Not willing to be left out of the hype around the metaverse, Microsoft has announced Mesh for Microsoft Teams for a new generation of 2D and 3D virtual meetings.
“As computing becomes embedded in the real world, the real world is being embedded in computing,” Microsoft corporate vice president Jared Spataro explains. “That’s Mesh, the metaverse platform. We’re taking that experience and building Mesh right into Teams, recreating a lot of what we value about being together and extending productivity beyond what was previously possible.”
Mesh provides users with personalized avatars with AI-powered movements and gestures that help bring your physical presence into a meeting when your camera is off. And businesses will be able to create immersive spaces that resemble conference rooms, design centers, networking lounges, and other real-world places “to enhance camaraderie, spark creativity, and foster serendipitous water-cooler connections.,” Microsoft says.
Mesh builds on existing Teams features like Together mode and Presenter view, and it’s designed to make remote and hybrid meetings more collaborative and immersive by signaling to participants that they are together in the same virtual space.
Mesh for Microsoft Teams rolls out in 2022 and will work across PCs, smartphones, and Mixed Reality headsets.
It’s all coming together,” Microsoft Technical Fellow Alex Kipman says. “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.”
Additionally, Microsoft announced several other new Teams features, including new hybrid meeting experiences powered by new partner hardware, shared channel meetings, new webinar and broadcasting capabilities, new third-party apps that integrate with Teams (including Atlassian Jira Cloud, SAP, and ServiceNow), and a redesigned Teams Store, among others.