Unity 3D is one of the most powerful cross-platform games development engines available today, powering dozens of experiences from Xbox One to Windows Phone.
During the Build 2015 keynote, it was revealed that Unity 3D is partnering with Microsoft on HoloLens development, and the development team have recently confirmed on their blog that HoloLens will enjoy full support from the Unity engine.
Holograms for all! We've expanded our strategic collaboration with Microsoft to include full support for Microsoft HoloLens holographic computer. Microsoft made the announcement today during the keynote at the Build conference in San Francisco.
Unity 3D not only powers games, but 3D modelling for all sorts of virtualised products, albeit previously confined to screens. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the 3D experiences we saw at Build today were in-fact running on Unity.
Unity tools will support HoloLens spatial mapping, audio, gaze, gesture, voice recognition, and app anchoring - such as pinning Netflix onto your walls. The company also touts improvements to the integration between Unity and Visual Studio, to improve efficiency when it comes to creating non-gaming 3D experiences - presumably like the medical models seen in todays presentation.
Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Marketing exec Yusuf Mehdi praised the partnership:
...Expanding our relationship with Unity Technologies was a natural next step in bringing content to Microsoft HoloLens. We are very excited to unveil this partnership and look forward to the possibilities it will open for developers creating experiences for Microsoft HoloLens...
Unity's VP of Strategic Technology Steffen Toksvig touted the range of sectors Microsoft are targeting with the exciting new tech:
...Microsoft HoloLens unshackles game and app designers from traditional screens creating a freedom to completely reimagine how we view and interact with information, education, entertainment, creative tools, social networks, remote healthcare and more...
Unity for HoloLens will be bundled with Unity Pro and Unity Personal Edition for free, and considering ID@Xbox games developers get these toolsets for free as well, that's already dozens of potential games developers for Microsoft's fledgling holographic platform.
The range of applications for HoloLens is staggering. Beyond industries like architecture, engineering and medicine, HoloLens will also be making its presence known at the games industry's biggest event - E3, and with Unity's backing, there's certainly a lot to look forward to.
Be sure to check out the full blog post here.