A new platform which is being rolled out by online mail-order retailer Amazon, makes virtual and augmented reality available for all, together with a number of 3D applications. Why should this launch matter to architects in your sector?
This platform can be found under the name of Amazon Sumerian. And it is free to use – you just have to pay for the data storage. You can already get an initial preview. On top of that, Amazon extol the simplicity of getting started with this platform, which you can use to create extremely realistic and interactive scenarios. All that is needed in the way of hardware are normal VR glasses and an iOS mobile device. As examples of ways in which it can be used, Amazon shows how a virtual classroom can be quite easily designed for training new staff anywhere in the world, or how you can construct a virtual environment to enjoy an immersive walk-through of a building. And objects, such as furnishings, can also be added, or landscapes designed.
Everybody can now become a VR/AR architect.
The online giant emphasises that a major advantage of Amazon Sumerian is that VR/AR-experts are no longer necessary. For the platform can itself become the designer. Even life-like figures, which speak a multitude of languages and are able to hold conversations, can be created with this tool. A development like this, which is so innovative and which, in addition, can be made available to everyone, really does open up new possibilities for the non-specialist. It is even possible to create one’s own worlds, which can then be used for private or professional purposes. The result is that ordinary users can themselves become architects, without any special expert knowledge.
Opportunity or threat?
For you as an architect, this development, which is proceeding at a rapid pace, is an opportunity to secure your position within the sector: many people, who do not possess the specialist knowledge, continue to rely on you, in spite of simplified applications with innovations such as Amazon Sumerian or VR furnishings apps. Stay up to speed and go one step further than the others. A competitive edge is indispensable, particularly when it comes to digitalisation.
Architects need to prepare themselves, so that they still have a role to play in the future.
Come and visit the next Heimtextil in Frankfurt am Main from 9 to 12. January 2018!