Microsoft Updates Mesh Avatars at Ignite 2022

The tech giant debuted updates for its Private Preview programme amid its world-class annual conference

Microsoft Mesh for Teams
Mixed RealityNews Analysis

Published: October 13, 2022

Demond Cureton

Microsoft has unveiled its Mesh avatar solution for Teams, where people conduct meetings and conversations with real-time 3D (RT3D) avatars, it was announced in a blog post amid the Microsoft Ignite event on Wednesday.

The tech giant will begin rolling out Private Preview options for Technology Adoption Program (TAP) customers to receive feedback for the final release.

The news comes after company figures revealed that roughly 50 percent of Millennial and Gen Z users hope to work in the Metaverse over the next two years.

Plugging into Teams Avatars

The new technology will offer some of Microsoft’s first metaverse experiences for general customers, without the need for a camera. Attendees can pick their favourite avatar for their special occasion, whether in a casual, regular, or professional setting, the Redmond, Washington-based firm explained.

Teams users can add the Mesh app from the home screen or use a builder platform in meetings. In the Mesh avatar builder, people can customise their avatars with enhanced features, clothing, and options.

Attendees can later select their avatars for use in meetings along with several backgrounds similarly to regular Teams meetings. The new option provides more “personal, engaging, and fun” interactions, with Microsoft adding mood toggles and camera angle adjustments.

Muhammad Kapasi, General Engineering Manager for Mesh, said that Microsoft believed “representation matters” and that had taken avatar customisation options “very seriously.”

He continued, stating,

“We want to make avatars as unique as you are, so we are enabling features to celebrate diversity and inclusivity.” The Mesh avatar builder allows you to select from hundreds of combinations to customize your avatar that represent your physical attributes, wardrobe, accessories, and more”

The news comes amid the Microsoft Ignite event taking place from 12 to 14 October, which aims to showcase some of the firm’s most innovative solutions. Platforms such as Teams, Dynamics365, Azure, and Microsoft Dev Box, among others, will debut massive updates for the three-day event.

Major Updates for Microsoft’s MR Ambitions

Microsoft joined the Metaverse space race last November after announcing avatar integration for remote workers in the first fiscal half of 2022.

At last year’s Ignite event, Microsoft debuted the new technology with a video of remote workers appearing as avatars in Teams meetings.

Mesh integrates seamlessly across Microsoft’s suite of applications and hardware options, including its flagship mixed reality (MR) headset, the HoloLens 2.

Massive news dropped at the Meta Connect 2022 event on Tuesday after Meta Chief Executive and Founder, Mark Zuckerberg, and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella jointly announced huge integrations for the Meta Quest Pro and Quest 2.

Users will gain access to a trove of new features, including Microsoft Teams meetings, Office 365 productivity tools, XBOX and Meta Quest Store collaborations, and many others.



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