While many organizations are pushing for their employees to return to the office, Microsoft suggests trying a new type of work. The company announced the launch of the feature Microsoft Meshwhich allows to make avatars of employees they met at the same place, even though they are actually in different locations. The platform for these virtual meetings runs through the Microsoft Teams service.

Microsoft has already tried Mesh at companies such as consulting firm Accenture and pharmaceuticals company Takeda. “The workplace continues to evolve at a rapid pace, but the importance of human connection has never gone away. Conversations over lunch, meeting in the hallway, chatting over coffee—are often the keys to workplace success and employee happiness,” Takeda Chief Technology Officer Leo Barella explained in a statement. They claim that their meetings are more cooperative and engaging.

Mesh provides a number of pre-prepared spaceswhich companies can further adapt (from informational videos to logos) without having to enter any code. The Mesh toolkit works through Unity, Microsoft’s 2D and 3D development platform, and allows to further change the virtual world. For example, if an employer has an on-site meeting, he can create a VR version of it and invite the avatars of all employees there.

Currently, Mesh is available from Microsoft on desktop and Meta Quest VR devices only. Microsoft offers a six-month free trial to anyone with a business or enterprise plan. Otherwise, prices range from $4 per user per month for Microsoft Teams Essentials to $57 per user per month for Microsoft 365 E5.

Source: engadget.com