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  • Writer's pictureSamiksha Jain

Now Experience 3D and VR in Microsoft Teams



Microsoft has recently launched a new feature in Microsoft Teams, named Microsoft Mesh, which is a significant step in enhancing virtual meetings. This feature was previously in a testing phase but is now fully integrated into Microsoft Teams. Here's a detailed explanation of this news in simpler terms:


What is Microsoft Mesh?

Microsoft Mesh is a mixed-reality platform developed by Microsoft. It combines virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to create immersive 3D meeting experiences.


Integration with Microsoft Teams:

Microsoft Mesh has now been added to Microsoft Teams, a popular tool used by businesses for communication and collaboration. This integration allows Teams users to have virtual meetings in a more interactive and engaging 3D environment.


Experience of Using Mesh in Teams:

The experience of using Mesh in Teams is similar to AltspaceVR, a social VR platform once owned by Microsoft. It's especially designed for corporate use.

To get the best experience, it’s ideal to use a VR headset. Currently, Mesh in Teams supports VR headsets from Meta, specifically the Quest models.


Participating in Virtual 3D Meetings:

Even without a VR headset, you can still participate in these 3D meetings.

One of the key features is 'spatial audio', which allows you to have private conversations by moving away from others in the virtual space, similar to what you would do in a real office.


Customizable 3D Environments:

The virtual spaces are customizable. For example, you can play interactive games like tossing bean bags, or use icebreaker questions to engage with remote colleagues.


Availability and Requirements:

All standard Mesh features, including the immersive spaces in Teams, are available with Microsoft Teams business plans.

If you want to create your own custom immersive space, you need to have a Teams Premium license.


Background and Future of Mesh:

Microsoft Mesh was first used about three years ago, envisioned as a virtual future for Teams meetings.

While Mesh continues to exist as a separate platform for developers to create VR/AR experiences, its main role now seems to be as a feature within Teams rather than a standalone platform.


Business Adoption:

Companies like Accenture, BP, Takeda, and Mercy Ships are already using Mesh. However, these are only a few compared to the vast number of companies that use Teams daily.

There are questions about how widely businesses will adopt this technology for their virtual meetings.


In summary, Microsoft Teams now has an advanced feature, Microsoft Mesh, which brings a new dimension to virtual meetings through 3D environments and VR technology. This integration aims to make online meetings more interactive and engaging, although its widespread adoption in the business world is still uncertain.


FAQs

Q1. What is Microsoft Mesh for Teams?

Answer: Microsoft Mesh for Teams is a feature that integrates virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) into Microsoft Teams. It allows users to engage in immersive 3D meetings, offering a more interactive and realistic virtual meeting experience.


Q2. Do I need a VR headset to use Microsoft Mesh in Teams?

Answer: While Microsoft Mesh is optimized for use with VR headsets, particularly Meta’s Quest models, it is not mandatory. You can still participate in 3D meetings without a VR headset, though the experience might be less immersive.


Q3. What is spatial audio in Microsoft Mesh, and how does it work?

Answer: Spatial audio is a feature in Microsoft Mesh that mimics real-life audio experiences. It allows you to have private conversations within a virtual meeting by moving away from others, just as you would in a physical office space.


Q4. Can I customize my 3D environment in Microsoft Mesh?

Answer: Yes, Microsoft Mesh offers customizable 3D environments. Users can interact through games or icebreaker activities, making the virtual meeting experience more engaging.


Q5. Who can access Microsoft Mesh in Teams?

Answer: Microsoft Mesh features are available to users with Microsoft Teams business plans. For deploying custom immersive spaces, a Teams Premium license is required.


Q6. Is Microsoft Mesh a separate platform or part of Teams?

Answer: Microsoft Mesh started as a separate mixed-reality platform but is now integrated into Microsoft Teams. It acts as a feature within Teams rather than an independent platform.


Q7. Which companies are currently using Microsoft Mesh?

Answer: Some notable companies using Microsoft Mesh include Accenture, BP, Takeda, and Mercy Ships. However, this represents a small fraction of all Microsoft Teams users.


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