Khronos launches OpenXR 1.0 Adopters Program; Multiple implementations from Microsoft and Oculus already conformant; New advanced cross-vendor hand and eye tracking extensions; Minecraft, Blender, Chromium, and Firefox Reality embracing OpenXR
Beaverton, OR – July 28, 2020 – Today, The Khronos® Group, an open consortium of industry-leading companies creating graphics and compute interoperability standards, announces multiple conformant implementations of OpenXR™ are shipping from Oculus and Microsoft, leveraging the newly opened OpenXR 1.0 Adopters Program and open source conformance tests. OpenXR is a royalty-free, open standard that provides direct access into Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)—collectively known as XR—runtimes across diverse platforms and devices. The OpenXR Adopter’s Program enables consistent cross-vendor testing and reliable operation of OpenXR across multiple platforms and devices with OpenXR-conformant products published on the Khronos Conformant Product Registry.
Khronos members Microsoft and Facebook each have multiple conformant OpenXR-enabled devices showcasing how OpenXR enables portability across diverse platforms. PC-enabled virtual reality devices include Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality and Oculus Rift headsets, enabling these HMDs, and any future OpenXR-compatible devices, to run the same application executable on Windows. In addition, Microsoft has released an OpenXR-conformant runtime for the HoloLens 2 headset, and Facebook has shipped a conformant runtime for the Android-based Oculus Quest, demonstrating OpenXR’s flexibility to enable portable VR and AR applications across standalone and tethered XR devices—using different underlying operating systems.
“The Working Group has put tremendous effort into OpenXR conformance testing to create a truly reliable cross-platform API. We encourage OpenXR implementers to use the tests in their own development and consider contributing additional tests to help further reduce cross-vendor variability,” said Brent Insko, working group chair, OpenXR Working Group and lead XR architect at Intel. “With the release of the conformance tests and official launch of the Adopters Program, widening availability of OpenXR across diverse devices, and expanding use in large open source projects, OpenXR is now ready for the next wave of adoption and deployment.”
In addition, Valve has released a developer preview implementation of OpenXR 1.0 with new features on SteamVR expected to now appear through OpenXR, rather than OpenVR APIs. Similarly, Varjo’s developer preview implementation of OpenXR enables the use of OpenXR applications with Varjo headsets. The Monado open source XR runtime founded by Collabora is also growing in compatibility and capability and is approaching conformance with OpenXR 1.0.
In parallel with finalizing the OpenXR 1.0 conformance tests, the OpenXR Working Group continues to push the API forward and announces today two OpenXR cross-vendor extensions for eye and hand tracking. These new extensions expand the range of advanced UI techniques that can be portably deployed through this cross-platform, cross-vendor API. In fact, Ultraleap has released a developer preview OpenXR integration for its hand tracking technology for Ultraleap tracking devices.
“This is another milestone for OpenXR, and Collabora is proud to have contributed to the development of the OpenXR specification as well as the open source conformance test suite,” said Ryan Pavlik, specification editor, OpenXR Working Group, and principal software engineer at Collabora. “The Monado open source XR runtime project founded by Collabora is quickly approaching conformance. As specification editor, I commend the working group on their dedication to publishing and maintaining a high-quality standard and a comprehensive test suite. The suite is designed to ensure conformance to the specification and uniform application behavior across runtimes and environments, so the industry can deliver on the OpenXR promise of unifying reality.”
OpenXR enables XR games and applications to target the widest range of hardware with maximum performance. Today, Microsoft is excited to announce that Minecraft’s new RenderDragon rendering engine is building its desktop VR support using OpenXR! Further adding to OpenXR ecosystem momentum, several open source projects have also incorporated OpenXR. The free and open source 3D creation suite, Blender 2.83, has integrated OpenXR to deliver native VR scene inspection capabilities. Google recently released Chromium 81 with OpenXR as its default backend for WebXR, enabling Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers to use any OpenXR-compatible hardware. Finally, Microsoft has released its OpenXR Samples for Mixed Reality Developers as open source, demonstrating how to use OpenXR to access the full capabilities of HoloLens 2. Firefox Reality also supports OpenXR browser for the HoloLens 2 platform.
“Khronos has done it again, bringing divergent industry organizations, technologies, and ambitions to a common ground that benefits all parties,” said Dr. Jon Peddie of Jon Peddie Research. “OpenXR will not just save VR and AR—it will provide the launching pad to make all the promises, dreams, and potential be realized. An extraordinary body of work, the members are to be congratulated for their tireless effort. The industry is in your debt.”
The OpenXR 1.0 Conformance Test Suite has been published as open source under the Apache 2.0 license on GitHub for continued public development and for use by any company as they implement the OpenXR API on their platform. Any implementers, whether or not a Khronos member, are welcome to become an OpenXR Adopter and submit conformance test results for working group review and approval in order to use the OpenXR trademark and gain patent protection under the Khronos Intellectual Property Framework.
Industry Support for OpenXR 1.0 Adopter’s Program
“The latest release of the OpenXR 1.0 API conformance test suite is a significant step towards enabling XR content creation across multiple platforms on the same code base, allowing developers to focus more on their creative vision,” said Ketan Shah, senior director of XR and wearables, client line of business, Arm. “At the same time, this release further advances Arm’s performance optimization efforts in computer vision, machine learning, and graphics workloads on Arm-based solutions, enabling more immersive experiences on the untethered and lightweight head mounted devices of the future.”
“As the XR industry marches towards maturity, Collabora is happy to see a growing number of major players adopt OpenXR,” said Philippe Kalaf, CEO of Collabora. “Open standards combined with Open Source software will ensure that the XR industry hits the ground running whilst accelerating to mass adoption in the gaming and mobile industries.”
“As supporters of OpenXR since its inception, Epic’s Unreal Engine team is thrilled to see the launch of the Adopter’s Program, which we believe will increase adoption of OpenXR among creators and build trust with consumers,” said Steve Smith, Lead XR Programmer, Epic Games.
“Holochip develops AR flight training and simulation technology for the U.S. military and is incorporating XR capabilities into existing NAVAIR training environments. The OpenXR 1.0 spec will enable wide adoption of conformant OpenXR-enabled devices. The OpenXR spec paves the way for military simulation environments to benefit from the technical advances in the commercial XR market. These advances will lead to greater effectiveness and cost savings of training and improve the ability of warfighters to safely mitigate risks,” said Robert Batchko, CEO of Holochip Corporation.
“From the earliest days of VIVE, we’ve set out to keep the platform open for developers and their content, and we believe OpenXR’s work is important for the entire XR community. We’re committed to enabling the developer community to build the content and applications that power experiences across the spectrum of reality. This is a big step in the right direction for the XR industry,” said Dario Laverde, senior developer evangelist, HTC.
“The time to embrace OpenXR is now,” said Don Box, technical fellow at Microsoft. “In the year since the industry came together to publish the OpenXR 1.0 spec and demonstrated working bits at SIGGRAPH 2019, so much progress has happened. Seeing the core platforms in our industry getting behind the standard and shipping real, conformant implementations, as well as coming together to push the spec forward with cross-vendor extensions for critical features like hand tracking and eye tracking, is singularly awesome. As for the Mixed Reality platform we build at Microsoft, the base specification plus these extensions allow us to ship a conformant OpenXR 1.0 implementation to all Windows Mixed Reality and HoloLens 2 users that provides complete access to the functionality of the products. No compromise. And on the content side, the adoption of OpenXR in Minecraft’s desktop VR product further reinforces Microsoft’s commitment to the success of OpenXR.”
“Qualcomm Technologies is committed to helping our customers and partners that leverage Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ XR platforms to achieve conformance on the OpenXR 1.0 Conformance Test Suite. This is an important milestone and validates industry-wide adoption of the OpenXR standard. The new OpenXR extensions for eye tracking and hand tracking are key in pushing the technology envelope forward and enabling immersive user experiences. We plan to continue to support runtimes built on OpenXR 1.0 and future extensions,” said Hiren Bhinde, director of product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
“At Tobii, we are dedicated to lowering the barrier for developers to easily and reliably utilize eye tracking and enable more natural interactions in their applications. We believe this is an important step toward mainstream adoption of eye tracking technology in enterprise and consumer devices”, said Denny Rönngren, architect at Tobii. “The key extension announced today, which unlocks eye gaze interactions, formally establishes a critical foothold for eye tracking in the new and fast-emerging OpenXR ecosystem. With this milestone complete, we will continue to contribute to OpenXR with the goal to deliver even more eye tracking capabilities via future extensions.”
“With 10 years of hand tracking experience, Ultraleap is proud to feed into the definition of the hand tracking API as part of the latest OpenXR extensions, bringing the world’s best hand tracking to even more people. Since joining the working group in October 2019, it has been exciting to work alongside the members towards a common goal. What we do now will ensure end users benefit from the highest standards and performance in XR, accelerating global market adoption and industry growth,” said Jonny Codling, vice president of product, Ultraleap.
“OpenXR is designed to enable VR content compatibility on as many devices as possible, giving developers the confidence of knowing they can focus on one build of their VR title and it will ‘just work’ across the entire PC VR ecosystem,” said Joe Ludwig of Valve. “This release is a huge step forward toward that goal, bringing support from two different implementations in the PC ecosystem. With these and more on the way, including our ongoing developer preview in SteamVR, now is the time for developers and engine vendors to start looking at OpenXR as the foundation for their upcoming content.”
“Varjo has been an early contributor to OpenXR with a live demo of our human-eye resolution VR/XR at SIGGRAPH 2019, as well as by providing a preview of the technology in its runtime since November 2019,” said Rémi Arnaud, principal architect at Varjo. “The availability of the conformance test is an important milestone. Varjo looks forward to being able to deliver OpenXR conformant products in the near future, and we are proud to continue extending the standard to our customers who are some of the highest-end enterprise users in the XR space.”
“Pluto VR is proud to support these latest OpenXR milestones which strengthen the foundation of the whole industry. Extensions around hand and eye tracking are significant steps towards allowing people to more naturally interact with XR software and each other. We’re excited to continue working on extensions to push us all further into the future,” said Jared Cheshier, CTO at Pluto VR.
The Khronos Group is an open, non-profit, member-driven consortium of over 150 industry-leading companies creating advanced, royalty-free, interoperability standards for 3D graphics, augmented and virtual reality, parallel programming, vision acceleration and machine learning. Khronos activities include Vulkan®, OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, WebGL™, SPIR-V™, OpenCL™, SYCL™, OpenVX™, NNEF™, OpenXR™, 3D Commerce™, ANARI™, OpenVG™, and glTF™. Khronos members drive the development and evolution of Khronos specifications and are able to accelerate the delivery of cutting-edge platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests.