Just days after Facebook rebranded to Meta to reflect the company's aspiration in the metaverse space, Microsoft Corp announced that it is gearing up to take its own stab at the idea and will launch Mesh for its video conferencing platform Teams in the first half of 2022, where its customers can interact as well as collaborate in 3D digital avatars in offices, or on shop floors.
Mesh is a collaborative communication platform introduced by the tech giant for virtual experiences, directly into Microsoft Teams. The virtual collaboration tool lets people interact with each other using 3D holographic images.
The initiative is a part of a big push by the company to amalgamate its mixed reality and HoloLens work with video calls and meetings that anyone can participate in through their animated avatars.
"I can't overstate how much of a breakthrough this is. It's no longer just looking at a camera view of a factory floor, you can be on the floor. It's no longer just video conferencing with colleagues, you can be with them in the same room. It's no longer just playing a game with friends, you can be in the game with them," Satya Nadella, chief executive of Microsoft, said during Microsoft's Ignite conference on November 2.
Through this, the company is adapting its signature software products to create a more corporate variation of the metaverse, with PowerPoint and Excel to boot.
A concept promoted by Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, Metaverse lets users live, work and play with interconnected virtual worlds.
However, while Facebook is targeting its focus on building products that will bring customers into the metaverse fold, Microsoft is eying enterprises.
Also Read: Why Facebook changed its name to Meta
"Let's start by defining the term, and no, it is not the metaverse first imagined by Neal Stephenson," the company said in a blog post. American novelist Stephenson coined the term metaverse in his 1992 science fiction novel 'Snow Crash'.
"As enterprises accelerate their digital transformation, the metaverse can help people meet up in a digital environment, make meetings more comfortable with the use of avatars and facilitate creative collaboration from all around the world," the post further stated.
Microsoft added that its cloud platforms let customers create "digital twins" of physical objects in the cloud, whereas Mesh allows a "shared sense of presence" on devices.
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