Most offices switched to the cloud suddenly and immediately after the COVID-19 pandemic. These “offices” only operate in the abstract, depending on real-time chat systems such as Slack and e-mail for communication.
Microsoft’s Mesh technology will enable users to collaborate virtually across a number of applications. Mesh is a tool that allows people to wear virtual reality headsets. Mesh was revealed at the company’s Ignite conference on March 3rd.
The design is more complex than any of the more basic virtual reality workplace models we’ve seen from companies like Facebook. Mesh envisions an unique virtual reality experience in which holographic avatars communicate with items in the physical environment.
Mesh technology will be integrated into Microsoft’s Teams collaboration platform. The project is still in its beginning, and the technology is still being developed.
Is it that easy?
Apps should keep the procedure easy for a straightforward VR experience. The software will place users in simulated seats around a digital space and monitor their head motions using the headgear’s internal motion sensors. Bringing specifically mapped digital objects and team members into a physical environment, however, is a more involved task.
Along with monitoring individuals, the system must also keep track of their position in order for people to communicate with things that could only exist in the cloud. This job is handled by spatial maps, which provide a precise three-dimensional representation of the space you’re in as well as the other objects in the region.
Is it usable now?
Mesh seems like a natural extension of HoloLens in several respects. Microsoft’s smart monitor for the head now overlays artificial directions and items into real-world environments. Mesh allows you to have more users in the process by allowing them to handle interactive copies of the same items alongside you.
The company also proposes a scenario in which people from different places come together to see a single central performance. The group has also started working with Cirque Du Soleil’s parent company to provide virtual reality access to their shows.
For the time being, Mesh implementations are only used in limited contexts, the majority of which would not be available to the general public for some time. However, if Microsoft stays dedicated to the project and other developers join in, to develop for the app, it could offer an early glimpse into what remote teamwork looks like as physical offices continue to recover from the pandemic. Soon, you would be able to tell the organizer’s holographic face, “This virtual meeting should have been an email.”