Switching between mixed and virtual reality while playing

Will it be possible to have one application that can switch between mixed reality and virtual reality while playing?

We have some neat ideas where you start in mixed reality and then go over into virtual reality but I’ve only seen the editor option where you have to choose either one of them.

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Great question! Let me check with the team and we’ll get back to you.

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+1 It would be a wonderful feature to have. A number of Unity developers excited about VP are planning to go between AR and VR modes. If there’s a platform limitation it would be good to know.

So right now, it is not possible to create an app that switches between Mixed Reality and Virtual reality. You can however work around this by adding a virtual environment around the user in a Mixed Reality app, but there are platform limitations to consider like virtual content behind the physical world.

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Thank you for the reply!

Is switching between modes on the roadmap or is this not a planned feature?

Another question I have is: would it be possible to start a virtual reality app/game from within a mixed reality? That would already make it possible to switch between the two.
A follow up question would then also be: would it be possible to then go back to the mixed reality app/game?

Another thing that popped up is: not quite sure how it is currently handled when opening a virtual reality game but does it fade in nicely? Or would we be able to control this somehow?

We’re hoping to release a roadmap soon.

Not really it falls under the same restriction mentioned above as something we don’t currently support.

The platform supports the concept of switching “modes” like going from an app in the shared space (volume) to an immersive space (mixed reality).

Currently there is no transition behavior. The platform supports a mode called progressive that lets the users turn the physical dial to control a skybox / level of immersion. It’s not something we currently support with PolySpatial.

When the roadmap goes live there should be a place to submit feedback and suggestions.

If you’re okay sharing I’m curious what type of experience you are building that would leverage the different modes and transitions.

Thank you for the information!

We are experimenting with putting the menu (not UI, but actual objects) of our game in the mixed reality mode, where one could interact with objects to start the actual gameplay, which would be in virtual reality mode. Then once you’ve finished a level you would go back from virtual to mixed mode, and repeat the cycle!

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Though I suspect I know the answer, but what about going from windowed to shared/mixed reality? For example having a game where all the usual menus and such are in windowed mode, but then gameplay would switch to a volume and then exit back?

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+1 I’m really interested by this answer. Do you have any news ?

Yes this is supported with the latest updates to the volume camera configuration. We don’t fully support windows yet but having an app that moves between the shared space (volumes) and the immersive space (mixed reality) is possible. You can just have two different scenes that have different volume camera setups and load them in unity.

Because of how we support VR mode (metal compositor) we don’t support the ability to go between a VR app and an app in the shared space (polyspatial app) or mixed reality (polyspatial app).

An app can transition between shared space (volume) and immersive space (mixed reality) and back whenever it chooses.

Hope this helps clear things up a bit.

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Thanks for clearing up the state of things. Its a bummer that anyone building VR games (using metal, for full stylistic control) won’t be able to utilize the platform level gaze + pinch within their apps. I think users may be confused by this or think that VR devs are being lazy on the design side, so I hope this can make it onto the roadmap if technically feasible.

And FYI, if anyone is wondering if gaze + pinch will be available directly in full VR apps, it seems the answer is no for now as well. More on this here:
https://discussions.unity.com/t/gaze-selection-possible-in-fully-immersive-apps/305485/9

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Can we get VR mode for polyspatial apps then as an alternative to metal compositor ( with all the pros and cons that go along with it ) ? Our App ( mainly a mixed Reality app that sometimes need to switch to VR) would greatly benefit from that.

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Would it potentially be possible using “Unity as a package” to have our app load an intro screen in mixed reality (say created in SwiftUI), then have a button that would load the fully immersive VR experience made with Unity?

I’ll note that as feedback but it’s not currently in our development plans.

Theres some discussion around using “unity as a library” here Unity as a library on VisionOS - #3 by timonweide-sap but I don’t think it’s fully working yet.

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HI @DanMillerU3D, thanks for the key information on this thread. On Oct 23, you mentioned

We don’t fully support windows yet

but I haven’t been able to track down documentation on what’s supported vs what isn’t. Specifically, we were wondering if the following is supported, or will be soon:

  • resizing windows using the VisionOS resize control in the lower-right corner.
  • multiple windows (bounded volumes in a shared space) concurrent in a scene.
  • material similar to Glass, which gives translucent properties recommended by Apple.

Thanks again for your help!

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Hi Dan,
thanks for the explanation. Does it mean Unity won’t support switch between MR and VR ? So it means we have to do 2 apps, one for MR (shared and Immersive) and one for VR ?
thanks for the reply,

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@DanMillerU3D , any info shareable on the question if Unity will support MR and VR in the same project on VisionOS ?
Thanks

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Hi @DanMillerU3D Thanks for clarifying.

Is switching between VR and MR mode something you are planning to implement in the future or it’s simply not possible?

We’re building an app which would greatly benefit from switching between the modes.

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I asked the Apple guys yesterday during my lab session in London about switching at runtime between immersive space and full immersive space and they said it’s totally feasible natively so I suppose Unity could do it also… @DanMillerU3D, what is the status of this feature ? Thanks

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Currently due to the architecture between how we support mixed reality (polyspatial) and how we support virtual reality (metal compositor) it is not possible to have a single app that can transition between VR → MR or MR → VR.

I recommend using our recently launched visionOS roadmap to surface this idea.

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