BEAVERTON, OR — The Khronos Group, an open consortium of leading hardware and software companies, has announced a call for participation in a new initiative to define a cross-vendor, royalty-free, open standard for access to modern virtual reality (VR) devices. The rapid growth of the virtual reality market has led to platform fragmentation, forcing VR applications and engines to be ported and customized to run on multiple VR runtimes, and requiring VR sensors and displays to be integrated with multiple driver interfaces. This fragmentation slows the widespread availability of compelling VR experiences, creating added expense for developers wishing to support multiple VR devices, and hindering the adoption of innovative user interface technologies.
Key components of the new standard will include APIs for tracking of headsets, controllers and other objects, and for easily integrating devices into a VR runtime. This will enable applications to be portable to any VR system that conforms to the Khronos standard, significantly enhancing the end-user experience, and driving more choice of content to spur further growth in the VR market.
Fast-paced work on detailed proposals and designs will start after an initial exploratory phase to define the standard’s scope and key objectives. Any company interested to participate is strongly encouraged to join Khronos for a voice and a vote in the development process. Design contributions from any member are welcome. More information on this initiative and joining the Khronos Group is available at www.khronos.org/vr.
“The virtual reality industry has garnered massive attention and investment, resulting in validation of virtual reality technology. We believe continued growth will require standardization and AMD supports the Khronos initiative for an open standard,” says Daryl Sartain, director and worldwide head of VR at AMD.
“With VR on the verge of rapid growth across all of the major platform families, this new Khronos open standards initiative is very timely. We at Epic Games will wholeheartedly contribute to the effort, and we'll adopt and support the resulting API in Unreal Engine,” says Tim Sweeney, founder & CEO, Epic Games.
“Open standards which allow developers to more easily create compelling, cross platform experiences will help bring the magic of VR to everyone. We look forward to working with our industry colleagues on this initiative,” notes Mike Jazayeri, director product management, Google VR.