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Unity Drives XR Development to New Heights

Unity's Dan Miller explains why Unity is leading the charge in XR development on Arm, and how you can get involved at Arm DevSummit 2020
By Dan Miller, Senior Developer Advocate, XR, Unity Technologies
Dan Miller

The state of augmented (AR), virtual (VR) and mixed reality (MR) keeps evolving. Collectively known as XR, these technologies are rapidly moving beyond gaming to find adoption in applications and industries ranging from architecture, engineering and construction to manufacturing and mobility.

Hardware and software are quickly advancing to enable novel and more immersive experiences in these verticals to help improve safety, training, navigation, and other applications.

Unity started as a gaming platform, and we’ve since evolved our technology to serve a variety of industries—for some cool examples, check out the Arm New Reality podcast episode featuring our Julien Faure, who leads Unity’s efforts to grow into new areas. It’s only natural that as we continue to grow, we’d partner closely with hardware engineers and semiconductor companies, like those who attend Arm DevSummit.

My colleagues and I are hosting a number of presentations, as well as office hours that will give attendees a chance to learn more about our technology, do hands-on work with Unity AR Foundation, and our newest product, Unity MARS, and ask questions to inform their XR projects. 

Iterate faster, develop easier

Before I offer some detail on the sessions, I should provide some context. If Unity’s real-time 3D development platform lets artists, designers and developers work together to create amazing immersive and interactive experiences, Unity AR Foundation and Unity MARS take the platform to new levels.

AR Foundation is a framework for augmented reality development that allows you to build rich experiences once, then deploy them across multiple mobile and wearable AR devices. AR Foundation ensures that any application built in Unity can work across these AR platforms and take advantage of the shared and unique features on them.

Unity MARS is a Unity editor extension with systems that bring environment and sensor data into the creative workflow by offering simulated environments and more, so you can build intelligent AR apps that are context-aware and responsive to physical space, working in any location, and with any kind of data.

Unity Sessions at Arm DevSummit 2020

Yesterday, I hosted a workshop at Arm DevSummit on AR Foundation to give attendees a hands-on opportunity to work with the tool. I followed that up on Wednesday morning with a technical session on Unity MARS during which attendees will get hands-on experience with specialized AR workflows using Unity MARS and Unity AR Foundation.

If you missed either of them, they’ll be available on demand for the rest of this month.

But first, I want to make a distinction between the two: AR Foundation is the technology by which Unity integrates with platforms. AR Foundation is included in all versions of the Unity Editor and acts as an abstraction layer between platforms like ARCore and ARKit. Unity MARS is a professional level AR authoring tool, designed to enable developers to work faster, iterate better, and build projects more efficiently.

For us, it’s also important to present at Arm DevSummit to amplify the amazing partnership our two companies have developed. To this end, my Unity colleague Yury Habets, a senior engineer, and Arm Principal Engineer James Greenhalgh host a session right after the MARS presentation during which they’ll discuss how to improve performance in mobile applications but leveraging the Burst Compiler for better multicore performance.

We’ll also be hosting office hours and answering questions about Unity Thursday from noon to 1 p.m.

We’re thrilled to be collaborating for Arm DevSummit. Our partnership is about ensuring that creators have access to the great tools, that are optimized to work across all devices. We know creators want a platform that can allow them to leverage the latest semiconductor innovation easily. Our partnership hopes to accomplish this mission.

Unity at Arm DevSummit 2020

Check out all of Unity’s workshops, office hours and technical sessions at Arm DevSummit 2020.

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Editorial Contact

Brian Fuller and Jack Melling
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