Microsoft is updating Teams to include virtual worlds and 3D characters.
To hold a meeting in a virtual reality setting, Mesh will serve as the teamwork platform.
Microsoft Teams’ new virtual reality capabilities will roll out in the first half of 2022.
Facebook, er, Meta, has recently announced its ambitious ambitions for the metaverse, which will use the combined power of virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality to bring the entire world to the internet.
Virtual user avatars are an integral aspect of the metaverse and may be taken with the user to any location, including meetings. Okay, that’ll be a while. Sadly, not for Microsoft.
It has introduced Mesh, a metaverse-like system that would provide virtual reality collaboration features to users of Microsoft’s Teams.
For virtual meetings, conferences, and video conversations, Mesh will leverage Microsoft’s mixed reality technology with HoloLens headsets, and users of Teams will be able to participate with avatars that, for the time being at least, appear a little less fun than Meta’s version for the metaverse.
The Meta Horizon Workrooms are a good example of how this technology could be better integrated with Microsoft 365. In this way, if you want to work together on a document in a virtual environment, all you have to do is put on your VR goggles and assume the roles of the various people involved.
While virtual reality avatars are being heralded as the future of teamwork, Microsoft’s Mesh technology will allow users to participate in normal web- or app-based Teams’ meetings as both their VR counterparts and themselves.
Teams’ video conversations will support a 3D avatar that you can personalize, and it will work even if you don’t have a headset. Your avatar can display you in either 3D or 2D, depending on the requirements of the meeting.
In contrast, the 3D avatars will allow for greater interactivity. Microsoft will utilize AI to analyze your voice and animate your character so that it appears as though you are actually saying the words.
When making a video call, you’ll have the option to raise your hands via your avatar by using the “raise hand” button.
During the height of the pandemic, when everyone was hunkered down in their houses, the foundations for this technology were laid.
As a result of the rise in popularity of
online meeting and collaboration tools, however, “meeting fatigue” has emerged as a recognized phenomenon.
Mesh is Microsoft’s attempt to reduce it after launching the Together Mode for Teams, with the goal of making users feel more at ease during online conferences.
Microsoft’s goal with Mesh is to construct an improved and more extensive metaverse than Meta, the parent company of Facebook. As a result, Microsoft’s avatars will be non-binary, allowing users to select any gender identity they prefer.
Furthermore, the firm is developing translation and transcription capabilities for Mesh-powered meetings so that all attendees, regardless of language proficiency, may take part in the conversation.
The first half of 2022 is when Microsoft plans to release the updated virtual environments and avatars. Hopefully, by then, Meta will have developed a similarly timed strategy for its own release.
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