The Khronos Group announced a new initiative to come up with an open standard for access to virtual reality devices. The group says the fragmented landscape is one of the big issues facing VR right now, and hopes companies will be able to work together to create common APIs. The effort is backed by several industry heavyweights, including AMD, ARM, Epic Games, Google, Intel, NVIDIA, Oculus, Razer, Valve, and other companies.
The Khronos™ Group, an open consortium of leading hardware and software companies, today 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.
“Khronos has been on the forefront of advanced graphics and system APIs for over 15 years, and in keeping with that tradition and obligation to the industry at large has embarked on a new, vitally needed set of APIs and standards for the emerging VR market. We applaud the industry-leading companies that are coming together as Khronos members for this endeavor, and expect the whole industry will share our sentiment,” said Jon Peddie, President of JPR.
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.