Making Multi-platform VR Development More Accessible: A Platform Agnostic VR Framework
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Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019. Virtual Reality offers developers an immersive and engaging new medium to create simulation applications, training tools, and educational games. One of the first decisions a VR developer will face is which platform to target. In 2014 consumer choice was limited to Google Cardboard. By 2016 this had expanded to six devices, including popular platforms such as Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PSVR. Today there are not only more platforms, but even more variation in platform hardware, input devices, and interaction methods. This overwhelming amount of variance can be daunting for developers who want to create a VR application where the goal is to develop and deliver for multiple platforms, typically to reach the largest audience. With applications in so many fields like medical, educational, and cyber security, it is becoming more important that VR experiences can run on multiple platforms in different environments. Therefore, we present and apply our approach to unify these differences with a platform agnostic framework for the Unity game engine that allows developers to focus on creating their vision, without worrying about individual SDKs and the intricacies of each platform. Unity does a great job natively supporting the popular SDKs such as SteamVR and OculusVR, but these SDKs only apply to their own family of hardware, leaving the developer to re-write or even duplicate and alter code just so they can deploy their experience on multiple platforms. As project scope grows, this becomes more and more complex and can be a time-consuming task.
Communications in Computer and Information Science
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