Microsoft will soon be updating Teams to make meetings more immersive and launching new technologies in support of a hybrid work environment.
Just days after Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s big jump into the metaverse, Microsoft is adding itself to the big race with an initial set of updates improving its leading business communications platform, Teams.
The metaverse is here, and it’s not only transforming how we see the world but how we participate in it – from the factory floor to the meeting room. Take a look. pic.twitter.com/h5tsdYMXRD
— Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) November 2, 2021
“The Metaverse enables us to embed computing into the real world and to embed the real world into computing. Bringing real presence to any digital space. What’s most important is that we are able to bring our humanity with us, and choose how we want to experience this world,” Nadella explains.
With an update called “Mesh,” expected to begin rolling out in 2022, Microsoft will allow Teams users to enter immersive spaces with their personalized avatars to meet in the metaverse. In addition, the Mesh update will enable access to such spaces from any device, with no special equipment needed.
Further down the line, Mesh will also allow organizations to build their own custom spaces for meetings or social mixers.
At the Microsoft Ignite conference, Nadella also introduced the company’s new Dynamics 365 Connected Spaces, a product set to first preview in December, offering organizations a “hybrid work environment” that merges metaverse and artificial intelligence (AI) technology into their businesses using incoming data from cameras already set up in their stores, storefronts or factory floors.
“With the power of your existing cameras, harness computer vision and observational data to help complete the picture—giving a new perspective into people, places, and things,” wrote Connected Spaces’s general manager, Vishal Sood.
“Following deployment, simply turn on AI-powered models, known as skills, to help understand specific scenarios such as customer behavior at a promotional display, traffic patterns, and insights unique to your space.”
From business communications to gaming lines, Microsoft intends to dive deep into the metaverse with no hesitation. During an interview with Bloomberg TV earlier this week, Nadella also stated that the tech company would “absolutely” work on integrating the metaverse into the Xbox.
“If you take Halo as a game, it is a Metaverse. Minecraft is a Metaverse, and so is Flight Sim. In some sense, they’re 2D today and the question is can you now take that to a fully 3D world, and we absolutely plan to do so.”
Featured image: Microsoft