Windows Mixed Reality stands for VR by Microsoft without external helpers. Although the platform was already convincing with a high image quality and easy set-up at the beginning, after Microsoft's takeover of AltspaceVR it became quiet about Windows Mixed Reality. The OpenXR app should change this now.
OpenXR as a basis for AR on various VR platforms
Some of the major platforms already support OpenXR, including SteamVR, Oculus, and Daydream. The OpenXR app makes it possible to use Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) on these platforms and thus serves as a basis to combine the virtual reality in games and applications with the augmented reality of Microsoft.
WMR in over 2,500 games and applications
The combination of VR and AR is already available in over 2,500 games and applications, including Skyworld and Minecraft, most of which are distributed through SteamVR and the Windows Store. The Windows Store introduces the “Windows Mixed Reality Apps” into its own category.
More applications for WMR through OpenXR
With OpenXR, developers can create applications designed for mixed-reality Windows headsets. The uniform and license-free standard should help to spread VR and AR even more, as Microsoft points out. Mixed reality is an important area for the company.
Microsoft believes that mixed reality needs to be open to all: open stores, open browsers, and open developer platforms. We would like to support the launch of OpenXR this year for Windows Mixed Reality and HoloLens 2. To help developers provide feedback, today we release our OpenXR runtime environment with support for Windows Mixed Reality headsets.
An API for all platforms and graphics engines
Without a cross-platform standard, VR and AR applications and engines must use the proprietary APIs of the different platforms. New input devices also require custom driver integration. With OpenXR, applications can run on any system where the OpenXR APIs are available. Manufacturers of input devices and headsets can even integrate their drivers into OpenXR runtimes. On the Engines side, Unreal, Unity, and WebXR already support the OpenXR standard, along with other proprietary developments.
The OpenXR app is now available through the Windows Store. Interested users should use the link, as a search in the store currently still promotes the Developer Preview.