Khronos Group releases OpenXR 1.0 specification

HP Reverb WMR
HP Reverb WMR (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • The new OpenXR 1.0 specification will help virtual and augmented reality work well across platforms.
  • OpenXR is supported by several large companies in the VR and AR industries.
  • Microsoft added OpenXR support to Windows Mixed Reality last week.

The Khronos Group released a new specification for OpenXR. The OpenXR 1.0 specification helps unify standards for augmented and virtual reality, which are referred to collectively as XR. The specification can be found at Github.

OpenXR is a standard set in place to ensure that developers can use code across multiple XR platforms. Several large companies, including Oculus, SteamVR, HTC, and Microsoft, have worked to support OpenXR. Last week, Microsoft added OpenXR support to Windows Mixed Reality devices.

The Khronos post announcing the release outlined how this specification will help XR going forward (via MSPU).

With this 1.0 release, the working group will evolve the standard while maintaining full backwards compatibility from this point onward, giving software developers and hardware vendors a solid foundation upon which to deliver incredible, portable, user experiences."

Don Box, a Technical Fellow at Microsoft, joined other large players in the XR industry in stating the importance of open technologies.

The mobile era of computing was defined and ultimately constrained by closed ecosystems. With mixed reality, the next wave of computing must be and will be open... Today, Microsoft is proud to release the first OpenXR 1.0 runtime that supports mixed reality, for all Windows Mixed Reality and HoloLens 2 users. We are excited to now work with the OpenXR community to design the key extensions that will bring mixed reality to life, with full support by end of year for HoloLens 2 hand tracking, eye tracking, spatial mapping and spatial anchors."

While virtual and augmented reality are not new, they are still in relatively early stages when compared to other technologies. Having open standards to improve cross-platform support and future compatibility will help XR grow in the future.

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Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at