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Microsoft Metaverse ; Mesh Set To Launch.

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Microsoft says it is adding 3D virtual avatars and environments to its Teams chat system, as part of its push towards the “metaverse”.

It says its “Mesh” platform will let people meet in the virtual space, with or without a virtual reality headset.

Microsoft Mesh enables presence and shared experiences from anywhere – on any device – through mixed reality application.

Microsoft says the new features, which it is calling “immersive meetings” will be available in the first half of 2022.

It comes after Facebook showcased similar virtual chat rooms as part of its rebrand to name itself Meta.

Microsoft, however, is focusing less on the need for a virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) headset, though it will support them.

The 3D avatars, for example, will be able to represent a person in a remote Teams meeting when they do not want to turn on their webcam, and can appear on a normal two-dimensional computer screen.

The company said its system will “use AI to imitate movements and gestures that enable you to bring your physical presence into the conversation, even when your camera is off”.

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