OpenXR, a widely supported initiative which goals to streamline AR/VR development throughout headsets and platforms, has reached its 1.0 release today. It’s a significant milestone, in keeping with Khronos Group which has overseen the development of the standard by a consortium of lots of the biggest names within the AR/VR sector.
OpenXR is a royalty-free standard that goals to unify the underlying connections between AR and VR hardware, content, and game engines, making for a more interoperable ecosystem. The standard has been in development since 2017 April and is presently supported by nearly every major hardware, platform, and engine firm within the VR industry, together with key AR players like Magic Leap. OpenXR’s ‘working group,’ under which representatives from member firms have been actively developing the standard, is facilitated by Khronos Group.
Today the group introduced the release of OpenXR 1.0, representing the first production-ready model of the standard. Khronos Group said that from 1.0 forward, OpenXR will retain “full backward compatibility, giving hardware vendors and developers software a solid foundation upon which to ship incredible portable user experiences.”
OpenXR has both an app interface (which sits between an XR platform and app ), and a device interface (which sits between the headset and the platform). Constructing applications, platforms, and headsets which singularly target the OpenXR standard (instead of a myriad of proprietary interfaces) makes for a more interoperable ecosystem.
For instance, it implies that an app built for one OpenXR headset should run on a wholly different OpenXR headset with zero changes to the underlying code. Additionally, it implies that a brand new entrant to the game engine market might swiftly add support for all compatible headsets by implementing help for OpenXR, instead of dozens of individual headset runtimes.