Microsoft's German headquarters in Munich (illustration).
Alexander Pohl / Sipa USA / SIPA
Microsoft announced on Tuesday the launch of an augmented reality collaboration platform, Mesh.
Users will be able to find their way around in the form of avatars or holograms in the same room, one more step towards a dematerialized future for work and other human activities.
“A key advantage of mixed reality has always been the ability to be represented elsewhere, despite space and time barriers.
I can be in a factory even if I am not there (…) so that we have the same physical feeling of the presence of the other ”, declared this Tuesday Alex Kipman, in charge of these topics at Microsoft, during of an online marketing event from the IT giant.
Introducing Microsoft Mesh.
It enables presence and shared experiences from anywhere - across devices - through mixed reality applications.
- Microsoft (@Microsoft) March 2, 2021
The new platform should allow the development of tailor-made applications.
These can use augmented reality headsets (like Microsoft's HoloLens 2, sold from $ 3,500) or virtual reality, but also the usual screens, smartphones to computers.
With augmented reality glasses, users can for example see objects and images of people, in 3D, in the form of avatars (stylized characters) or even holograms, superimposed in their living room.
They will be able to talk to each other as during a video call, and also see the movements of other participants, thanks to the sensors with which the devices are equipped.
“A travel agency could create an experience for you to visit the ruins of ancient Greece.
An architectural firm can design a virtual model for colleagues to work together wherever they are, ”said Frank Shaw, vice president of Microsoft, in a statement.
Augmented reality glasses in the pipeline
The platform works from Azure, the group's cloud service (remote computing).
It is part of Microsoft's efforts to establish itself in the now highly competitive market for teleworking and mixed reality tools in general, a concept that mixes augmented reality (superimposed on the real environment) and virtual reality (immersive ).
Augmented reality glasses are in the pipeline of several large technology companies, Facebook in the lead, but also Apple, according to rumors in the American press.
On Monday and Tuesday, Microsoft and Google also presented new features and improvements for their telecommuting tools.
The two companies, like Facebook, seek in particular to facilitate collaboration within companies between field workers and those in the offices, but also with outside organizations.
“People think of 2020 as the year that work moved home.
But in reality, this is the year that work moved to the cloud, ”said Frank Shaw.
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