Microsoft plans to hold meetings with … holograms of colleagues

Microsoft on Tuesday announced the launch of an augmented reality collaboration platform, Mesh, where users can meet as avatars or 3D images in the same room, one step closer to an immaterial future for work and other human activities.

The main feature of Mixed Reality has always been the ability to act elsewhere, despite the barriers of space and time. I can be in a factory even if I’m not there (…) so that we have the same physical feeling of the other’s existence, ”Alex Kipman, in charge of these topics at Microsoft, announced Tuesday at one of the IT giants a internet marketing event.

The new platform should allow the development of specially designed applications, which will be able to use augmented reality headsets (such as Microsoft’s HoloLens 2, which sells from $ 3,500) or virtual reality, but also the usual screens, smartphones for computers.

With augmented reality glasses, users can see, for example, objects and pictures of people, in 3D, in the form of avatars (stylized figures) or even three-dimensional images, superimposed in their living room.

They will be able to talk to each other as during a video call, as well as see the movements of other participants, thanks to the sensors that the devices are equipped with.

“A travel agency can create an experience for you to visit the ruins of ancient Greece. An architecture firm can design a virtual model for colleagues to work together wherever they are,” said Frank Shaw, Microsoft’s vice president, in a statement.

The platform works from Azure, the group’s cloud service (remote computing).

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It is part of Microsoft’s efforts to establish itself in the now highly competitive marketplace for remote work and mixed reality tools in general, a concept that blends augmented reality (overlaying the real environment) and virtual reality (immersive).

Augmented reality glasses are in the pipeline for many of the big tech companies, and Facebook is in the lead, and so is Apple, according to rumors in the US press.

On Mondays and Tuesdays, Microsoft and Google also introduced new features and improvements to their remote work tools.

The two companies, like Facebook, in particular seek to facilitate intra-company collaboration between field workers and office workers, but also with outside organizations.

“People think 2020 is the year that the business moved home. But in reality, this is the year that the business moved to the cloud,” Frank Shaw said.

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