Microsoft introduces Mixed Reality Toolkit 3 with new interaction system at Mixed Reality Dev Days

Arif Bacchus

There might be some controversy in Microsoft’s Mixed Reality efforts right now with the departure of Alex Kipman, but work at Microsoft still goes on. The company’s Mixed Reality Dev Days is now underway, and at the developer event, Microsoft just introduced Mixed Reality Toolkit 3 with a new interaction system.

Mixed Reality Toolkit 3 is the third iteration of Microsoft’s Mixed Reality Toolkit for Unity. It’s officially supported by HoloLens 2. As for Meta Quest, Windows Mixed Reality, Steam VR, and Oculus Rift on open XR, it is supported in experimental stages. There are a couple of new UI stuff in this iteration, which can be seen below. This comes along with the usual performance changes and architecture-based changes.

  • New interaction models (gaze-pinch indirect manipulation)
  • Updated Mixed Reality Design Language
  • Unity Canvas + 3D UX: production-grade dynamic auto-layout
  • Unified 2D & 3D input for gamepad, mouse, and accessibility support
  • Data binding for branding, theming, dynamic data, and complex lists

Of course, this isn’t really a consumer thing, but rather for developers who are building mixed reality apps and experiences. It’s for trying out new features and building prototypes, familiarizing yourself with XRI and the Unity infrastructure on top of which MRTK3 is built, and evaluating the new packaging strategy and the a la carte dependency model. Microsoft also says that it’s best used to explore OpenXR compatibility and features and learn about their new UX systems and visual design language.

You can check out the full details of this release on Microsoft’s website. Also, you can sign up for the Reality Dev Days online to hear and see other new Windows Mixed Reality experiences.