Veteran enterprise VR studio VRMADA has released a public version of its VR toolset for quickly building immersive interactions for VR within Unity. Called UltimateXR, the studio says the tool is free and open source.

Our Guest Article by VRMADA CTO Enrique Tromp remains one of my favorites to this day because of how it shows the power of rich VR interactions. The problem, however, is that building rich interactions in VR (ie: interacting naturally and enjoyably with objects in the virtual world) is a painstaking process.

But VRMADA wants to make it easier and to that end has released UltimateXR, a development framework to build rich VR interactions in Unity.

Based on the studio’s own internal framework that’s been driven by the production of various VR projects, UltimateXR is free and open-source, allowing Unity developers of all stripes to more efficiently build rich interactions into their VR content.

UltimateXR supports Oculus, Pico, SteamVR, WaveXR, and WMR SDKs, and is comprised of 70 documented modules to do much of the heavy lifting required to build rich interactions in VR.

The framework primarily deals with creating avatars that can interact with the scene, interactive objects, and hand poses for realistic interaction with those objects.

Interactive objects in the UltimateXR sample scene | Image courtesy VRMADA

For instance, developers can use UltimateXR to create a full-body avatar with IK, define various points at which a single object can be grabbed, specify how an object can be manipulated once grabbed, and create the specific shapes that the user’s hand should make when grabbing the item in different ways.

Image courtesy VRMADA

Doing all of this from scratch can be painfully time consuming—and only grows in complexity as the number of interactive objects increases—which is one reason why rich object interactions in VR are rare.

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The framework is available now at the UltimateXR website and the company says it plans to continue to evolve the framework as time goes on.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Andrew Jakobs

    This looks like an excellent framework. I guess the demo is a game where you are working at the airport security, haha..
    Hope someone ports it to the UnrealEngine.

    • BananaBreadBoy

      Luckily, I believe the devs said developing a version for Unreal Engine was next on the board.

  • jiink

    Fantastic, this kind of stuff is what VR development needs. Gets tiring when every other developer has to build interactions from the ground up for their own game, creating a new set of controls and quirks for the player to learn. Also makes it hard to want to even do VR prototyping when forming common mechanics beyond grabbing a cube and teleporting around is a huge hurdle with lots of design choices that are easy to get wrong.
    Now I want SLZ’s “1 Marrow” interaction engine! :p

  • Guest

    What good is it being open source if Unity gets taken over? You will still get locked in to whatever platform the new owner of Unity wants you to migrate to!

  • Lhorkan

    I’ve watched their showcases over the years, and was always very impressed. The fact that they’re now releasing all their hard work free and open source is pretty incredible – this toolkit is what set them apart from the competition.

  • Amazing, I can’t wait to test it!

  • BananaBreadBoy

    This looks to be a fun replacement for HurricaneVR/Hexabody IK.

    • Major T

      I’m not sure about that. Hexa provides a full physics player controller like boneworks with various asset integrations like Final IK for full body avatar etc. I dont see this doing any of that?

  • Yencito

    We need it with Unreal too!