October 16, 2021

Microsoft introduces online AR and VR developer platform Mesh

Microsoft has introduced Mesh, an online platform that allows developers to create applications for primarily AR and VR headsets. Mesh is about applications where several people work together in the same digital environment.

Microsoft introduces future of virtual collaboration through Mesh - Daily Times

Mesh works with a cross-platform SDK where users can develop applications for AR and VR headsets, for smartphones and for PCs. The focus is on the headsets. Mesh is all about applications where several people work simultaneously in a digital environment. That is why Mesh has support for avatars, for example, so that users can see where other users are.

These avatars have a torso, head and hands. The positions of these body parts are based on the positions of the headset and any controllers of the users. Later it should be possible to see ‘photorealistic holographic people’.

The developer platform also has support for spatial maps . This will share the caches of participating devices so that everyone sees the same objects in the same way. Microsoft gives the example of several people who digitally build a car together.

When a user then changes the shape and location of a car part, the other users see this too. Mesh works with Azure to ensure that these digital objects can be rendered by Azure. The advantage of this is that the objects are rendered in the same way for all users, regardless of computer power.

With Mesh, Microsoft hopes that users will use AR and VR glasses more to collaborate online with each other. That is why the platform works with many different devices, such as the Microsoft HoloLens, HP Reverb G2 and the Oculus Quest 2. The sdk now has support for Unity, C ++ and C #. Later Unreal, Babylon and React Native will be added.

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The company is not only targeting the business market with Mesh; Pokémon GO developer Niantic is also experimenting with Mesh. Microsoft has also developed two Mesh apps itself. With the Microsoft Mesh App , users can have Teams-like conversations in an AR or VR environment and import 3D content from OneDrive.

The second Mesh app AltspaceVR allows users to organize live virtual events. Microsoft promises to expand Mesh with more features and supported devices, engines and frameworks in the near future .