Microsoft is up to the metaverse via updates to its Teams and Xbox gaming console services, along with a new product called “Dynamics 365 Connected Spaces.”
Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, announced the firm’s metaverse plans for Teams and Spaces on Tuesday during the Microsoft Ignite conference.
“The Metaverse enables us to embed computing into the real world and to embed the real world into computing. Bringing real presence to any digital space. What’s most important is that we are able to bring our humanity with us, and choose how we want to experience this world.”
It has been reported that the update for Microsoft Teams is dubbed “Mesh” and its initial rollout in 2022 will provide users with personalized digital avatars and immersive spaces to meet in the metaverse “that can be accessed from any device, with no special equipment needed.”
However, later down the road of Mesh’s development, organizations will also be able to build custom spaces to support contexts such as meetings or “social mixers.” Microsoft’s new Dynamics 365 Connected Spaces product is set for its first preview in December 2021, and it will enable organizations to combine metaverse and artificial intelligence (AI) technology with their businesses.
The report said that the firm said that Spaces can be used to harness observational data from cameras from the “the retail store to the factory floor,” in what it is calling a “hybrid work environment.”
Vishal Sood, the General Manager of Connected Spaces, said:
“With the power of your existing cameras, harness computer vision and observational data to help complete the picture—giving a new perspective into people, places, and things. Following deployment, simply turn on AI-powered models, known as skills, to help understand specific scenarios such as customer behavior at a promotional display, traffic patterns, and insights unique to your space.”
Likewise, during an interview with Bloomberg TV on Wednesday, Nadella also stated that Microsoft’s video game firm, Xbox, will “absolutely” work on integrating the metaverse into its gaming lines. He kept his cards close to his chest, as he didn’t provide any concrete updates for the gaming sector.
Thus, Nadella said:
“You can absolutely expect us to do things in gaming. If you take Halo as a game, it is a Metaverse. Minecraft is a Metaverse, and so is Flight Sim. In some sense, they’re 2D today and the question is can you now take that to a fully 3D world, and we absolutely plan to do so.”