New Delhi: As physical meetings became virtual in the aftermath of the epidemic last year, Microsoft Corp’s video conferencing tool, Teams, was one of the biggest gainers. However, after 1.5 years, the world’s most valuable firm has decided to spice things up by jumping on the metaverse bandwagon.
Mesh for Teams will be released in the first half of 2022, bringing mixed reality features to Microsoft’s videoconferencing platform. Teams, which has 250 million monthly active users, is currently being promoted as the Metaverse’s main entry point.
On November 2, Microsoft made the announcement at the Microsoft Ignite 2021 conference.
This comes just a week after Facebook changed its name to Meta to reflect its ambitions in the metaverse. This year, Facebook will invest $10 billion in Facebook Reality Labs, which is responsible for the creation of the metaverse.
Microsoft Mesh, which was released in March 2021, is a virtual collaboration platform that allows users to connect with each other using 3D avatars or holographic representations. Mesh is an enterprise-focused platform that allows people to establish metaverses for workplace collaboration and has been utilised by firms like Accenture for onboarding new employees and virtual collaborations across teams around the world.
Teams, on the other hand, might be a perfect entrance for Microsoft’s metaverse, according to Microsoft Technical Fellow Alex Kipman, with 250 million active members.
“Mesh for Teams – which anyone will be able to access from standard smartphones and laptops to mixed-reality headsets – is designed to make online meetings more personal, engaging and fun. It’s also a gateway to the metaverse – a persistent digital world that is inhabited by digital twins of people, places and things. Think of the metaverse as a new version – or a new vision – of the internet, one where people gather to communicate, collaborate and share with personal virtual presence on any device,” the company said in a statement.
“The first step most users of Mesh for Teams will take is to join a standard Teams meeting as a customized avatar of themselves instead of as a static picture or on video. Organizations can also build immersive spaces – metaverses – within Teams. Mesh for Teams users can take their avatars into these spaces to mix and mingle, collaborate on projects and experience those serendipitous encounters that spark innovation,” the company said.
The preview of Mesh for Teams will be released in the first half of 2022. Users will be able to construct their own digital avatar from a selection of alternatives.