Microsoft Teams is getting 3D avatars and virtual environments on the platform as part of the tech giant’s push to enter the metaverse. As hybrid work takes place around the world, Mesh for Microsoft Teams will allow people in different locations to join collaborative and shared holographic experiences with the productivity tools of the video calling app. People will be able to join virtual meetings, send chats, collaborate on shared documents, and more. Microsoft says Mesh platform will allow people to meet in virtual space without having to turn on their webcams
Microsoft at its Ignite 2021 conference, announced Mesh for Microsoft Teams. Mesh for Teams will begin previewing in the first half of 2022.
“As a productivity-driven, knowledge-worker-driven company, this is something customers really ask of us, and it’s coupled with the vision of mixed reality that we’ve been working on for 12 years. It all comes together, ”said Alex Kipman, Microsoft technical member.
With custom avatars, Microsoft Teams users can ensure their presence in meetings without turning on webcams. They will be able to create and join a Teams meeting as a unique, personalized avatar. Other meeting participants can also be seen as avatars. Participants can show off on video or use a static image or bubble with initials. The avatar has customization options and can use artificial intelligence (AI) to mimic movements as well as gestures.
Likewise, organizations can create immersive spaces – their own metaverse – within teams. Microsoft says Mesh for Teams users can bring their avatars into these spaces to mingle, collaborate on projects and experience these “chance encounters” that spark innovation. None of this will initially require a VR headset. Users can access Mesh on HoloLens 2, VR headsets, standard mobile phones, tablets or PCs, using any Mesh compatible application.
Mesh is built on the foundation of Teams features like Together Mode and more that Microsoft says it has developed to make hybrid work culture more productive. Mesh, was originally announced in March of this year and is powered by Azure cloud computing systems. Microsoft’s push for the metaverse comes after Facebook unveiled virtual chat rooms as part of its new branding to be called Meta.
Microsoft announced that it has partnered with Accenture to create the “Nth Floor” using Mesh which functions as a virtual campus where employees can meet for coffee, presentation, parties and events, whatever. their location. Currently, new Accenture hires are meeting on Teams and being instructed on how to create a digital avatar and access the virtual space called One Accenture Park.