Khronos Group unites VR industry leaders for a standards initiative

It's no secret that the world of virtual reality is fragmented. This fragmentation requires developers to port and customize their software for multiple devices, a costly and time-consuming process. As a result, consumers selecting a headset are buying into a more-or-less specific set of games and applications. To address this problem, the Khronos Group announced a new initiative to define an open standard for virtual reality devices.

The Khronos Group, whose resumé includes the OpenGL and Vulkan standards, has broad ambitions and a wide array of industry partners for this initiative. Khronos intends to create open, royalty-free standards that will allow developers to port their applications to any compatible device. Ideally, this will create a better experience for users, allowing them to treat VR headsets like any other peripheral.

The list of companies who have already undersigned this gentlemen's agreement is rather impressive. Khronos has already assembled a group that reads like an all-star cast of the video gaming world. Headset manufacturers Valve, Oculus, and Google are part of the initiative. Major players in the hardware space like Intel, Nvidia, and AMD have also indicated that they'll be involved. The all-star cast for Khronos's initiative is complete with Epic Games, ARM, Tobii, and Razer.

The next steps for the open standard include an exploratory phase to make a decision on the project's scope and objectives. More detailed proposals and designs will follow. While the process is certain to take some time, industry partners are urged to contact Khronos and start contributing to the discussions and planning.

Comments closed
    • brucethemoose
    • 4 years ago

    Obligatory:

    [url<]http://xkcd.com/927/[/url<]

      • psuedonymous
      • 4 years ago

      We can hope this doesn’t fall to early standardisation. Wouldn’t want another VRML!

      • Redocbew
      • 4 years ago

      Exactly what I thought of when I read the headline.

      • GrimDanfango
      • 4 years ago

      Yup. It might have been an understandable aim if all the existing standards were proprietary and vendor-locked, but so far both Valve and Razer have already developed a definitive open standard and a definitive open standard, respectively.

        • psuedonymous
        • 4 years ago

        The problem is that both those ‘open standards’ are API wrapper sin practice: SteamVR (the only OpenVR implementation, because while the API is open the implementation is closed) wraps SteamVR API calls and passes them to OVR or OSVR, OSVR wraps OSVR API calls and passes them to SteamVR or OVR.

        OSVR does have the benefit of [i<]actually[/i<] being Open Source (unlike OpenVR which is closed source), but is also even further behind OpenVR in actually implementing newer features. For a universal API to be in any way worthwhile, it needs to be native rather than just an API wrapper, and to actually be a feature superset rather than a feature subset.

          • GrimDanfango
          • 4 years ago

          Sounds like fair points. It’s certainly clear that a truly universal open standard would ultimately be a great thing for VR in general on the PC. Let’s hope Khronos can actually get some genuine commitment from Valve, and especially from Oculus. Something tells me they could be the ones who end up only putting their name to this to make themselves look good, and ultimately just carry on doing their own thing in opposition to it.

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    One Khronos to rule them all.
    One Khronos to find them,
    One Khronos to bring them all
    and in the darkness bind them.

      • K-L-Waster
      • 4 years ago

      In the land of VR, where the screen doors are.

        • chuckula
        • 4 years ago

        Don’t forget the buckets for when the frame rate can’t keep up.

        • tay
        • 4 years ago

        Bravo. haha!

      • CScottG
      • 4 years ago

      Oh, that is sooooo: precious.

      • TheMonkeyKing
      • 4 years ago

      It has a certain ring to it…

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