LAS VEGAS — Amazon Web Services appears to have acquired technology for its new AWS “Sumerian” 3D modeling tool from a Swedish startup called Goo Technologies that went bankrupt earlier this year.
Rikard Herlitz, who was a Goo Technologies founder before becoming Mojang CTO, says in an update to his LinkedIn profile that the company was “Bought by Amazon and revived as “Amazon Sumerian.'” Amazon unveiled Sumerian early this morning to kick off AWS re:Invent 2017 in Las Vegas, calling it the “fastest and easiest way to create VR, AR and 3D experiences.”
A thread on Hacker News discusses the similarities between Sumerian and Goo Create, a similar tool introduced by Goo Technologies in 2013. Hacker News commenter “goocoder,” who appears to be Herlitz, confirms the connection between the two tools: “Goo founder here, can confirm this, was acquired after bankruptcy. Nice to see it live on!”
Herlitz also confirmed the deal on Twitter, in response to a post pointing out the similarities between the two products.
— Rikard Herlitz (@GooCoder) November 27, 2017
Like Sumerian, Goo Create allowed developers to create 3D models on the web with a cloud-based service that did most of the heavy lifting previously required to create sophisticated 3D graphics on a desktop PC. AWS Sumerian takes it further, however, allowing developers to create applications for augmented reality and virtual reality devices.
Sumerian also includes virtual, customizable characters dubbed “hosts,” and integrates with the company’s Polly and Lex speech and natural language technologies. It also uses the AWS Lambda serverless computing technology for accessing other Amazon cloud services.
It’s not clear what happened to Goo Technologies, but local media reports indicate it filed for bankruptcy in March and co-founder Markus Kruger’s LinkedIn profile indicates that “the company was dissolved in 2017.”
With Amazon Web Services preparing to kick off its biggest week of the year, an AWS representative wasn’t immediately available for comment.
In what’s probably a coincidence, the other major announcement dropped on Day One of re:Invent 2017 was also the result of an acquisition, though under far different circumstances. AWS introduced five new video-processing services for AWS Elemental on Monday, two years after it acquired the company from the late Sam Blackman and his co-founders for $296 million.