazon Sumerian touts the ability to easy publish 3D content to any browser that supports WebGL or WebVR graphics rendering, including Daydream, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and iOS mobile devices.

Update (05/16/18): Amazon today released Sumerian to the general public. The company has a pricing structure, although at the AWS Free Tier, you can start building VR/AR and 3D projects for free.

“Upon sign-up, new customers can create up to a 50MB published scene that receives the equivalence of 100 views (5GB) per month, for the first 12 months,” Amazon writes in its Sumerian product site.

Virtual assistants through Polly or Lex, scene hosting, and volume of traffic to your project are paid services once you go outside of the free 12-month period however.

The original article follows below: 

Original article (27/11/17): Amazon says Sumerian editor lets developers build “realistic virtual environments, populate them with 3D objects and animated characters, and script how they interact with each other and the application’s users.”

The tool is entirely web-based which, just like the VR/AR applications it can generate, means there’s no extra software to install. WebVR is integrated into major browsers including Chrome for Android, Oculus Carmel, Samsung Internet, Opera developer version, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge.

sample scene using Sumerian, image courtesy Amazon

Sumerian doesn’t require any coding skills to speak of, and includes a drag-and-drop interfaces along with a visual scripting tool to build the logic that controls how the objects and characters in the scenes behave and respond to actions.

Amazon is providing a library of pre-built scenes and objects, along with the ability to create your own objects, or download and import objects from 3D repositories such as Sketchfab or Turbosquid. Sumerian scenes are (of course) hosted on the company’s AWS cloud.

To help attract developers, Amazon is eliminating any upfront costs, although devs will still need to pay for the storage used for 3D assets and the volume of traffic generated to access the virtual scenes they create.

Interestingly, the company is also chumming the waters by integrating Sumerian with some its AI infrastructures—Amazon Lex and Amazon Polly—both of which will provide automatic speech recognition, natural language understanding, and text-to-speech capabilities to applications, meaning VR characters could respond to queries and interact naturally to some degree.

SEE ALSO
Google & Song Exploder Create 'Inside Music' VR App to Help You Better Appreciate Songs

“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,” said Marco Argenti, Vice President, Technology, AWS. “With Amazon Sumerian, it is now possible for any developer to create a realistic, interactive VR or AR application in a few hours.”

Amazon Sumerian is now available for preview. You can also check out a sample scene here.

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. See here for more information.


  • As a 3D developer who worked in ActiveX (Turntool etc) way back in the day to produce 3D training and simulation on the web, this news is great. Browser Plugins were the achilles heel in adoption so hopefully this solution will bring all that back to life again. I assume Safari will be supported too.

  • Note that Firefox already supported WebVR, no need to use Firefox Nightly.

    PS: http://aws.amazon.com/sumerian rather than http://aws.amazon.com/sumerian.

    • I give, this spot the difference game is a tough one. Or I am a complete pleb and missing the obvious :)

      • Lucid Dreams VR

        Ah. There is a trailing period in the second one (which is what the link in the article has), that is not just an end-of-sentence period. Definitely wasn’t obvious.

        • I looked at that but the period in the reply was not part of the url, it was an end of sentence. I should have looked at the article url too, shame on me for being lazy. :D

  • I’m rather impressed with the detailing of the sample. After inspecting it for a few minutes, I had to smile at the Amazon Echo placed prominently in front of the room’s presentation screen.

    • Shirley

      Google is paying 97$ per hour,with weekly payouts.You can also avail this.
      On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $11752 this last four weeks..with-out any doubt it’s the most-comfortable job I have ever done .. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
      !da250d:
      ➽➽
      ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleCashBlueCareerPartTimeJobs/get/hourly ★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫:::::!da250uus

    • Elizabeth

      Google is paying 97$ per hour,with weekly payouts.You can also avail this.
      On tuesday I got a brand new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $11752 this last four weeks..with-out any doubt it’s the most-comfortable job I have ever done .. It Sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
      fs302d:
      ➽➽
      ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleNetJobsStuffWorkFromHome/more/cash ★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫:::::fs302lhh

  • Michael

    I really like this, also ReactVR by Facebook looks nice.

  • It’s awesome, but the problem is that this means that everyone has to pay to use it. With Unity, I can experimenti with AR and VR completely for free. With Sumerian, I have to pay for AWS anyway.

    • Raphael

      Notch VR has also taken the same route with very high fees for developers. Again it makes Unity or Unreal more appealing even if they take more effort to learn.

      • James Allan

        The other option for web based VR/AR content is to go the A-Frame route of course.

  • The pricing is still too high for what I feel should be entry level VR websites.

    I imagine video streaming uses just as much bandwidth as VR streaming, maybe more, so these costs for tiny amounts of views per month are not appealing.
    100 views a month for $1 or 1000 views a month for $21 even 1000 views is a tiny amount in the reality of website traffic.

    When we built our first website (many many years ago using notepad and HTML v1) we had a tutorial section with 100’s of bespoke and free animated gifs, as that was all the rage at the time it had 30k to 40k unique views per month and our bandwidth was very high for several years. AR/VR websites will take off the same when somebody makes something amazing, just like Flash did so expect high costs using this.

    If this was our 20 yr old site but updated for VR that would cost us approx $700 per month in bandwidth and hosting fees.

  • Graham J ⭐️

    How long before someone uses this for porn?

  • RJH

    Gotta be a company… gotta give CC details. Nope.