Microsoft has announced that its open-source-based Mixed Reality Toolkit 3 (MRTK3) is slated to launch in the third quarter of 2023. The move comes as the tech industry is buzzing with anticipation for Apple's own mixed reality headset unveiling next week.
Harnessing the Power of OpenXR
The MRTK3 uses the OpenXR standard, a significant feature that enables developers to create apps compatible not only with Microsoft's HoloLens device but also with other similar headsets. “What's significant about the MRTK3 framework is that it draws from the industry standard OpenXR, making it easier for developers to create apps that seamlessly work across devices” says Microsoft.
Integration with Unity and Major Improvements
In addition, MRTK3 is compatible with the widely used game development engine Unity, leveraging Unity's XR Management System and XR Interaction Toolkit. This compatibility guarantees MRTK3's conformity with future Unity versions.
The toolkit upgrade also features several improvements such as faster performance, a smaller memory footprint due to the utilization of OpenXR, and a modern user interface that supports new Unity features. These enhancements aim to reduce coding and launch times for apps into production.
Azure Communication Services Calling SDK for Unity Preview Launch
Microsoft also announced the upcoming public preview launch of the Azure Communication Services Calling SDK for Unity before the end of Q2 2023. This follows the recent release of the Azure Communication Services Calling SDK for UWP and WinUI 3, providing developers with opportunities to streamline end-user workflows on HoloLens 2.
The Unity-specific SDK gives developers access to a visual interface, significantly minimizing the time it takes to create, design, and build HoloLens 2 applications. “Not only can developers benefit from all the features inherent in the ACS Calling SDK for UAP, but they also can leverage Unity Editor”, Microsoft added.
Continued Commitment to HoloLens 2
Microsoft's commitment to improving the HoloLens 2 continues. However, no information has been released on whether Microsoft plans to introduce a next-generation version of its mixed reality headset. The recent rollout of the free Windows 11 update for the HoloLens 2 signifies Microsoft's ongoing efforts in the mixed reality arena.