Mixed Reality Toolkit (MRTK) v1 (aka HoloToolkit)

Apr 2017 – Apr 2018, Developer Experience Design | Analog | Microsoft

Mixed Reality Toolkit-Unity is an open-source project to share foundational components, building blocks for common interactions and UI controls for building Mixed Reality experiences in Unity.


The original version of MRTK, known as HoloToolkit didn’t have basic UI controls or spatial interaction building blocks. Because of this, a lot of developers and creators have to re-create or re-invent them. This created a big barrier for the new developers joining mixed reality and caused inconsistency in the app experiences.

Based on my personal experience in designing and developing apps for HoloLens, I proposed to the team to create common UI controls and interaction building blocks for Unity which is one of the most popular engines in AR/VR software development. The goal was to accelerate mixed reality app development and achieve a cohesive user experience.


  • Helped the team to define and prioritize the list of the building blocks for the developers
  • Worked with technical designers to build extensible and modular building blocks that people can easily customize and infuse own brand identity
  • Created example scenes that demonstrate how to use the building blocks
  • Polished the visual and interaction design of the controls
  • Reviewed Pull Requests on GitHub for UX related items
  • Created documents that explain technical details and design guidelines
  • Created videos with Mixed Reality Capture to promote MRTK’s features
  • Engaged with the developer community through multiple channels including GitHub, Slack, and Mixed Reality Academy
  • Drove re-branding effort from HoloToolkit to MRTK


Building Blocks

Bounding Box
Object Collection
Interactable Object

Medium articles on MRTK’s building blocks

To introduce useful building blocks in MRTK, I personally wrote an article on Medium. To make it easier to understand, I created videos, screenshots, and diagrams. This Medium post became one of the most popular articles on mixed reality, in the AR/VR designer/developer community.

MRTK: Open-Source Building Blocks for Windows Mixed Reality

Presented at Unity Unite Berlin 2018

Open-source Building Blocks for Windows Mixed Reality Experiences

Presented at AWE 2018

Open-source Building Blocks for Windows Mixed Reality Experiences. A talk in the Develop Track at AWE USA 2018 -XR Conference & Expo in Santa Clara, California May 30- June 1, 2018.


htk_release branch is the MRTK v1 (HoloToolkit)