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“Used with permission from Microsoft” © Microsoft 2021.

As digital communication technologies keep developing, so too continues the disembodiment of humans. Software corporation Microsoft has announced “Mesh”, a holographic meeting platform designed to let people participate in virtual meetings and share holographic experiences together. The company has already presented two apps built on the platform, with one improving the performance of the HoloLens 2 smart glasses and the other being a Mesh-enabled version of AltspaceVR, which will enable meetings and work gatherings in VR. The company says that Mesh is intended to bring the virtual reality experience to a whole new level. Virtual entertainment with whole-body simulation, immersive deep-sea exploration and collaborative mixed reality meetings are said to be just some of the potential uses.

Mesh lets developers work across platforms with holographic apps on a large number of devices. Driven by Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, Mesh combines live and digital entertainment experiences into single events. This is made possible by “holoportation”, a 3D capture technology that beams a lifelike image of a person into a virtual scene. The technology allows people at different physical locations to share experiences, hold meetings and learn or work together as holograms. Microsoft believes the potential is enormous and makes holographic models and prototypes an essential element of the product, from architecture and engineering to medical studies. “This has been the dream for mixed reality, the idea from the very beginning,” said Microsoft developer Alex Kipman, “You can actually feel like you are in the same place with someone sharing content, or you can teleport from different mixed reality devices and be present with people even when you are not physically together.”

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