Microsoft has introduced Mesh, a collaboration platform offering mixed-reality capabilities on the Azure cloud.

Microsoft Mesh enables persons in different locations to share collaborative holographic experiences on many kinds of devices. Over time, users will be able to use holoportation to project themselves as their lifelike, photorealistic selves, Microsoft said. Designers or engineers who work with 3D physical models could appear as themselves in a shared virtual space to collaborate on holographic models.

With Microsoft Mesh, geographically distributed teams can:

  • Have more collaborative meetings.
  • Conduct virtual design sessions.
  • Learn together.
  • Host virtual social meetups.

Microsoft has posted a sign-up page to receive news and updates on Mesh. In coming months, Mesh will offer developers a suite of AI-powered tools for avatars, session management, spatial rendering, synchronization across multiple users, and holoportation to build collaborative solutions in mixed reality. Developers will be able to build solutions working across many devices including Hololens 2, virtual reality headsets, PCs, smartphones, and tablets.

Microsoft at its online Ignite conference this week plans to preview a Mesh-enabled HoloLens app for remote collaboration. Users also can request access to a new version of Mesh-enabled AltspaceVR, which allows companies to hold meetings in virtual reality with security features including secure sign-in, privacy compliance, and session management.

Over time, Microsoft anticipates customers will choose from a growing number of Mesh-enabled applications from third-party developers and partners. Mesh also will be integrated with products such as Microsoft Teams and Dynamics 365.