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Microsoft Mesh: Is this the new way of collaborating?

May 06, 2021

For more than a year we’ve been living in a new reality. We’ve all been subjected to periods of lockdown and/or self-isolation. Remote work has also changed the way we work, and it has not only impacted freelancers, but small companies and numerous large corporations around the globe too.

Naturally, during this time it has been difficult for some companies to establish good communication networks and they’ve struggled with collaborative projects. We’ve been using different softwares, such as Skype and Zoom, and various project management apps, like Jira and Trello. But let's face it, when it comes to presenting some complex ideas and visualizing our concepts to colleagues, these tools are limited.

But, progress doesn't stand still, and virtual reality is gradually becoming a part of our daily life, in particular at work. 

Microsoft Mesh is about to revolutionize the way we work, how we visualize work, and how we can present a person's idea by showing it to others through a virtual reality based system. Moreover, for effective work, you don’t actually need to have VR glasses, you can use an everyday PC or even a smartphone to work with Microsoft Mesh.

So, let's take a closer look at Microsoft Mesh in more detail 

What is Microsoft Mesh?

Microsoft Mesh was presented to audiences at the Ignite online conference in March 2021. And since then potential users have noted the excellent (as of today) depth of virtual presence, and the ability to visually represent various visual concepts without a real physical presence it has.

Microsoft Mesh user interface when using VR glasses, BBC 2021

Customize your avatar so other users in the system will see you in that form.  BBC 2021

You can easily and conveniently manipulate 3D objects with the application. This includes being able to move, rotate, stretch, and explore images that someone else has created. So, as you can see, you can present your ideas to your colleagues, and you don’t even need to be in the office with them.

It is easy to manipulate 3-D objects.  BBC 2021

Your avatar will be there in the office when you are at home - Lockdown is no longer a problem.  BBC 2021

We should note that Microsoft Mesh is still in its infancy. New applications that are going to be added in the future will add more functionality to the system. But for now, for example, it would be possible to hold various events, such as concerts, and competitions with several people at once through the system. 

Moreover, the system offers interesting opportunities for interacting with the environment and other users-avatars.

Microsoft Mesh concerts will soon be as common as Zoom-conferences.  BBC 2021

Gaming is another area for Microsoft Mesh. Do you remember Pokemon Go, which was and still is a world-wide popular game? With the new system from Microsoft, a game like this would reach a brand new level.

Interactive gaming is another sector where Microsoft Mesh can be used.  BBC 2021

Another area that Microsoft Mesh is going to master is interactive cinema and TV-shows. For example, the famous filmmaker James Cameron has already used the new system in his TV show about the underwater world.

The underwater world within touching distance.  BBC 2021

Challenges that Microsoft Mesh will face...

No doubt that the new system will be of interest to a wide range of customers, but we have to mention the potential problems it could face as well. 

The main issue is the lack of applications that have been developed for the platform (this will change very soon though). Additionally, the high cost of VR glasses, which you’ll likely need to buy to get the maximum effect,  is also troublesome to some. 

But, their high price is likely to be temporary. VR technologies will become much more popular in the coming years, which means that the cost of equipment will quickly decrease, as was the case with smartphones and electric vehicles.

At their current price VR glasses are unlikely to win the hearts of users around the world - for now!  BBC 2021

Some would say that Microsoft isn't offering anything groundbreakingly new, as VR technologies are already on the market. But, the fact that Microsoft Mesh is made and sold by Microsoft is certainly a selling point for many. 

When you buy from Microsoft you know that you are buying from a corporation that is successful, it’s been created by specialists, the project is backed by large investments, they have the ability to mass produce the system, and being under the Microsoft name the product can be marketed and promoted. 

With all this in mind, it’s only a matter of time before Microsoft Mesh takes off. 

(Based on material from the BBC).

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