microsoft mesh

Microsoft Mesh for Teams

October 21, 2022

If you are like me you are probably a bit skeptical about the metaverse.

Facebook first announced the Metaverse a year or so ago and back then this seemed very futuristic but in reality it’s actually here already.

Now what is the metaverse and how does Microsoft fit in?

Over the past 10 or so years the way we communicate has evolved dramatically. We have gone from phone to text, picture messaging to video. We have gone from reading the newspaper and books to Facebook and tic Tok.
The metaverse (as they call it) is simply what comes next.

Now the metaverse is essentially the internet but you’re not looking at it from a screen you’re actually emerged inside the screen using augmented reality and virtual reality.
Think of anything you want to be doing right now like shopping, hanging with friends, skydiving or sitting on a tropical island…. now snap your fingers and you are instantly teleported to your desired location in the metaverse that will feel real with real people.

The metaverse will also allow you to express yourself anyway you want to.
Don’t like your hair? -Change your avatar. Would prefer to be on the slimmer side? - Simply slim down the avatar. Your avatar can change whatever you don’t like about yourself. Think of the avatar as your virtual twin.

Now as far-fetched as this seems, this technology is here whether you like it or not and although personally this isn’t something I would be interested in adopting into my everyday life, it does however have some strong business use cases…..

After two years of COVID disrupting business and the ongoing isolation periods for staff and family illness, corporate businesses in NZ and around the world have adopted more of a hybrid workforce utilizing Microsoft Teams. Due to this we have seen a huge increase in productivity across every sector, but employees have also stated that they miss the interaction with co-workers and online meetings lack a personal touch which is key when building strong relationships.

To combat these issues Microsoft developed a solution called Microsoft Mesh for Teams, which to summarize, allows organisations to create metaverses, persistent virtual worlds for people to collaborate, places that connect the physical world to the virtual world via digital twins of people, places and things.

Microsoft’s vision of Mesh is: “the ability to bridge the digital and the physical worlds.”

Here are a couple of key business use cases

Camera shy employees.
Many shy away from the camera and no matter the reason it is simple to turn this video feature off which defeats the purpose of using Teams. You may as well be having a phone call.
Microsoft Mesh solves this by allowing you to present yourself as a 3D Avatar aka your avatar twin. You can engage colleges and customers via your avatar with eye contact, facial expressions, and gestures that allow your real personality to come through and make it feel like a real-life meeting.

Remote employees are feeling isolated and disconnected to the team
Microsoft Mesh inside teams will allow you to immerse your twin self into the virtual office where you can talk and interact with co-workers. It will feel like you are in the office but without wasting hours fighting through peak hour traffic. You don’t even need to worry about dressing up - Simply hang out in your PJs on the couch and get your avatar to present you in any way you desire. Not only does this save time but employees will feel more engaged and present which aids in developing strong relationships within internal teams.

Recruiting the right people
When recruiting the right people, it can be hard to find employees with the right skill set. Now you can look outside your region or even country to recruit talent. New employees can meet the team and engage with co-workers digitally inside the metaverse. It doesn’t matter where they are based they can still work together in the Metaverse.

Employee training & Live events
Train together from anywhere – employees get to experience in-person learning – without the time and cost of travel. Live events can also be held in the metaverse with attendees from all around the world – imagine the savings from overseas travel to conferences.

Now this is just the tip of what we will be able to achieve inside the metaverse. Microsoft will continue to evolve this product and the world we live in today and how we work, will all become a distant memory as the digital and physical world combine.

Learn More: Introducing Microsoft Mesh

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