Microsoft has announced the launch of immersive 3D meetings within Microsoft Teams, incorporating its mixed-reality platform, Microsoft Mesh.
This integration enables users to convene in virtual spaces, whether or not they have a VR headset.
VR meetings can provide a more engaging experience than traditional video conferencing.
Teammates can engage with each other in 3D space through their virtual avatars, allowing them to feel closer to their colleagues and read nonverbal cues.
Mesh within Teams resembles a business-oriented version of AltspaceVR, which was previously acquired by Microsoft in 2017.
While 3D Mesh meetings function optimally with VR headsets, Microsoft currently only supports Meta’s Quest devices.
Participants can engage in virtual 3D meetings with features like spatial audio, simulating private conversations by moving away from others in virtual spaces.
Customizable 3D environments offer interactive elements such as games and icebreaker questions for remote colleagues.
Standard Mesh features, including immersive spaces, will be accessible to Microsoft Teams business plans, while a Teams Premium license is required for deploying custom immersive spaces.
Although Mesh was originally a standalone platform for VR/AR experiences, its integration into Teams seems seamless, making its evolution a core Teams feature.
However, concerns persist regarding the business adoption of virtual meetings.
While some companies like Accenture and BP are currently utilizing Mesh, its integration into Teams may drive broader adoption but risks overshadowing its identity as an independent platform.
However, with dozens of companies, like Wonder, Nowhere, and Nvidia Omniverse, creating new solutions for virtual 3D meeting spaces, the landscape is likely to continue to improve which will drive expanded adoption.