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WMR headsets in standalone build (exe)

Discussion in 'Windows Mixed Reality' started by G33RT, Nov 28, 2017.

  1. G33RT

    G33RT

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2013
    Posts:
    12
    I understood that these headsets can only be used in Universal Windows 10 Application builds. Is it (ever?) going to be possible to use these headsets in a standalone build (exe)? If yes, any time soon? And if yes, will they also run on previous Windows versions (7/8)?

    Geert
     
  2. ChimeraScorn

    ChimeraScorn

    Official Microsoft Employee

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2017
    Posts:
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    G33RT, I'd love to understand what you would be trying to achieve by going to a standalone exe. Can you elaborate a bit on the usecase?
     
  3. G33RT

    G33RT

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    Dec 27, 2013
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    Hi, I have it up and running already using SteamVR with this:

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us...0-play-steamvr-games-in-windows-mixed-reality

    Installation was a breeze since I already had SteamVR installed for the Vive. But I suppose this will only work on Windows 10.

    And still, I'd prefer a scenario without Steam ... but it's a start.

    About the usecase: I built a system that "generates" VR-apps on-the-fly based on 3D models. I want these apps to run on any maching without any installation, also from a USB stick.
     
  4. ChimeraScorn

    ChimeraScorn

    Official Microsoft Employee

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    Apr 20, 2017
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    Got it... Is there a reason you generate new apps vs. having the models loaded into a single player? Do you have a reference to your product I could take a look at? It sounds really cool, and I'd love to see more about it. :)
     
  5. markjanzen88

    markjanzen88

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    May 31, 2017
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    would this work for normal exe steam VR projects compiled in unity or just steam vr project that is published on the steam store?
     
  6. G33RT

    G33RT

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    Dec 27, 2013
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    Hi! Works perfectly for normal exe's built with Unity, no need for publishing. It works, but still, a pitty that the end user must have Steam installed.
     
  7. SimonDarksideJ

    SimonDarksideJ

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Posts:
    1,611
    Simple answer @G33RT is No, MR apps won't run as EXE's.

    The SDK that is MixedReality is embedded within the Windows UWP platform (aka Windows 10), so to use it natively, you have to build / deploy for UWP.

    However, as stated above, You can use the SteamVR SDK and build / deploy to an exe, which will run on Windows 10 under Mixed Reality via SteamVR.

    Hope that helps
     
    SimRuJ likes this.
  8. markjanzen88

    markjanzen88

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    May 31, 2017
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    thanks for the explanation guys. i tried this yesterday and I can now get all our old Steam VR exe's to work with WMR as a stop gap until we start making UWP native apps (and most likely ditch Steam VR).
     
    SimonDarksideJ likes this.
  9. Vern_Shurtz

    Vern_Shurtz

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    Mar 6, 2009
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    I have a similar question. I develop very specialized VR Training apps and Presentations using the Vive and Rift. In those situations it's easy enough to deploy the apps to a limited number of devices, less then a dozen in most cases. I just received the Samsung Odyssey HMD and I am really impressed with the quality. I see WMR as a better solution for my clients especially when it comes to the inside out tracking and no need for the cameras or lighthouse components that the Rift and Vive use.

    I have two Hololens devices and have developed a few apps to them for in house use and deploying from Visual Studio has worked well but in the above scenario all of the deployed systems are in various locations nationwide and some are even in Semi Truck Trailer rigs going from event to event. I see deploying custom apps and updates to these systems could be an issue with WMR. Most of these systems are rarely connected to the internet.

    Downloading a Unity app to a USB drive in a hotel and then installing on the systems is quick and easy. (Unzip file to a folder, run exe...). Even an untrained presenter can do that... although setting up the Rift and Vive can be an issue with the less technically savvy unless permanently mounted in a truck or a display system.

    How would deployment in this scenario be best achieved for WMR?

    Thanks,
     
  10. Unity_Wesley

    Unity_Wesley

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2015
    Posts:
    536
    You can install to WMR the same way you would a HoloLens, however you would use Local Machine instead of Remote Machine. You could in theory have the ziped folder of the unity app like a HoloLens and then unzip and install to the local machine when you need to even if the head set is no plugged in.

    Or you can use the exe form of the app and install via steam Windows MR
     
  11. SimonDarksideJ

    SimonDarksideJ

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  12. holo-krzysztof

    holo-krzysztof

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    Apr 5, 2017
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    Actually, (many) UWP APIs can also be called from Desktop apps, so theoretically it would be possible to do this. The Remoting Host Sample features a Win32 app and it works (when deployed on Windows 10 >= 1607).

    However, in practice this requires explicit support from Unity and complicates the(ir internal) build process by a considerable margin so it's not going happen, unfortunately.

    Anyway, I seriously hope OpenXR becomes a thing soon and exposes a single API to deal with all AR/VR devices.
     
  13. Pithos

    Pithos

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    Mar 31, 2015
    Posts:
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    I missed this older thread and opened another very similar one recently.

    There's no technical reason it can't be done. The Unity editor itself is a Win32 app and can output directly to WMR devices - that should be proof enough for everyone. I've talked with people from the WMR team at Microsoft and they've confirmed there's no technology blocking Win32 apps from accessing WMR.

    It appears to be more political in nature. I believe it's this: Microsoft wants to make money by having you make UWP apps which naturally go on the Windows store. Unity doesn't want to upset Microsoft in any way. As a result, direct WMR support is UWP only.

    That's unfortunate - UWP has flaws and shortcomings that Win32 apps do not, and so we're forced to use the SteamVR workaround, which costs us haptics (though not for much longer) and likely some performance as well.
     
  14. jarileon

    jarileon

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    Posts:
    75
    I was searching for information on this issue and ended up here. So almost a year since the last post, is there anything new on this matter? We are using MR headsets in our VR apps (standalone windows exe:s) with the Steam VR plugin. The practice has shown the running your app on Steam VR which runs on Mixed Reality Portal is far from being reliable - sometimes the controllers do now show up or are oriented wrong, sometimes the processes are not closed properly etc. There is just too many layers of complexity I guess.

    It would be great if it would be able to use MR headsets directly in the standalone builds. Is there any change this would be possible at some point?
     
  15. geertm

    geertm

    Joined:
    May 3, 2018
    Posts:
    3
    I remember a post a few months ago and was under the impression that Unity was going to take this up. But since then I don't find anything (in their roadmap) … anyone more info on this? Someone from Unity?

    Using Steam is a no-go in corporate environments, this really is a major problem. Just being able to use WMR from an exe would be a such a breakthrough ...
     
    SimRuJ likes this.