Khronos Releases OpenXR 1.0 Specification Establishing a Foundation for the AR and VR Ecosystem

August 14, 2019 Khronos

July 29, 2019 - 6:00 AM PT - SIGGRAPH, Los Angeles - Today, The Khronos® Group, an open consortium of leading hardware and software companies creating advanced acceleration standards, announces the ratification and public release of the OpenXR™ 1.0 specification together with publicly available implementations and substantial ecosystem momentum. 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. The new specification can be found on the Khronos website and via GitHub.

"The working group is excited to launch the 1.0 version of the OpenXR specification, and the feedback from the community on the provisional specification released in March has been invaluable to getting us to this significant milestone,"" said Brent Insko, OpenXR working group chair and lead XR architect at Intel. "Our work continues as we now finalize a comprehensive test suite, integrate key game engine support, and plan the next set of features to evolve a truly vibrant, cross-platform standard for XR platforms and devices. Now is the time for software developers to start putting OpenXR to work."

After gathering feedback from the XR community during the public review of the provisional specification, improvements were made to the OpenXR input subsystem, game engine editor support, and loader. With this 1.0 release, the working group will evolve the standard while maintaining full backwards compatibility from this point onward, giving software developers and hardware vendors a solid foundation upon which to deliver incredible, portable, user experiences.

Together with the specification release, OpenXR is receiving continued ecosystem support from Khronos member companies. OpenXR implementations from members are shipping this week, including the 'Monado' OpenXR open source implementation from Collabora, the OpenXR runtime for Windows Mixed Reality headsets from Microsoft, an Oculus OpenXR implementation for Rift, as well as Oculus Quest support coming upon ratification of OpenXR 1.0. Epic Games also plans to release OpenXR 1.0 support in Unreal Engine.

At SIGGRAPH 2019, OpenXR members Epic Games, Microsoft and Varjo will demonstrate XR applications targeting distinct VR and AR platforms, all while using the same OpenXR API, demonstrating how the standard reduces industry fragmentation through application portability.

The demonstrations will take place during the OpenXR Birds of a Feather (BOF) presentation at 1:00 p.m. on July 31, as well as during the Khronos Networking Reception taking place at 5:30 p.m. on July 31. No passes are required for either event and all are welcome to attend. Industry Support for OpenXR 1.0 Specification

"OpenXR 1.0 release is a huge milestone and AMD is proud to have been a member in its creation. The expanding XR industry and ecosystem continues to be a key focus for AMD and we are excited by the potential for market growth that OpenXR 1.0 enables. As always, AMD is a proponent of open industry standards," said Daryl Sartain, Director of XR at AMD.

"Arm is focused on developing technology innovations that power the next generation of untethered, standalone AR/VR devices. The release of the OpenXR 1.0 specification will further enable us to break barriers for cross-platform XR applications, while bringing the performance and efficiency required to support these complex, immersive use cases," said Roger Barker, director of IP solutions, Immersive Experience Group, Arm.

"As part of its unwavering commitment to open source and open standards, Collabora is proud to be part of bringing OpenXR 1.0 to life. We are pioneering the Monado open source runtime for OpenXR to ensure the future of XR is truly open and accessible to all hardware vendors. As the OpenXR specification editor, I am grateful for the diligent efforts of the working group, as well as the community feedback that shaped this release," said Ryan Pavlik, OpenXR Specification Editor, XR Principal Software Engineer at Collabora.

"OpenXR 1.0 steers us toward an alignment of many crucial emerging interface platforms. CTRL-labs is excited to contribute to this important step forward and to give developers the tools they need to explore neural interfaces,"" said Attila Maczak, Software Architect at CTRL-labs.

"We're thrilled to support the OpenXR 1.0 release, along with all of the Khronos Group members who have worked tirelessly to create the standard. Unreal Engine led the way with support for the OpenXR 0.9 provisional specification, and we're excited to move the 1.0 revision forward in collaboration with our hardware partners releasing at the same time. Epic believes that open standards are essential to driving technology and bridging the gaps between digital ecosystems," said Jules Blok, Epic Games.

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

"WebXR relies on APIs like OpenXR to provide the communication layer between browsers and virtual reality or augmented reality devices. The Immersive Web Working Group is excited for OpenXR support to become widely available because it has the potential to reduce the development and maintenance burden for WebXR implementers while increasing the range of supported hardware," said Brandon Jones, WebXR Spec Editor.

"HTC VIVE is committed to creating a viable ecosystem for the XR industry which is why we are proud to support OpenXR," said Vinay Narayan, vice president, platform strategy, HTC.

"Bringing the community together to help define standards and best practices, allows all of us to move forward, together."

"The mobile era of computing was defined and ultimately constrained by closed ecosystems. With mixed reality, the next wave of computing must be and will be open," said Don Box, Technical Fellow at Microsoft.

"Today, Microsoft is proud to release the first OpenXR 1.0 runtime that supports mixed reality, for all Windows Mixed Reality and HoloLens 2 users. We are excited to now work with the OpenXR community to design the key extensions that will bring mixed reality to life, with full support by end of year for HoloLens 2 hand tracking, eye tracking, spatial mapping and spatial anchors."

"Congratulations to the OpenXR team on this important 1.0 release. The flexible, extensible design of OpenXR 1.0 will support innovative, next-generation graphics technologies that accelerate XR applications and even enable new XR use-cases," said David Weinstein, Director of Virtual Reality at NVIDIA.

"OpenXR provides a solid foundation for developers to more easily support a broader range of platforms and devices. 1.0 is an exciting milestone and it is just the beginning. This release will open new doors for developers to experiment and extend the capabilities, pushing the VR and AR industry into the future." said Jared Cheshier, CTO at Pluto VR.

"It's great to see this important milestone finally completed and we are excited by the promise OpenXR holds for lowering the barrier for creating XR applications across a wide array of devices. Now that the stable 1.0 release of OpenXR is out and we are beginning to see industry adoption, Tobii will work diligently to unlock support for eye tracking through OpenXR extensions for eye gaze interaction and foveated rendering." said Denny Rönngren, architect at Tobii.

"OpenXR is an important milestone for VR. This API will allow games and other applications to work easily across a variety of hardware platforms without proprietary SDKs. Valve is happy to have worked closely with other VR industry leaders to create this open standard, and looks forward to supporting it in SteamVR," said Joe Ludwig, programmer at Valve.

"Varjo is creating the world's most groundbreaking VR/AR/XR hardware and software by merging the real and digital worlds seamlessly together in human-eye resolution. We're excited for the release of the OpenXR 1.0 specification because it ensures the enterprise community has compatible, easy access to the best XR technology on the market today while removing barriers to future innovation," said Rémi Arnaud, principal architect at Varjo.

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