In a joint effort, Microsoft, Qualcomm, and Magic Leap have unveiled a partnership aimed at “steering the progress” of the Mixed Reality Toolkit (MRTK), an open-source, cross-platform AR/VR development framework.
Initially spearheaded by Microsoft, MRTK served as a collection of components and functionalities designed to expedite the development of cross-platform XR applications within the Unity game engine. Unfortunately, Microsoft disbanded the MRTK and AltspaceVR teams earlier this year as part of wider layoffs.
By embracing an open-source approach, Microsoft, alongside Qualcomm and Magic Leap, aims to establish an independent organization within GitHub. Their goal is to transform MRTK into a versatile toolkit that fosters increased collaboration among third-party developers across multiple platforms.
Magic Leap expressed enthusiasm about joining Microsoft as equal stakeholders on the MRTK steering committee, emphasizing their objective to enhance the current ecosystem and empower the developer community to create more immersive virtual reality experiences spanning various platforms. Magic Leap also noted their support for MRTK3, facilitating the smooth transition of MRTK3 apps from other OpenXR devices to the Magic Leap platform.
Presently, MRTK3 already offers support for a wide range of platforms, either in full or experimental capacities. These platforms include Microsoft HoloLens 2, Meta Quest, Windows Mixed Reality, SteamVR, Oculus Rift (when used with OpenXR), Lenovo ThinkReality A3, and Windows Traditional desktop. The committee anticipates introducing more devices in the future, possibly including the Magic Leap 2 AR headset.
In the meantime, Microsoft disclosed that MRTK3 is on track to become generally available for developers during the second week of September 2023. Developers can find additional information, support resources, and tutorials on Microsoft’s MRTK3 hub.