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Discover the latest trends on-the-go. This is a quick topic recap of one of the five biggest AR/VR trends in March identified by SparkAmplify. Below is a recap on Microsoft’s latest conference that included the introduction of a new XR platform, which has been a trending topic in the AR/VR sphere. For more information on SparkAmplify’s monthly AR/VR topic analysis, please visit: https://www.sparkamplab.com/
In Summary: Microsoft has launched Microsoft Mesh, an augmented reality platform which allows developers to code AI for virtual meetings. It has been reported that the company hopes to bring some Mesh capabilities to Teams down the line.
Why It Matters: As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, an increasing number of employees have begun to work from home. The spike in Microsoft Teams usership has resulted in the tech giant refining office settings, creating a hybrid model that combines remote access with in-person work.
Details: Microsoft’s plans for Mesh include incorporating larger screens, meeting rooms with eye-level cameras and spatial audio. These will help facilitate face-to-face meetings with life-size colleagues who are working remotely. While Mesh appears to require a whole host of new hardware, a Microsoft spokesperson states that it will be an extension of existing Teams capabilities.
Microsoft Mesh will enable geographically distributed teams to conduct collaborative meetings, design sessions, assist others, learn together, and host virtual social meetings. Even more fascinating is the fact that users will be able to express themselves as avatars in these shared virtual meetings, and over time use holoportation to project themselves in their most lifelike, photorealistic selves.
There will be a preview of the Microsoft Mesh app for HoloLens, which allows team members to remotely collaborate and is available for download. Users can also request access to an updated version of AltspaceVR, which will allow companies to hold meetings and work gatherings in virtual reality with enterprise-grade security features.
The company also states that over time, there will be an increased range of Microsoft Mesh-enabled applications built by external developers and partners for users to choose from. Mesh is also set to benefit from planned integration with existing Microsoft platforms like Teams and Dynamics 365.
The Power of XR: Microsoft Mesh is powered by Azure, the company’s cloud computing platform. Mesh will thus benefit from Azure’s enterprise-grade security and privacy features, as well as its vast computational resources, data, AI and mixed reality services.
As Microsoft Technical Fellow Alex Kipman states, “In these collaborative experiences, the content is not inside the device or application. The holographic content is in the cloud, and I just need the special lenses that allow me to see it.” Such is the power of mixed reality.