Zoom Is so 2020 — Hologram Meetings Are Here Thanks to Microsoft

Are you missing seeing people in real life? While Microsoft can't end the coronavirus pandemic quite yet, it can at least bring people closer together in the virtual world with Microsoft Mesh.

The company recently unveiled its new Mesh product, which it explained as a "new mixed-reality platform" powered by Azure, Microsoft's cloud computing program, allowing people in different physical locations to join and shared holographic experiences. It added, the program can be used from everything from collaborative meetings with coworkers (goodbye, Zoom), to joining concerts, theater shows, and more with friends and family.

"This has been the dream for mixed reality, the idea from the very beginning," Microsoft Technical Fellow Alex Kipman shared in a statement. "You can actually feel like you're in the same place with someone sharing content or you can teleport from different mixed reality devices and be present with people even when you're not physically together."

As the company further explained, Microsoft Mesh will enable teams dispersed around the globe to have more collaborative meetings. They can conduct virtual design sessions as if they were in person, assist others in real-time, or even host social meetups for fun. The program could even be implemented by schools for virtual learning events. With the program, users will initially be able to represent themselves as avatars, but, in time they will be able to use "holoportation" to project themselves as their photorealistic selves.

"Architects and engineers could physically walk through a holographic model of a factory floor under construction, seeing how all the pieces of equipment fit together in three dimensions, potentially avoiding costly mistakes," Microsoft explained. "Engineering or medical students learning about electric car engines or human anatomy could gather as avatars around a holographic model and remove parts of the engine or peel back muscles to see what's underneath. Colleagues could simply get together and chat in a shared virtual space, or companies could use Microsoft Mesh-enabled apps to offer virtual all-hands meetings or trainings to employees around the world."

See more about the platform and what you can do with it here.

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