If you’re a Windows Mixed Reality developer, you are probably familiar with the Mixed Reality Toolkit.
To sum up, they are a series of scripts and tools created, in its first version, to facilitate development for HoloLens and Windows Mixed Reality Headset.
Mixed Reality Toolkit vNext goes a step further and pushes the boundaries of MR. Starting with the first version, many developments have been made including the most important: more support for VR/AR and XR platforms, even if they aren’t from Microsoft, such as Steam VR and OpenXR.
When creating a new project or using one that comes with the toolkit itself, the first thing we’ll notice is that compared to the previous version the settings structure of the toolkit scene and tools have been improved.
Using the “scriptable objects” of Unity3D, they have created a configuration layer for all the MRTK that we can modify to our liking. The Mixed Reality Toolkit Configuration Profile is disabled by default, but if we click on the “Copy & Customize” button, it will create a “CustomProfiles” folder and inside it will add a copy of all the profiles that we want to modify.
But this is just the surface of the MRTK, if we delve further, we can see that it contains structured architecture for its components to work “out of the box” with any compatible device and allow rapid development and prototyping.
The different architectures include:
- The Device Abstraction Layer creates a layer between the external SDK and the MRTK itself and will be in charge of orchestrating the inputs and outputs between them.
- MRTK Contructs is a coordinated set of specifications to interact with multiple VR and AR platforms.
- MRTK Interface Layer provides a bridge to map and coordinate the inputs from the VR devices and the controllers.
- MRTK User Abstraction Layer is the interface of the SDK of each one to the final user, it provides a series of preconfigured components that will facilitate the most common tasks within the Mixed Reality.
Our team here at Brintia are already working with this version of the MRTK. We can safely say that although it still needs some polishing, the things they have achieved with this toolkit, like internal restructuring, are incredible!