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The Mesh platform, a Microsoft innovation

Posted by Z. Manda | Apr 12, 2021

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The announcement of the launch of the Mesh platform created a lot of buzz during the Microsoft Ignite 2021. Topics are coming up and rumors are getting thicker, but what is it really? Is it a platform to play Pokémon Go? A new application to work online? A specific option to Microsoft's mixed reality headset, Hololens 2? Because of all these questions, this time we intend to enlighten you about this new product from Microsoft.

What is Microsoft Mesh?

The creation of the mixed reality headset Hololens was motivated by the possibility of interacting with holograms and it does not stop there. While the ability for the user to act with a hologram is already a huge breakthrough, the goal of Hololens goes beyond that. The headset allows multiple users to interact on the hologram simultaneously, as if the virtual object was real.This goal of Microsoft Hololens has indeed been achieved and mixed reality headsets allow users present in a room to work around one or more virtual models.Okay, we're talking about Hololens here, but what about Mesh?

It's very simple, Microsoft Mesh allows us to bypass the need of physical presence. Thus, if Hololens already allows work on a virtual model in person , Mesh users do not need to be present in the room to work on the model. For comparison, the Mesh platform has some similarities with virtual reality meeting platforms.

VR platform or MR platform

Working remotely as if you were close, thanks to extended reality, is not new. Virtual reality has already proven to have a great achievement in this direction. But what is the point of Microsoft Mesh, if it is to play with 3D models in online cooperation, are VR platforms not already there?

The advantage of Mesh over VR platforms is above all the immersion. In the virtual world of VR, all the scenery is created by computer, and even if it's very beautiful, it's far from being close to reality. So, for working, it's quite effective, but users still know they are in a virtual world. With the Mesh platform, it's very different, because the workspace remains the real world and what could be more immersive than reality! It is in the real world that the virtual objects and participants are projected. Moreover, as the holographic models are used as a simple working tool, their aspects do not negatively affect the immersion.

The promises of Microsoft Mesh

The promises of Microsoft's new platform focus on three points Feel presence, Experience together and Connect from anywhere.

The first promise of Microsoft Mesh is to allow users to feel or believe that other remote users are in the same room as them. To do this, the platform proposes to project the avatars of remote users around the user. If the technique is very similar to virtual meetings by VR, Mesh pushes the effect a little further by offering a faithful reproduction of oneself, by holoportation, in addition to the possibility of an avatar. We are getting closer and closer to the holographic effect we always dreamed of in Star Wars. The concept of presence would be very advanced, as the virtual representations of remote users are very faithful in terms of both movement and image.

The second promise is related to the first one, since everyone is present in the same place (virtually and physically), we experience together the things that happen there. Thus, all users share the workspace and can interact on the virtual models in real time. This facilitates collaboration, design work, exchanges and training, because if one person interacts with a model, all users perceive the changes in their environment.

Finally, the last promise of Microsoft Mesh is interconnectivity. Although Mesh is based on mixed reality, it is not restricted to Hololens mixed reality headset users only. The platform works through a mixed reality headset as well as from a virtual reality headset, computer, tablet or smartphone.

Your mouth is already watering (more like your eyes)? Unfortunately, we can only wait for the official launch of Microsoft's latest product!

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