Microsoft is introducing a 3-dimensional immersive meetings mode inside its Microsoft Teams software. The latest feature is called Mesh.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual meetings have become the new standard practice instead of the traditional face-to-face ones. But a typical virtual meeting gives a much lower-quality experience as compared to the real one. Tech giants have been putting heavy efforts into improving the experience and introducing new features and functionalities to improve meeting productivity.
Microsoft Teams is a well-known virtual meeting software with over 320 million users worldwide. Even though it is one of the best video-calling tools available for the business world, the team realized that it needed something more to keep its leadership stance intact. In its latest effort to improve the UX of Microsoft Teams, the tech giant recently launched Mesh, a mixed reality feature to provide immersive 3D video calling experience.
Service providers of video calling are quickly integrating new technologies to improve the user journeys and experiences. The latest tech in demand is 3D and VR. Microsoft Mesh facilitates a mixed version of both, known as mixed reality. The 3D calling feature lets people gather in virtual spaces of their choice without the need of a VR device.
Even though the feature works best with a VR headset, it is not necessary. Mesh also feels like a corporate version of the AltspaceVR, a social VR platform that was acquired by Microsoft in 2017 and later shut down last year. Microsoft Mesh currently supports only the Meta Quest devices for VR support.
Another interesting aspect of the Mesh feature is that it allows spatial recognition and mimics the physical distance between people. So, if you want to talk in private, you can simply move away from their VR character and they won’t be able to hear you. The 3D environments are highly customizable and also offer games like tossing bean bags to keep the waiting lobby engaged. It also offers icebreaker questions for remote colleagues who have never met before.
All the standard features of Mesh, including immersive spaces in Microsoft Teams, can be accessed in its business plans. A Teams Premium license is required to create a custom themed virtual space for team calls. Mesh still functions as an individual entity and also has its dedicated platform for VR and AR enthusiasts to access the technology.
Accenture, BP, Takeda, and Mercy Ships are all using Mesh right now, but that’s a tiny fraction of the companies that use Teams every day. The integration of Mesh into existing Microsoft team software will help, but it will require synchronization between various versions to work efficiently.