The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the demand for virtual and remote collaboration, and Microsoft has a solution that could act as a catalyst for more such augmented and virtual reality apps in the near future.
During the keynote for the company’s Ignite virtual event on Tuesday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and technical colleague Alex Kipman unveiled Microsoft Mesh, a mixed reality platform that leverages the Azure cloud platform to enable shared collaboration experiences between external participants. through HoloLens 2 and other devices.
When it actually arrives in the coming months, Mesh will provide developers with tools for building avatars, session management, spatial rendering, participant sync, and live volumetric video (or holoportation) for collaboration apps.
One of Mesh̵
“This was the mixed reality dream, the idea from the very beginning,” Kipman said in a statement. “You can really feel like you’re in the same place with someone sharing content, or you can teleport from different mixed reality devices and be with people even when you’re not physically together.”
In addition, Microsoft gave its audience a taste of future proof of concepts that push the boundaries of gaming and media. This included a performance by John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, to announce a partnership between the two companies and share a proof of concept of Pokemon GO for HoloLens.
In one example, Hanke interacted with a wrist-anchored virtual display to release Pikachu into the physical environment, greet the character, and feed him a berry. Hanke’s segment ended with a tease of how players can fight each other with virtual pocket monsters via HoloLens.
“For our part, we are committed to leveraging and expanding our platform to build real-world AR experiences for as many devices as possible and reach a diverse group of players regardless of their physical location. build with others who share a common vision of how technology can facilitate a deeper social connection and instill a sense of adventure in the real world, ”Hanke said in a blog post.
Other guests included filmmaker James Cameron and Cirque du Soleil co-founder Guy Laliberté, the latter giving a taste of a social AR platform called Hanai World, developed by his startup, Lune Rouge, which combines live and digital presents event experiences with Microsoft Mesh. .
While apps like Spatial cover similar territory, Mesh acts like an ARKit / ARCore for virtual collaboration apps, meaning the platform has the potential to usher in a new era of AR apps.