Microsoft Mesh, the company's platform for mixed reality communication and collaboration, is entering private preview this week. Microsoft announced the news at its Build 2023 developer conference, along with some updates for Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft Mesh is a platform that enables developers and creators to build custom immersive environments that enhance collaboration among hybrid workforces. With Mesh, developers and creators can create or port 3D environments, add interactivity using cloud scripting, integrate interactive content and leverage physics tools for custom interactions. The platform also offers advanced event management capabilities, allowing the production of immersive experiences for large-scale events and virtual conferences.
Microsoft said that Mesh powers immersive experiences that it is integrating into Microsoft Teams, its flagship communication and collaboration app. These experiences include avatars and immersive spaces, which are designed to help employees form personal connections and avoid video fatigue.
“Mesh powers immersive experiences that we are integrating into Microsoft Teams, helping employees form personal connections where work happens,” writes Microsoft in its announcement blog. “We are not only building experiences to help people foster connections in Microsoft Teams –we are also offering developers and creators a whole new opportunity to build custom experiences that help bring people together within an organization.”
Microsoft Mesh Helping to Make Teams More Immersive
Avatars for Microsoft Teams are rolling out this week for some Microsoft 365 customers. Avatars allow users to customize their digital appearance and presence in virtual meetings. Users can choose from a variety of options to create their avatars, such as hairstyle, skin tone, clothing and accessories. Users can also switch between their avatars and their live video feed during a meeting.
Immersive spaces for Microsoft Teams are accessible through PC or mixed-reality headsets. Immersive spaces enable participants to engage in virtual environments that replicate in-person interactions. Through spatial audio, users can experience sound as they would in a physical setting. Immersive spaces for Teams are currently available to Teams Technology Adoption Program (TAP) customers in private preview.
Microsoft said that these new features are part of its vision to create a metaverse for work, where people can collaborate across physical and digital boundaries. Microsoft Mesh and Microsoft Teams are two of the key components of this vision, along with other services such as Azure Spatial Anchors, Azure Digital Twins and Azure Remote Rendering.
Microsoft Mesh preview and Teams updates are some of the highlights of Build 2023, Microsoft's annual developer conference. The event also featured announcements on Windows 11, Azure, Visual Studio, Power Platform and more.