Microsoft, the U.S. tech giant, is entering the Metaverse with updates to its Teams gaming console services and a new product called Dynamics 365 Connected Spas.
Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, announced the firm’s Metaverse plans to Teams and Spaces at the Microsoft Ignite conference on Nov. 2.
“The Metaverse allows us to embed computing in the real world, and the real world into computing. Any digital space can be given a real presence. Nadella stated that what is most important is our ability to bring our humanity along and to choose how we experience the world.
The metaverse is now available. It’s changing how we view the world and how we interact with it. Have a look. pic.twitter.com/h5tsdYMXRD
— Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) November 2, 2021
Microsoft Teams’ update is called “Mesh”, and it will be available in 2022. It will give users personalized avatars and virtual spaces that can be used to meet in the Metaverse.
Mesh will allow organizations to create custom spaces that can be used to support specific contexts, such as meetings and “social mixers” later in its development.
Mircosoft: The Mesh Update
Microsoft’s new Dynamics 365 Connected Spaces product will be available for preview in December 2021. It will allow organizations to integrate Metaverse and artificial Intelligence (AI) technology with their businesses. According to Microsoft, Spaces can harness the observational data of cameras from “the retail store floor to the factory floor” in what it calls a “hybrid workplace environment”.
Vishal Sood (General Manager of Connected Spaces) wrote in a Nov. 2, blog post, “Using the power of your existing camera, harness computer vision to complete the picture–giving you a new perspective into persons, places and things.
“Following deployment turn on AI-powered model, known as skills to help understand specific scenarios like customer behavior at a promotional display or traffic patterns and other insights that are unique to your space.”
Related: The Sandbox raises $93M for its NFT metaverse expansion
In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Nadella stated that Microsoft’s Xbox video game company will “absolutely work on integrating” the Metaverse into its gaming line. However, the CEO didn’t give any updates on the gaming sector and kept his cards close.
Nadella stated that “You can certainly expect us to do something in gaming,” and added:
“Halo is a Metaverse if you consider it a game. Flight Sim is also a Metaverse. They’re 2D in a sense. The question is, can you make that a fully 3D world? We absolutely plan to.
Microsoft isn’t the only major company to announce Metaverse plans this week. Cointelegraph reported earlier today that Nike submitted trademark applications for its iconic logo, slogan and design for use in “online Virtual Worlds.” It also has two job listings for virtual material designers.
Nike stated that the new recruits will “play a crucial role in redefining the digital world and ushering us into The Metaverse.”
The Metaverse is a social media giant that has made a name for itself with its rebranding to Meta. It aims to offer creators a platform to create virtual businesses online, connect with the physical world, and launch its virtual reality hardware company called Reality Labs.
Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian discussed Facebook’s plans, calling it a “masterstroke of diversion and distraction” from the company’s problems.
Ohanian acknowledged that Meta shouldn’t be underestimated, but he stressed that there was enough organic movement in the crypto sector to create a Metaverse that is open to all. This is different from one that the social media giant controls.
“Right now, there is a bottom-up movement in order to create the Etaverse. We’ve seen the progress in crypto… there are a lot people building what I believe is. I hope it will be a more organic world than a Facebook-imposed one.