Microsoft presented “Mesh”, its futuristic holographic communication / collaboration platform with “mixed reality”.
As part of the presentation, Guy Laliberte, co-founder of “Cirque du Soleil”, appeared at the company’s “Ignite” digital conference through “holoportation”, which uses “3D capture” technology to project a “live” image of someone in a “virtual” scene.
In the company’s first demonstration of this kind designed for “mixed reality”, people who participated in the conference from salons and offices around the world could experience the show as an “avatar” watching the events unfold in a shared holographic world.
With this demonstration, the company showed some of the features offered by “Microsoft Mesh”, a new “mixed reality” platform that works through “Azure” and allows users from many different locations to participate in collaborative and shared holographic experiences on different kinds of devices.
“This was the dream of “mixed reality”, the idea from the beginning”,
said Alex Kipman, Microsoft Technical Fellow.
“You can feel like you’re in the same place as someone, sharing content, or you can teleport from different “mixed reality” devices and be present with people even if you’re not physically together,”
Kipman appeared on the virtual stage of “Ignite” as a complete real-time holographic display; the famous ocean director and explorer James Cameron and John Hanke, CEO and founder of “augmented reality” company, “Niantic,” also appeared to tell how “Microsoft Mesh” helps them create shared experiences across the virtual and real world.
Laliberte discussed with Kipman a new partnership to help “Lune Rouge” —another company founded by Laliberte— implement a project called “Hanai World”. It is a “social mixed reality” platform, which could combine live and digital entertainment experiences into single “events”. In particular, “Lune Rouge” explores how “Mesh” could allow people to attend concerts, plays, etc. remotely.
According to the company, “Microsoft Mesh” will allow groups of members located in different locations to have better meetings, “virtual design” meetings, help others and hold “virtual social meetups”. In the first phase, they will be able to appear as “avatars” in these shared experiences and, in the long run, it is thought that they will be able to be holographically represented as they really are, according to Microsoft.
This new platform is the fruit of years of research by Microsoft in areas such as hand and eye tracking and “HoloLens” for creating holograms, as well as the creation of artificial intelligence models that can create expressive “avatars”. “Mesh” is based on “Azure”, the company’s “cloud computing” platform, utilizing —as Microsoft emphasizes— its security and privacy capabilities, as well as its computing resources, data and “AI services” and “mixed reality”.
In the coming months the platform will offer interested “developers” a complete set of artificial intelligence tools, allowing them to create things that will work on many different devices, from “HoloLens 2” (the company’s “mixed reality” glasses) to artificial intelligence “headsets”, smartphones, tablets and PCs.
As part of “Ignite” Microsoft announced two applications for the platform, including a “preview” of the “Microsoft Mesh” application for “HoloLens”, which allows team members to collaborate remotely, and is already available for “download”. Those interested can also request access to a new version of “Mesh-enabled AltspaceVR”, which will allow companies to hold meetings and conferences in “virtual reality” with increased security measures.
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