IT giant Microsoft is not far behind the metaverse trend after Facebook revealed its plans to rebrand as Meta. Microsoft has now introduced a fusion of its video conference software ‘Teams’ and its mixed reality (MR) platform ‘Mesh’, called ‘Mesh for Microsoft Teams’.
The company announced the news at the Microsoft Ignite conference held on November 2 where it revealed some of the exclusive features of the new product.
‘Mesh for Microsoft Teams’ combines the mixed reality (MR) function offered by Mesh with the productivity tools of Teams. Members in different locations at a time can participate in the same virtual space and provide a shared holographic experience.
For video conferences, users can choose to join themselves or use their avatar. In the MT, a new 3D avatar will be added to promote the Metaverse environment, but users can access it from smartphones and PCs without the need for a headset to experience VR.
Frank X Shaw, Microsoft’s corporate VP for communications, said in a blog post:
“The metaverse enables shared experiences across both the physical and digital worlds. As enterprises accelerate their digital transformation, the metaverse can help people meet up in a digital environment, make meetings more comfortable with the use of avatars, and facilitate creative collaboration from all around the world.”
The feature would use AI to analyze the voices and mimic movements of the participants and reflect them in the animated avatar.
In March of this year, Microsoft released Microsoft Mesh, a new MR platform that includes an avatar linked to user movements. It does so by combining the analysis of human eyes and hand movements using AI model creation and hologram construction technology.
Microsoft Technical Fellow Alex Kipman noted:
“As a company whose focus is on productivity, on knowledge workers, it’s something that customers are really asking us for, and it’s coupled with the vision of mixed reality that we’ve been working on for 12 years. It’s all coming together.”