Microsoft Mixed Reality Toolkit 3 will launch in Q3 2023 for HoloLens 2 developers

microsoft mixed reality toolkit

Even as Apple gets ready to officially reveal its new, and expensive, mixed reality headset next week, Microsoft continues on its own path in this specific tech industry. Today, the company announced that the open source-based Microsoft Mixed Reality Toolkit 3 will become generally available sometime in the third quarter of 2023.

In a blog post, Microsoft says this latest version of its mixed reality app development toolkit uses the OpenXR standard. That means developers that use this new tool will be able to make apps that will not only work on Microsoft's HoloLens device, but other similar headsets as well.

The Microsoft Mixed Reality Toolkit 3 is also compatible with the popular game development engine Unity, It uses that engine's XR Management System and XR Interaction Toolkit so the tools will be more compatible with new versions of Unity.

The new version of the toolkit will have these specific improvements:

  • Faster performance: Developers can improve the performance of HoloLens 2 and resource-constrained mobile platforms.
  • Smaller memory footprint: By utilizing OpenXR, developers can better reduce the memory footprint of their cross-platform apps.
  • Modern user interface: Support for new Unity features like Unity 3D Canvas reduces the time it takes to code and launch apps into production.

Microsoft also announced today that the Azure Communication Services Calling SDK for Unity will have a public preview launch before the end of the second quarter of 2023. Microsoft stated:

Not only can developers benefit from all the features inherent in the ACS Calling SDK for UAP, but they also can leverage Unity Editor. This gives developers access to a visual interface that significantly reduces the time it takes to create, design, and build HoloLens 2 applications.

In April, Microsoft released the free Windows 11 update for the HoloLens 2. The company has said it is committed to updating the HoloLens 2, but there's no word on if the company plans to release a next-gen version of its own expensive mixed reality headset.

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