This Thursday, Enrique Tromp, the Co-Founder and CTO of VRMADA, took to his LinkedIn account to announce UltimateXR (extended reality), a free and open-source framework for creating enterprise-grade immersive training scenarios, collaboration environments, and interactive gaming experiences.
Operated by parent company VRMADA, the service employs Unity’s software agnostic toolkit to secure cross-platform distribution of virtual reality (VR) training environments for frontline workers.
The enterprise-grade platform includes rich 3D asset creation services, “state-of-the-art” manipulation mechanics, customizable avatars, locomotion options, and user interface (UI) tools.
The firm designed UltimateXR to work across many significant headsets and support software development kits (SDKs) for head mounted devices (HMDs) such as Meta Quest, Pico XR, SteamVR, WaveXR, and Windows Mixed Reality frameworks.
The service also works across any 3D rendering pipeline, including built-in Universal Render and High-Definition Render Pipelines.
Additionally, the service considers diversity and representation by including a library of gender and race agnostic hands. Currently, major XR firms such as Meta and Unity are developing frameworks to create inclusive immersive experiences.
Building a Diverse Platform
In an exclusive comment, Enrique Tromp discussed UltimateXR’s hurdles in development and the importance of diversity in XR services.
Why did VRMADA release UltimateXR as an open-source, free service?
Enrique Tromp: We released it for free and open-source because we are passionate about our work and love the idea of sharing it with the world. Creating a commercial product or adding a restrictive license would limit the amount of people that can use it.
Releasing it at no cost is so that indie developers and educational institutions can benefit from it as well. Open-sourcing allows everyone to add changes if needed and will enable the community to contribute with new features.
We use the MIT license so that there are no restrictions, even for commercial use in enterprises. Our revenue comes from the VR solutions we provide to other companies. We create VR experiences and training applications and are not interested in getting revenue from the framework.
What hurdles did your team overcome when developing UltimateXR?
Enrique Tromp: More than technical challenges, it has been very time-consuming to keep up with the technology. Every new version of an HMD vendor development kit we use introduced changes which made it very difficult to keep compatibility all the time since we support so many different platforms.
Also, it requires much more effort to create something that not only your company will use but the whole world. It took a lot of time to get to a state where we felt comfortable making UltimateXR publicly available.
Everything needs to work well and be fully documented. There needs to be a good workflow to generate steady releases and ways to give support. There is a lot more to consider than just the code and the tools.
Why is it essential to focus on diversity and inclusion when creating an immersive content creation service like UltimateXR?
Enrique Tromp: VR applications place the user inside a virtual world. You no longer look at a TV and see somebody else. You see yourself, your body, your hands. It is very important to consider the things that make us different so that everyone can feel represented in VR.
In this sense, we created a set of VR hands considering the differences in size and appearance. We provide hands with completely customizable skin features, and we also provide gloves for applications that prefer not to show skin.
UltimateXR also includes two different hand sizes to let the user choose which one feels better.
VRMADA, Immersive Training for the Frontline
The parent company, VRMADA, provides virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) solutions for international businesses such as Cisco, British Airways, Cepsa, and Dubai Customs.
The firm’s bespoke immersive learning tools give companies the ability to enhance the quality of trainees and retention rates during training scenarios. VRMADA also provides XR solutions to help manage dispersed frontline workers performing operations, maintenance, and field service procedures.