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Microsoft Mesh: A hologram for the boss


Microsoft wants to replace video conferences with holoconferences in which virtual conversation partners appear in life size. The company presented the necessary technology on Tuesday.

Icon: enlarge

Discuss construction plans together with real and virtual participating colleagues: This is how Microsoft imagines its mesh

Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft wants to spice up digital collaboration in the future with holograms.

At its annual Ignite conference on Tuesday, the company presented the Microsoft Mesh platform, which can be used to transmit three-dimensional video streams to so-called augmented reality glasses (AR), among other things.

The technology should make it possible, for example, to have conversation partners who are far apart from each other appear virtually next to each other in the real world.

Microsoft wants to establish its new platform as a link between different technologies and device providers.

The 3D content should be able to be used, for example, on the in-house AR glasses HoloLens 2 as well as on the Oculus glasses from Facebook.

Microsoft's mesh could thus also build a bridge between virtual reality (VR) and so-called augmented reality (AR).

With virtual reality, users immerse themselves completely in a digital world thanks to special glasses with small screens in front of their eyes, while with augmented reality artificial objects are displayed in the real environment.

Microsoft wants to serve all systems

The HoloLens 2 AR glasses sold by Microsoft are quite bulky and are mainly used by companies because of their high price of almost 4,000 euros.

Apple is also relying on AR, but so far has not offered its own glasses for this, but instead fades digital objects on the screens of its iPhones and iPads into the real environment.

However, observers have been speculating for a long time that the iPhone manufacturer is working on its own AR glasses.

Facebook's subsidiary Oculus, on the other hand, like many other providers, has so far specialized in glasses for displaying VR, which are significantly cheaper than Microsoft's HoloLens and are mainly used for computer games.

With »Pokémon Go« in the park

As an example of how Microsoft Mesh could also be used for entertainment, the software company Niantic showed how the virtual characters from the popular smartphone game "Pokémon Go" can appear around the wearer of HoloLens glasses in a park, instead of just on his mobile phone screen.

Basically, however, mesh is another option for Microsoft to use and monetize its cloud platform Azure.

"We are building more and more values ​​into our intelligent cloud," said Microsoft manager Alex Kipman at the presentation of the new technology.

If you collaborate with others through mesh, the content you are talking about would no longer be stuck in the device or software you are using.

Instead, the holographic content would be provided by Microsoft's Azure cloud.

"I just need special glasses that allow me to look at them," says Kipman.

And a powerful internet connection for three-dimensional content in real time.

Icon: The mirror

mak / dpa

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2021-03-03

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