Apple missing from list of companies supporting OpenXR AR and VR spec

Posted:
in General Discussion
The Khronos Group has ratified and publicly released a provisional specification for OpenXR, an open standard for AR and VR platforms, but while many major firms are supporting the effort, Apple does not appear to be publicly offering its own support.

Facebook's Oculus Go VR headset
Facebook's Oculus Go VR headset


Launched during the Game Developer Conference on Monday, the OpenXR 0.90 provisional specification advises of a cross-platform API that can take advantage of XR-supporting hardware. The API would offer access to common sets of objects and functions required for applications, including those to do with rendering, tracking frame timing, and input, items that would typically vary between different hardware producers.

The aim of the project is to define the API so developers only need to code once for all hardware under the scheme, instead of producing software with differences that apply to specific headsets. This would in theory simplify development and could enable developers to release apps that are suitable for use on many different devices at a quicker rate.

"OpenXR seeks to simplify AR/VR software development, enabling applications to reach a wider array of hardware platforms without having to port or re-write their code and subsequently allowing platform vendors supporting OpenXR access to more applications," said Brent Insko, lead VR architect at Intel and OpenXR working group chair. "The OpenXR provisional specification-- together with the runtimes publicly available at launch and coming in the next few weeks-- will enable hands-on, cross-platform testing by application and engine developers."

The Khronos Group is an open industry consortium that counts over 140 hardware and software companies within the 3D graphics, AR and VR, computer vision, and machine learning fields. The group publicly supporting OpenXR includes AMD, ARM, Epic Games, HTC, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Oculus, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony, Valve, and others.

A list of firms publicly supporting OpenXR, which currently does not include Apple.
A list of firms publicly supporting OpenXR, which currently does not include Apple (via the OpenXR website)


While Apple is part of the Khronos Group as one of its Promoter Members, which means it has full working group participation, it isn't included in the list of firms publicly supporting OpenXR. It is unclear why Apple is not on the list at this time, but not being included is not the same as not supporting the project.

Apple has put considerable effort towards its AR and VR projects, such as ARKit, which is used by developers to add AR experiences to iOS apps. It is also believed to be working on some form of smart glasses or headset that uses AR or VR, and has filed numerous patents in the field, with analysts suggesting the earliest such a device could launch would be in 2020.

It would be expected that, since it is a promoter member of the overall group, Apple would at least have some interest in what develops with OpenXR.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,059member
    Apple has better technology that it wants to merge with excellent hardware. The mainstream developers will only come over once Apple makes an excellent pair of Glasses. So it’s cool that there is a lower quality alternative to that option, but it’s not really important like the open web. The Apple Watch doesn’t even need the open web that much ,even though it has gained WebKit support.
    80s_Apple_Guytmayn2itivguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 29
    Maybe Apple is hesitant because the name of OpenXR is confusing with the name iPhone XR.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 29
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,507member
    Apple needs to get on the ball with these standards. They’re very shaky about supporting them. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t. There’s no evidence that not supporting a standard is giving Apple a boost. It just makes it more difficult for developers to get aboard Apple’s platform.
    indieshackcanukstorm
  • Reply 4 of 29
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,646member
    Apple has better technology that it wants to merge with excellent hardware. The mainstream developers will only come over once Apple makes an excellent pair of Glasses. So it’s cool that there is a lower quality alternative to that option, but it’s not really important like the open web. The Apple Watch doesn’t even need the open web that much ,even though it has gained WebKit support.
    I agree.

    I think that Apple will want to optimize as much as possible in hardware, necessitating it's own API's.

    This pretty much follows what Kronos did with Vulcan, following Apple's Metal II in a more generic way, for mobile devices. I don't think that anyone would state that Vulcan is superior to Metal II technically, only that the available Android OS Platform really has no other options to date.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 29
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,831member
    melgross said:
    Apple needs to get on the ball with these standards. They’re very shaky about supporting them. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t. There’s no evidence that not supporting a standard is giving Apple a boost. It just makes it more difficult for developers to get aboard Apple’s platform.

    Developers didn't complain about DirectX (vs. OpenGL)
    Developers don't complain about nVidia CUDA (vs. OpenCL)

    It doesn't make it difficult for developers to get on board to a platform with a device base of a billion and counting.
    n2itivguygenovellemacplusplusnhtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 29
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,118member
    melgross said:
    Apple needs to get on the ball with these standards. They’re very shaky about supporting them. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t. There’s no evidence that not supporting a standard is giving Apple a boost. It just makes it more difficult for developers to get aboard Apple’s platform.
    Apple supports standards when it makes sense for them, their products, and their consumers. They don't have an obligation to jump on every standard just because it exists. I'm sure they've assessed it thoroughly. 
    pscooter63n2itivguyStrangeDayslkruppleavingthebigguraharasuddenly newtonapplesnorangeswatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 29
    emoelleremoeller Posts: 432member
    These standards organizations are as much about politics as they are about standards.  All industries have these (ASTM, construction/building, fire ratings, disk storage etc).  A company like Apple should be involved in many of these as they provide a window into how other companies are positioning themselves.  It also allows companies to pursue their own tech while allowing hooks to tie into other standards.

    I don't read anything special with Apple at this stage signing onto OpenXR or not.   Everybody is jockeying for position and in the end one or two standards will rise to the top and then everyone will fall into the two camps and duke it out.   Betamax vs VHS.....
    macpluspluswatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 29
    melgross said:
    Apple needs to get on the ball with these standards. They’re very shaky about supporting them. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t. There’s no evidence that not supporting a standard is giving Apple a boost. It just makes it more difficult for developers to get aboard Apple’s platform.
    Agreed, as an Apple dev I find it both frustrating and unhelpful when they defer support for an emerging technology
  • Reply 9 of 29
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 907member
    melgross said:
    Apple needs to get on the ball with these standards. They’re very shaky about supporting them. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t. There’s no evidence that not supporting a standard is giving Apple a boost. It just makes it more difficult for developers to get aboard Apple’s platform.
    In fact if you look at very market Apple has dominated the success meaning actually making money when everyone else is reduced to fighting for the scraps, developing their own tech that takes others years to catch-up has been key. 
    applesnorangeswatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 29
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 907member
    melgross said:
    Apple needs to get on the ball with these standards. They’re very shaky about supporting them. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t. There’s no evidence that not supporting a standard is giving Apple a boost. It just makes it more difficult for developers to get aboard Apple’s platform.
    Agreed, as an Apple dev I find it both frustrating and unhelpful when they defer support for an emerging technology
    Do you think they should jump on board with technologies that they know will not support their development direction or that they know they have better solutions that will give them the edge in the market?
    applesnorangeswatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 29
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,298member
    melgross said:
    Apple needs to get on the ball with these standards. They’re very shaky about supporting them. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t. There’s no evidence that not supporting a standard is giving Apple a boost. It just makes it more difficult for developers to get aboard Apple’s platform.
    And there’s no evidence that supporting it gives Apple a boost. Why does Apple “need” to?

    (anytime I read a comment that begins with “Apple needs to...!” I cringe. Usually it’s just a substitute for “I want Apple to...”)
    edited March 21 suddenly newtonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 29
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,298member
    melgross said:
    Apple needs to get on the ball with these standards. They’re very shaky about supporting them. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t. There’s no evidence that not supporting a standard is giving Apple a boost. It just makes it more difficult for developers to get aboard Apple’s platform.
    Agreed, as an Apple dev I find it both frustrating and unhelpful when they defer support for an emerging technology
    Sounds like you’re new to Apple. Supporting emerging consumer technology is not really what they’re known for.
    macpluspluswatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 29
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,019member
    This article could very well be making a mountain out of a mole hill.

    As you stated: "not being included is not the same as not supporting the project"

    Apple, by virtue of being one of the Promoter members of the Khronos Group, is effectively part of the top-level board of directors and participates at a governance level over all specifications and working groups within the Khronos Group. That constitutes a very meaty commitment at both a financial and hands-on-deck level. Unless Apple comes out publicly in opposition to OpenXR or withdraws from the Khronos Group we can safely assume that they are engaged and implicitly support all specifications and working groups under the umbrella of the Khronos Group.

    There is a big difference between a company supporting open standards through membership and participation in group activities and a company limiting itself to exclusively supporting only the open standards when it comes to designing and producing their own products. They can do both as long as their proprietary standards do not interfere with or invalidate the open standards. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 29
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,507member
    mjtomlin said:
    melgross said:
    Apple needs to get on the ball with these standards. They’re very shaky about supporting them. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t. There’s no evidence that not supporting a standard is giving Apple a boost. It just makes it more difficult for developers to get aboard Apple’s platform.

    Developers didn't complain about DirectX (vs. OpenGL)
    Developers don't complain about nVidia CUDA (vs. OpenCL)

    It doesn't make it difficult for developers to get on board to a platform with a device base of a billion and counting.
    Yes they do. They complain all the time. It’s one reason why Apple’s platform has fewer games, and poorer performance for CAD and other software. No matter what you think, Apple’s is still a small minority platforn.
  • Reply 15 of 29
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,629member
    melgross said:
    Apple needs to get on the ball with these standards. They’re very shaky about supporting them. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t. There’s no evidence that not supporting a standard is giving Apple a boost. It just makes it more difficult for developers to get aboard Apple’s platform.
    Agreed, as an Apple dev I find it both frustrating and unhelpful when they defer support for an emerging technology
    Sounds like you’re new to Apple. Supporting emerging consumer technology is not really what they’re known for.
    Emerging and born dead already: cross-platform. The only cross platform Apple contributes are media standards. 
  • Reply 16 of 29
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,507member
    StrangeDays said:
    melgross said:
    Apple needs to get on the ball with these standards. They’re very shaky about supporting them. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t. There’s no evidence that not supporting a standard is giving Apple a boost. It just makes it more difficult for developers to get aboard Apple’s platform.
    And there’s no evidence that supporting it gives Apple a boost. Why does Apple “need” to?

    (anytime I read a comment that begins with “Apple needs to...!” I cringe. Usually it’s just a substitute for “I want Apple to...”)
    Well, if they’re not supporting it, then you can’t look at evidence the other way, can you? But we can look to the dearth of certain types of graphics dependent software. And developers do complain about it. Games, for example, are difficult to move over because Apple’s own graphics software standards don’t support a lot of what these do. When they do, it’s differently. So it has to be rewritten.

    and what’s the point? Just saying that a-les solution is superior isn’t saying much, even if it were true. Often, being slightly better is inferior to agreeing on a standard. And Apple could influence those standards if they belonged to the bodies, or were just a major implementer. Apple sits on a number of standards bodies, so it’s not as though they never bother.
  • Reply 17 of 29
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,629member
    melgross said:
    mjtomlin said:
    melgross said:
    Apple needs to get on the ball with these standards. They’re very shaky about supporting them. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t. There’s no evidence that not supporting a standard is giving Apple a boost. It just makes it more difficult for developers to get aboard Apple’s platform.

    Developers didn't complain about DirectX (vs. OpenGL)
    Developers don't complain about nVidia CUDA (vs. OpenCL)

    It doesn't make it difficult for developers to get on board to a platform with a device base of a billion and counting.
    Yes they do. They complain all the time. It’s one reason why Apple’s platform has fewer games, and poorer performance for CAD and other software. No matter what you think, Apple’s is still a small minority platforn.
    That still minority platform was selling a lot of ArchiCAD and Power Mac bundles 30 years ago and is still selling. Apple has never been ignored by mainstream CAD developers and in contrast is actually further supported by their commitment to the iPad Pro, not to mention iMac Pro. Regarding games, Apple is the creator of the biggest mobile gaming platform, so... anyway...
    edited March 21 watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 29
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,332member
    melgross said:
    Apple needs to get on the ball with these standards. They’re very shaky about supporting them. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t. There’s no evidence that not supporting a standard is giving Apple a boost. It just makes it more difficult for developers to get aboard Apple’s platform.
    You know what gets developers to support a platform? Money and ease of use. Willing to bet there will be a ton of heat that comes out of this open source platform and not a lot of light. Apple will lead and others will follow while the geeks are arguing in the corner.
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 29
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,298member
    melgross said:
    StrangeDays said:
    melgross said:
    Apple needs to get on the ball with these standards. They’re very shaky about supporting them. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t. There’s no evidence that not supporting a standard is giving Apple a boost. It just makes it more difficult for developers to get aboard Apple’s platform.
    And there’s no evidence that supporting it gives Apple a boost. Why does Apple “need” to?

    (anytime I read a comment that begins with “Apple needs to...!” I cringe. Usually it’s just a substitute for “I want Apple to...”)
    Well, if they’re not supporting it, then you can’t look at evidence the other way, can you? But we can look to the dearth of certain types of graphics dependent software. And developers do complain about it. Games, for example, are difficult to move over because Apple’s own graphics software standards don’t support a lot of what these do. When they do, it’s differently. So it has to be rewritten.

    and what’s the point? Just saying that a-les solution is superior isn’t saying much, even if it were true. Often, being slightly better is inferior to agreeing on a standard. And Apple could influence those standards if they belonged to the bodies, or were just a major implementer. Apple sits on a number of standards bodies, so it’s not as though they never bother.
    Still, why does Apple “need to” get on the ball by supporting a standard I’d never even heard of before today? What is the source of the proposed need?
    suddenly newtonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 29
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,404member
    Apple has a long and proud history of a) not signing on to standards right away and b) eventually taking over the standard (Firewire became IEEE1394 and co-developing both USB 3.x and Thunderbolt/USB 4 as two examples. Occasionally (but rarely, in point of fact) they will go their own way, as with Metal2 -- but again I'd be surprised if a future version of Metal wasn't submitted for a standard.
    macpluspluswatto_cobra
Sign In or Register to comment.