Trainers and everyday normies like you and I can now create VR, AR, and 3D applications at home. What used to only be available to developers, coders and designers, the mystical keyholders to virtual and augmented realms, is now available to everyone with Amazon’s Sumerian.

What Is Sumerian?

Named after an ancient civilization and language, Sumerian is a database full of resources you can dive into that hold the building blocks of virtual, 3D, and augmented realities. What makes Sumerian exciting is that it gives untrained users the power to create and edit 3D stages, objects, characters, and environments that interact with each other.

Currently, Sumerian is compatible with peripherals like Oculus, the Vive, and devices with iOS. In order to run Sumerian online or with VR headsets, they’ll need to be equipped with either a WebGL browser like Chrome or FireFox, and be equipped with WebVR compatible browsers for HTC Vive and Oculus. The iOS devices (smartphone, tablets) are fit to run Apple’s ARKit and are expected to be compatible with Android’s ARCore at a later time.  

How Does Sumerian Help Fitness Trainers?

Replace these chairs with your own game or app overlays. Credit to: Amazon

Individuals and trainers who are inspired to create their own virtual or augmented game or training app from Amazon’s tech advancements will want to take a look around the Sumerian Dashboard and take a look at the Object Library. This library holds the templates of already created three-dimensional objects like floor plans, walls, furniture and even mannequin bodies.

If you wanted to create an AR fitness training app that involved characters kicking a monster, or doing a jumping jack, you could animate the mannequins to demonstrate the action the way you want. If you wanted to place strategic obstacles in front of your client to squat around, you can do that too. The possibilities are endless because Sumerian allows you creative control to make blank mannequins and hosts look, animate and move, and speak just like you would to your clients. If you can record it or create it, you can import it and then publish it.

Having the freedom to create and express your vision in any language opens up virtual and augmented realms to a broader audience. Of course, you’ll need to have a computer system that runs the program, and that will leave some people out of getting elbow deep into the VR/AR creative process. But, Amazon’s Sumerian still does a great job at creating a starting point for the rest of us who are not developers.

For The Techies In The Room

Design in VR, AR, and 3D. Credit to: Amazon

Editing these pre-created objects can get a bit tricky when it comes to scripting, but the overall addition of special effects and making 3D scenes is slated to be much easier to use for anyone who isn’t already equipped with these skills.

Designers will appreciate that you can make 3D objects on a design program and then transfer them into Asset Import Library to build your project, app, or game. Sumerian is compatible with FBX, OBJ, and will soon support projects created with Unity and has a JavaScript Scripting Library.

Look Before You Leap

Build your mannequin anyway you like. Credit to: Amazon

Doing it yourself can potentially save you money from having to hire a developer or designer to do it for you and will give you more creative freedom. However, if you do it alone, you’re going to eventually run into an issue you’ll need help improving on that are beyond your scope of knowledge or understanding. That’s when you’ll want to hire and consult with an actual developer, coder, or designer. Yes, this will cost you. Nothing is free.

Although Amazon’s Sumerian is online and creates a separate design space away from purchasing expensive software, customers will have to pay for the storage of 3D assets and any online traffic they bring to their creations. So, create 3D figures and overlays, but be warned that if you create and store objects onto Sumerian, Amazon is going to charge you $0.06 per GB per month for scene storage. You will also be charged to your Amazon account for any traffic.

Under the AWS Free Tier section, it says that “new customers can create a 50MB published scene that receives 100 views per month for free, for the first 12 months” but an extension to the cost for scene traffic sets it at “the rate of $0.38 per GB per month.” There is no telling how this will help or hinder collaboration projects between individuals who are new to development and design, and those who want to use it for their dev teams. 

Be A Part Of The Journey

It’s great to see that Amazon’s Sumerian is gaining momentum to help everyday people and fitness trainers gain access to design and development programs that can help anyone with an entry-level understanding to create their own VR and AR worlds.

The possibilities are huge for Sumerian and the creators and visionaries who will use it. Right now, Amazon Sumerian is only available for Preview, but you can go here to sign up to request to be a part of the program’s development.

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  • Markusn

    I really like what they are doing with “hosts”, it’s an interesting system. Might work well for the workout space. Can’t wait to see where people are taking this, hope enough will pick it up.