Microsoft Mesh for Teams is set to enter its public preview phase this month. It promises Microsoft Teams users a unique opportunity to interact within virtual spaces that can provide an immersive enhancement to the standard Teams meetings. To make this easier, Microsoft recently released a free Mesh toolkit enabling developers to customize and create their own immersive Mesh spaces.
Microsoft brought its Mesh service to Teams in public preview last month. 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.
Free Mesh Toolkit: A Boon for Developers
True to its commitment made earlier this year, Microsoft has released a free toolkit for developers, empowering them to design their own immersive spaces. In an effort to ensure these spaces can accurately represent the organization, Microsoft has ensured that this virtual environment is highly customizable. The toolkit provides developers with a variety of tools, including Mesh graphics tools, physics, interactables, controllables, web slates, visual scripting, cloud scripting, play mode, uploader, and Content Performance Analyzer (CPA).
However, to utilize Microsoft Mesh, the company says that developers would require a Teams Premium License. Once the immersive spaces are designed in Unity using the tools provided by the Mesh toolkit, they can be uploaded to the Mesh Portal, ready for use by other Mesh users.
Microsoft Mesh Toolkit: A Detailed Look
The Mesh graphics tools consists of scripts, shaders, assets, and samples aimed at enhancing the visual fidelity of Mesh worlds while maintaining performance budgets. The toolkit incorporates Mesh physics to create enabling and engaging dynamic content, whilst interactables enable users to manipulate aspects of the Mesh environment.
The toolkit also includes controllables, which allow event hosts to coordinate video and timeline playback across multiple rooms, and web slates to display chosen web pages. Notably, visual scripting enables the addition of interactivity and dynamic runtime behavior to Mesh environments without the need for coding. The Mesh cloud scripting allows a connection to real-time backend data and the ability to call .NET APIs via cloud-hosted server scripts.
The Mesh play mode allows developers to preview their created content within the Mesh for multiple users. The Mesh uploader helps with building Mesh-compatible asset bundles from Unity content and uploading them to Mesh World. Lastly, the Mesh Content Performance Analyzer (CPA) contributes to content optimization by automatically reporting issues and opportunities before content is uploaded to the Mesh catalog.