Jules Blok, better known as CrossVR, the developer behind the popular ReVive utility, revealed that he’s now part of the team that is shaping Khronos’s proposed OpenXR standard. Blok’s experience with compatibility issues between VR platforms could prove invaluable to the OpenXR working group.
Last December, the Khronos Group announced the Open VR Standards Initiative, which aims to solve the compatibility problems between the various VR platforms and simplify the process of deploying applications for multiple VR HMDs. Before Khronos revealed the Open VR Standards Initiative (now know as OpenXR), it managed to wrangle the support from many of the key players working in virtual reality and immersive technology including Oculus, Valve, Google, AMD, Nvidia, and many other top VR companies. But it’s not always top companies that have the most to contribute—especially in a new medium. Independent developers often innovate quicker in this space because they have the freedom to experiment, and often, nothing to lose.
Membership to the Khronos Group is open to any company that wants be in involved in its initiatives, provided they are willing to pay for the membership. Membership fees for the Khronos Group are expensive, which ensures that the companies that join are serious about the contribution. On the flip side, it also creates a barrier for independent developers that may have something to contribute, but can’t afford to join.
Blok is a good example of a small-time developer who has a lot to contribute to a project like the OpenXR. He's an independent hobbyist developer, who in his spare time created the ReVive application that creates compatibility between the Oculus Home and HTC Vive hardware so that you can play Oculus-exclusive content with a Vive headset. Blok offers the ReVive application free of charge, so he doesn’t get revenue from its use or distribution. He recently opened a Patreon account so people could contribute to further development of the ReVive application. He set a stretch goal of $3,500, which would allow him to purchase an Associate Member membership for the Khronos Group so that he could contribute to OpenXR.
Blok’s Patreon page is currently at $2,161 per month, but he doesn’t have to worry about shelling out the $3,500 fee anymore. The developer posted an update to let his patrons know that he is now a member of the Khronos Group and the organization waived his membership fee.
“I've joined the OpenXR working group.Thanks to the support on Patreon I've joined the OpenXR working group. OpenXR is a new open standard for VR that will allow VR developers to support all headsets through one API. It's currently still being developed and estimated to release in 2018.Just like Revive, OpenXR is an attempt to unify the VR market. However, unlike Revive, OpenXR is being developed with cooperation from the actual platform owners like Oculus and Valve. I'm excited to have the opportunity to help develop this new standard.“After contacting the working group, they've decided to sponsor my membership. This means the membership fee is being waived and the $3,500 from you Patrons can be spent on the Revive project instead.”
There’s no doubt that Blok’s experience in this field would be of great value to the OpenXR Working Group, and it seems like the people at the Khronos Group would agree.