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The future of VR and AR

OpenXR 1.0 public release: Cross-platform virtual & augmented reality

Sarah Schlothauer
virtual reality
© Shutterstock / Shanvood

OpenXR is a high-performance, flexible solution to the fragmentation when developing augmented reality or virtual reality apps and games. The Khronos Group announced the public release of OpenXR 1.0. Now, developers will not be locked into one platform. See what the future of virtual reality development holds and how it is evolving.

Solve the cross-platform fragmentation with virtual reality and augmented reality applications. The Khronos Group, consisting of over 140 hardware and software companies, announced on July 29, 2019 the public release of OpenXR 1.0.

According to the press release, OpenXR is a “unifying, royalty-free, open standard that provides high-performance, cross-platform access to virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR)— collectively known as XR—platforms and devices.”

Now that the 1.0 open release is here, let’s take a look at its goals for the AR and VR development ecosystem.

Cross-platform solutions

The aim of OpenXR is to allow the community to use the cross-platform tools that they wish, without being locked into one specific platform.

Feedback from the community readied The Khronos Group for this public release.

In Los Angeles at SIGGRAPH 2019, Epic Games, Microsoft, and Varjo will demo applications that use the OpenXR API. Conference attendees will get a taste of what it can do for virtual reality technology.

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virtual reality

VR and AR market fragmentation. Source.

virtual reality

VR and AR cross-platform solutions. Source.

In the future, Oculus will support OpenXR, according to a statement from Nate Mitchell, co-founder and head of VR.

Facebook and Oculus continue to believe in the value the OpenXR standard delivers to users and developers. We plan to provide runtime support for apps built on OpenXR 1.0 on the Rift and Quest platforms.

Nate Mitchell, Oculus Co-founder and head of VR product, Facebook

OpenXR 1.0 public release

Interested in developing virtual reality or augmented reality apps? View the repo for the registry on GitHub. Formal documentation, including the API Specification and header files, found on GitHub here.

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The registry repository currently includes:

  • specs/1.0/ – OpenXR 1.0 API specifications and reference pages.
  • specs/0.90/ – OpenXR 0.90 Provisional API specifications and reference pages and API reference card.
  • index.php – toplevel index page for the web view of https://www.khronos.org/registry/OpenXR/. This relies on PHP include files found elsewhere on www.khronos.org and so is not very useful in isolation.

Some of the familiar companies supporting OpenXR include Oculus, Unity, Arm, Valve, and Nvidia, just to name a few.

View some sample code on GitHub.

More details available on the OpenXR official website.

Author
Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is an assistant editor for JAXenter.com. She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University and is currently enrolled at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany where she is working on her Masters. She lives in Frankfurt with her husband and cat.

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