Microsoft has announced the public preview of Microsoft Mesh for Teams, set to be available in October 2023. This innovative feature aims to bring a three-dimensional immersive experience to virtual meetings, allowing participants to connect in a shared digital space. The integration of Mesh with Microsoft Teams is designed to make virtual interactions feel more like face-to-face connections, fostering relationship building, which 43% of leaders have identified as a significant challenge in remote work, according to Microsoft's Work Trend Index report.
Microsoft Mesh launched in public preview during May this year. With Microsoft Mesh, you can create and share immersive environments that make collaboration easier and more engaging for hybrid teams. You can design or import 3D scenes, add interactivity with cloud scripting, integrate interactive content and use physics tools for custom interactions. You can also manage and produce immersive events and virtual conferences with advanced event management features. Microsoft Mesh is a platform that empowers developers and creators to build the future of collaboration.
A New Dimension to Virtual Meetings
Microsoft Mesh for Teams offers a variety of features to create a more engaging and interactive virtual meeting environment. Users can choose and customize avatars, select from ready-made 3D environments suitable for different meeting needs, and assign seating arrangements to facilitate connections. The platform also introduces spatial audio and audio zones, enabling multiple simultaneous conversations within the same space. Additionally, participants can engage in built-in interactive activities and express themselves through live reactions, enhancing the overall meeting experience.
Accessibility and Customization
Ensuring accessibility, Microsoft Mesh can be joined through Microsoft Teams, a tool widely used by organizations, or through a custom immersive space in Mesh. The immersive experiences are initially available with PC or Meta Quest VR devices, with VR devices offering a richer experience. Beyond the standard features, Microsoft Mesh allows for the creation of custom immersive spaces tailored to specific business needs, such as employee events and training. Event organizers can use a no-code editor for customization or leverage the Unity platform for more advanced modifications.
Participation and Availability
Microsoft Mesh is not just about experiencing; it's about participation. Even those who join from a standard 2D Teams meeting can interact with colleagues in an immersive space and view shared content. The upcoming weeks will see the availability of Mesh experiences, with users requiring their admin to enable the Microsoft Mesh app in Teams to get started. For customizing immersive spaces in Microsoft Mesh, users can download the Mesh app for PC or Meta Quest devices, with a Teams Premium license being a prerequisite.
Innovative Applications and User Readiness
The announcement highlights that over 50% of employees are open to using innovations like immersive experiences for meetings and team activities. Several customers, including Takeda, Accenture, DXC Technology, PwC, Telefonica, and the World Economic Forum, have already been utilizing Microsoft Mesh. These organizations have been exploring the platform's potential to foster learning, creativity, and employee engagement through various applications such as virtual museums and cultural immersion spaces.
As Microsoft Mesh enters its public preview phase, the tech giant invites users to explore the platform and share feedback. The integration with Teams and the array of features it offers signify Microsoft's commitment to supporting flexible workplaces and enhancing virtual collaboration. The anticipation is palpable as organizations and employees await to see how Microsoft Mesh will reshape the dynamics of remote and hybrid work.