WinRT APIs with Unity for HoloLens

This page describes how to make use of WinRT APIs in your Unity project for HoloLens.

Mixed Reality APIs

A Mixed Reality focused subset of the Windows SDK has been made available in a .NET Standard 2.0 compatible projection, which you can use in your project without preprocessor directives. This includes most APIs in the Windows.Perception and Windows.UI.Input.Spatial namespaces, and may expand to include additional APIs in the future. The projected APIs can be used while running in the Editor, which enables the use of Play Mode. To use this projection, make the following modifications to your project:

  1. Add a reference to the Microsoft.Windows.MixedReality.DotNetWinRT NuGet package using NuGet for Unity.
  2. Prefix references to the Windows namespace with Microsoft.:
using namespace Microsoft.Windows.Perception.Spatial;
  1. Replace native pointer casts with FromNativePtr:
var worldOrigin = SpatialCoordinateSystem.FromNativePtr(unityWorldOriginPtr);

Conditionally include WinRT API calls

Alternatively, WinRT APIs can be leveraged for Unity projects built for the Universal Windows Platform and Xbox One platform by using preprocessor directives; any code that you write in Unity scripts that target WinRT APIs must be conditionally included for only those builds.

This can be done via two steps in Unity:

  1. API compatibility level must be set to .NET 4.6 or .NET Standard 2.0 in the player settings
    • Edit > Project Settings > Player > Configuration > Api Compatibility Level to .NET 4.6 or .NET Standard 2.0
  2. The preprocessor directive ENABLE_WINMD_SUPPORT must be wrapped around any WinRT-leveraged code

The following code snippet is from the Unity manual page for Universal Windows Platform: WinRT API in C# scripts. In this example, an advertising ID is returned, but only on UWP and Xbox One builds:

using UnityEngine;
public class WinRTAPI : MonoBehaviour {
    void Update() {
        auto adId = GetAdvertisingId();
        // ...

    string GetAdvertisingId() {
            return Windows.System.UserProfile.AdvertisingManager.AdvertisingId;
            return "";

Edit your scripts in a Unity C# project

When you double-click a script in the Unity editor, it will by default launch your script in an editor project. The WinRT APIs will appear to be unknown because the Visual Studio project does not reference the Windows Runtime. Further, the ENABLE_WINMD_SUPPORT directive will be undefined and any #if wrapped code will be ignored until you build your project into a UWP Visual Studio solution.

See also