Microsoft unveiled fresh, immersive features for its Microsoft Mesh-powered Team platform, it announced at its Build 2023 event on Tuesday.
With the update, users can add immersive experiences to private previews on the platform, leading to greater engagement while attending meetings.
Teams users can now connect in immersive spaces with realistic interactivity. Meeting attendees can now walk over to groups, wave to others, and similar activities.
The platform also incorporates spatial audio to locate sounds across conversations or engage others with private, isolated chats.
It also provides cross-platform connectivity across virtual reality (VR) headsets such as the Meta Quest 2 and Quest Pro, PCs, laptops, and others. This offers the flexibility to join meetings as physical faces or virtual avatars.
Microsoft’s latest iteration of Avatars for Teams allows attendees also to break the cycle of video fatigue common among remote workers and their colleagues. Users can switch on or off their video feeds to activate their avatars, all while engaging and collaborating with colleagues.
Microsoft will roll out the Mesh updates amid the Build event, which is taking place from 23 to 25 May for Teams Technology Adoption Programme (TAP) clients. Platforms such as Microsoft 365 Enterprise E3 and E5, Microsoft 365 Business Standard and Premium, and Teams Premium users will receive access to the rollout.
Takeda Case Study
Solutions like Mesh aim to create flexible, agile, and immersive workspaces, reducing the need to travel while digitally building co-presence. It also hopes to reduce travel costs, saving companies money and time.
According to a case study from Microsoft, Japanese pharmaceutical giant Takeda began leveraging Mesh in 2023 for its learning and collaborative initiatives.
The company developed numerous environments on the Mesh platform such as its Hirameki Garden. The immersive space transported workers to a centre for learning culture, onboarding new hires, and socialisation.
Takea also developed an immersive museum to showcase its company offerings, history, culture, and staff.
According to the Tokyo, Japan-based enterprise, the initiative channeled its company philosophy of “better health for people, brighter future for the world.”
Leo Barella, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Data, Digital, and Technology, Takeda, explained further. He said his company aimed to use digital innovations to “create a culture of collaboration” and empower teams to “work together in new and exciting ways.”
“We are excited about the vision for Microsoft Mesh to connect people to our company mission, our culture, and to one another, enabling our people to shape the future and drive better outcomes for our patients every day”
Further Use Cases for Microsoft Mesh
Other companies like Accenture have used the solution for its One Accenture Park space, where it onboards and trains its new employees. Many of the scenes on the platform mirror real-world locations.
DXC Technology PriceWaterhouseCooper (PwC), the World Economic Forum (WEF), Telefonica, and others have also tapped the technology. Many have used Mesh for hosting guided tours, onboarding processes, and industry events.
Mesh also seamlessly integrates with the Unity gaming engine to adjust the parameters of immersive environments. Mesh will also provide Unity developers with bespoke or personal 3D environments with its proprietary toolkit.
New features also include cloud scripting for integrating company data in immersive environments with AI-powered interfaces. This leverages computing languages and platforms such as C#, .NET Core, and others.
Unity devs can also integrate interactive content like videos, realistic physics, games, and debugging tools across the Mesh platform.
Technological integrations have empowered users to host online events using the platform at scale securely. This comes with presentations, animations, and corporate assets for a reliable, interactive experience.