Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella shares metaverse plans, talks about users' immersive experience on MS Teams

After Facebook rebranded itself as Meta recently, Microsoft is gearing up for entering the metaverse, allowing users to interact and collaborate in 3D digital avatars in workspaces and homes, according to the company’s CEO Satya Nadella.

Speaking at the company’s Ignite 2021 conference, Nadella said that he “can't overstate how much of a breakthrough” the metaverse is, adding that while there have been talks going on for years about creating digital representations of the world, “we actually have the opportunity to go into that world and participate in it”.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Nadella also took to social media to talk about Microsoft’s upcoming entry into the metaverse, saying that it will change how we see the world as well as participate in it.

The tweet also features a 2.51-minute video explaining what the company’s foray into the metaverse will contain. The animated avatars featured in Microsoft’s videoconferencing platform, Teams, can mimic your voice with the help of artificial intelligence. The digital avatars can have face-to-face conversations and move around freely in the virtual space.

Microsoft Teams will allow users to create their own 3D digital avatars and collaborate in virtual spaces by plugging into the virtual reality headset such as Microsoft’s HoloLens and Facebook’s Oculus. The capability, set to be launched in 2022, is powered by the Mesh, a virtual collaboration tool launched this year.

Using the tool, users would also be able to create immersive experiences such as the One Accenture Park virtual campus by Accenture. The campus allows new recruits into the organisation to meet in digital avatars, conduct meetings or parties online, and personally connect with others.

The feature can be used for training new recruits remotely and help them form deeper connections with their team leaders. The Mesh tool can be integrated with Microsoft 365, according to Nadella, and lend a more corporate outlook to the company’s entry into the metaverse.

Both Microsoft and Facebook have been investing in augmented and virtual reality to power their metaverse ambitions. Microsoft’s Mesh and HoloLens and the Oculus and Horizon Worlds by Meta’s Reality Labs are the technologies being developed for the same.

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