May 20, 2022 Microsoft brings transcendental collaboration with Metaverse Introduction Microsoft’s pursuit of making remote collaboration more real has taken a giant leap with Metaverse. The metaverse is a blend of both physical and digital world where virtual communications come to life. Powered by AI and VR, the collaborative solution called Mesh for Microsoft Teams will be a gateway to metaverse for people to have immersive experiences. The shift to virtual work life after global pandemic breakout incubated futuristic prospect of hybrid and flexible work. In last couple of years, Microsoft diligently endeavored to increase connectivity and enrich interactions among remote users. Yet, a lack of physical presence generated a few key complexities for both consumer and enterprise space. Visionary Microsoft leader Satya Nadella in recent Microsoft Ignite 2021 conference announced metaverse as the new platform for the next phase of virtual collaboration. He further added that metaverse will merge computing with real world to bring the real presence in digital space. As people join meetings online, the metaverse would allow them to create their animated 3D avatars which would impersonate their voices and gestures. According to Nadella, this would help bring remote individuals closer to physicality. In other words, digital representation of the world would not limit people to camera view only. Rather, they would be able to personally connect with people and participate in a multi-dimensional environment. Mesh for Microsoft Teams Mesh for Microsoft Teams is all set to release in 2022, a collaborative platform with mixed reality capabilities. It builds on existing Teams features such as Together Mode and Presenter Mode where anyone with smartphones, laptops or VR headsets will be able to access it. Mesh is capable to create digital twins of people, places, and things in the cloud. This will allow remote users to share holographic experiences that are ultra-realistic. The virtual spaces created inside Teams will enable people from across the world to collaborate on projects or join events like presentations, seminars, etc., while feeling each other’s presence. This will facilitate fortuitous encounters to spark creativity and innovation. Mesh gains another promising use case i.e., onboarding new hires. Through immersive spaces provided by Mesh, new hires can gather in a mythical campus, understand company culture, build stronger relationships with co-workers and train together. Additionally, using translation and transcription tools, employees will be able to communicate in their native language with others. Microsoft HoloLens has been closely working with Altspace VR to empower the virtual world of holoportation. It believes that with the advancement of sensor technology, the metaverse will evolve over time with limitless possibilities and become a reality for businesses. Conclusion Presumably, metaverse is going to fuel the new world of hybrid work and hyperconnected businesses that will have accessibility for all spaces on the planet very soon. They would be able to create new opportunities for their employees and discover unarticulated needs of the marketplace by capturing hidden insights. In workplaces, metaverse will enable employees to experiment virtually, bring the lessons they learnt into the real world and develop cognitive skills. As virtual reality has finally shifted collaboration paradigm, we are keen to witness how it impacts teams, brands, and businesses on a large scale.