Microsoft replaces WinRT APIs with OpenXR in HoloLens 2 and WMR

In 2017, Microsoft joined OpenXR. A standard designed to improve interoperability between different applications and hardware interfaces used in VR. In early 2019, Microsoft released a preview version of the OpenXR runtime for the Windows Mixed Reality platform. Based on OpenXR preliminary specifications.

In July 2019, Microsoft released the first OpenXR 1.0 runtime that supports mixed reality, for all Windows Mixed Reality and HoloLens 2 users.

OpenXR standard comes to HoloLens 2 and Windows Mixed Reality

Right now, with OpenXR, you can develop engines and applications that work in HoloLens 2 with the same API you use to work with virtual reality headsets. Including Windows Mixed Reality, Oculus Rift, and SteamVR headsets. Because OpenXR-based applications are portable across all hardware platforms, Microsoft is discontinuing the development of legacy WinRT APIs.

Applications based on existing WinRT APIs will continue to work on HoloLens 2 and Windows Mixed Reality, but Microsoft will not add any new functionality to the WinRT APIs.

A notable change during development in HoloLens but which in return will allow for much more valid content. We’ll see if this boosts apps and works in Windows Mixed Reality and Hololens.

The reality is that Windows Mixed Reality still works fine, but it hasn’t been talked about for a long time. Those in Redmond embraced the technology right away, but people didn’t jump in as expected. We’ll see if that encourages this change.

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