Technology

Microsoft Unveils Mesh, A Mixed-Reality Platform To Connect People From Different Places Through Holographic Approach

How cool would it be if you could join a meeting with people from different locations through holographic experience? Or you could explore the deep sea without any diving equipment? Perhaps you’d like your avatar to teleport to New York to attend your cousin’s birthday while you’re still in Dubai. 

Would be absolutely cool, right? 

Well, something similar happened on Tuesday, March 3, at Microsoft’s Ignite digital conference. 

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Via Microsoft Mesh – a new mixed-reality platform, Microsoft’s Alex Kipman appeared on a holographic stage to present the new platform. Kipman was remotely joined by Oscar-winning movie director James Cameron, Cirque du Soleil co-founder Guy Laliberté and Niantic’s CEO and founder John Hanke. The presentation highlighted the scope of Microsoft Mesh in creating shared experiences across the virtual and physical worlds. 

Kipman, the inventor of Kinect and HoloLens, said, “This has been the dream for mixed reality, the idea from the very beginning.”

 “You can actually feel like you’re in the same place with someone sharing content or you can teleport from different mixed reality devices and be present with people even when you’re not physically together.”

What is Microsoft Mesh?

It is a mixed-reality platform powered by Azure. It brings people together from different parts of the world to a common virtual platform where they get connected through holographic experiences and expressions. 

Microsoft Mesh is a cloud computing platform. It uses Azure’s enterprise-grade security and privacy features, extensive computational resources, data, artificial intelligence and mixed reality services. 

Video Source: Microsoft

Mesh utilizes hand and eye tracking technologies, and HoloLens to create persistent holograms and expressive avatars to allow people to collaborate and share holographic experiences. According to Kipman, in these experiences, the holographic content is not inside a device nor an application but is in Microsoft’s intelligent cloud. 

“The holographic content is in the cloud, and I just need the special lenses that allow me to see it,” Kipman said. 

According to Microsoft, Mesh in near future will “offer developers a full suite of AI-powered tools for avatars, session management, spatial rendering, synchronization across multiple users and holoportation to build collaborative solutions in mixed reality”.

Mesh is going to be available on different devices such as HoloLens 2, a range of virtual reality headsets, smartphones, tablets and PCs. 

What purposes Microsoft Mesh can be used for?

Microsoft Mesh will “enable geographically distributed teams to have more collaborative meetings, conduct virtual design sessions, assist others, learn together and host virtual social meetups,” according to Microsoft. 

“People will initially be able to express themselves as avatars in these shared virtual experiences and over time use holoportation to project themselves as their most lifelike, photorealistic selves,” the tech giant added. 

The platform can provide significant services in varieties of professions, such as engineer, architect, doctor and teacher. It can also be useful to a common individual who wants to get connected to a friend or family. 

If you are an engineer, you might be able to use Mesh to collaborate with your distant teammates and clients to discuss the model of your structure in a 3D holographic model in a shared virtual space. 

If you are a surgeon, you could bring in another expert via Mesh to help you in a complicated operation. Or you could holoport into a surgery room to facilitate with your expertise. 

Mesh can change the educational model in the future enabling students and teachers to meet in a holographic class, regardless of their geographical locations. 

Or you just want to fly back to your home while your mum cuts her birthday cake. You might not need a flight ticket if you choose to go as a hologram or an avatar. 

The mixed-reality platform opens up a next-level dimension in modern technology. 

“To see what kinds of solutions that might have previously been dismissed as impossible or too time-intensive to stand up can now be built much more easily with the Microsoft Mesh platform,” Kipman said.

Microsoft Mesh’s holographic world is certainly going to make a huge impact in the sector of communication technology. It’s like science fiction come into reality.

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