Digital Transformation Today

Microsoft Mesh: Bringing Mixed Reality into the Workforce

A few weeks ago, Microsoft held their second virtual Ignite conference, and they certainly made a splash during CEO Satya Nadella’s keynote. Reviewing the past ten years of cloud computing, Nadella mentioned the rise of Azure in the marketplace with no plans of slowing down.

Nadella then doubled down on cloud technology, adding more Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Mixed Reality. Nadella also named Microsoft’s five new focuses for the future:

  1. Ubiquitous and decentralized computing
  2. Sovereign data and ambient intelligence – Meaning code created from data, and the data being more private
  3. Empowered creators and communities everywhere- Focusing on creation vs. consumption
  4. Economic Opportunity for Global Workforce
  5. Trust by Design – Creating ethical principles around AI and security

And with those focuses came a new Microsoft product, Microsoft Mesh. Built to “bring the bits we create to the atoms of the real world,” Mesh will bring mixed reality into the workforce. Interestingly, about 90% of companies with more than 500 employees are already using mixed reality, but now there is a new way to interact. Using Microsoft Hololens (or Oculus, a phone, PC or tablet), users will be able to “transcend space and time” to connect with people worldwide through Microsoft Teams. Users can appear in the space, via an avatar or a digital twin of themselves, almost like a hologram.

Although sounding more sci-fi than reality, this idea is not new to much of the American public. Popular mobile games integrated mixed reality into the game, making it common to look for items in the gaming world by looking around the physical world (During the keynote, Nadella specifically mentioned Pokémon Go’s influence). Ultimately, mixed reality and Microsoft Mesh will bring a new world of communication. With many people suffering from “meeting burnout,” Mesh will allow you to feel the presence of other people and experience together. Although it is still not a physical interaction, it will trick our brain into feeling it is a little more normal.

Withum’s Role

Although Withum may not be ready to start programming for Mesh, we can help customers begin to build the foundation for these products to live. By implementing Teams and or figuring out your first steps in the Cloud, we can walk customers through the processes and steps to a successful digital transformation. Not sure where to start? Contact us today, and we can help you figure out the best place to start.

Author: Madeline Tomchick, [email protected]

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