Microsoft Teams is now offering metaverse-style avatars

Microsoft Teams is now offering metaverse-style avatars ...

Microsoft has announced that animated avatars are now available in the preview for its Teams collaboration platform.

Members of the Technical Access Program can now design up to three avatars for use during meetings, and choose from a variety of reaction gestures via the Microsoft App Store.

Microsoft Teams'' So-called Mesh avatars were first announced in a blog post (opens in a new tab) by John Roach, the company''s CTO of digital advisory services, back in November 2021.

Mesh avatars in the workplace

Mesh avatars allow for greater freedom of expression in a cross-sectional environment, with users capable of adapting physical attributes, accessories, and other elements of themselves.

Following the introduction of hybrid work, Microsoft''s release of the feature at its Ignite event reiterates its desire to blur the boundaries between video conferencing software and metaverses. These are the next major improvements in collaboration tools.

These spaces are designed to include mesh avatars who interact inside a virtual space with the tools that teams need to collaborate, such as whiteboards, document storage, and video conferencing software.

If Microsoft continues to develop metaverse-adjacent capabilities for the Teams platform, it might scupper Metas'' plans for the sector with its own Horizon Workrooms metaverse.

When faced with Teams, Horizon Workrooms might end up being seen as a less effective option, which is, for example, a video conferencing app that is already in use by many organizations and offers a boost from the Microsoft 365 integration.

Organisations who want to try out the new mesh avatars without access to the private preview build can sign up for updates on the Teams website (opens in a new tab).