Microsoft’s grand metaverse plans to start with Teams app

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Microsoft’s grand metaverse plans to start with Teams app

Microsoft plans to offer its vision of the metaverse in 2022 with Microsoft Teams - and it includes smartphones. The company has said the upgraded experiences will also be available on smartphones and laptops amid Facebook’s metaverse plans.

Microsoft has said next year Teams users will be able to access their meetings on virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) headsets and participate in them as a virtual space. There will be animated avatars at play with expressions and the meeting participants may be able to choose a virtual location too such as a coffee shop, instead of a boring background.

Organisations can also build immersive spaces, the company has confirmed signalling scope for companies and businesses using Teams to customise the interactivity experiences for their employees. “Think of the metaverse as a new version – or a new vision – of the internet, one where people gather to communicate, collaborate and share with personal virtual presence on any device,” Microsoft said in a statement.

Jeff Teper, vice president responsible for Teams, SharePoint and OneDrive, said these tools are “to signal we’re in the same virtual space, we’re one team, we’re one group, and help take the formality down a peg and the engagement up a peg”.

The experiences will be enabled once Microsoft plugs in the Mesh platform, something the company has been developing for the metaverse before it became a cool topic of conversation and speculation.

Microsoft has said the Mesh for Teams will not be restricted to just meetings. The wider scope will include immersive face-to-face meetings, chats, emails, and video calls.