Microsoft Mesh and Immersive spaces in Teams will be generally available early next year

Microsoft Teams web client on Edge
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft is currently holding its annual developer conference, Ignite 2023.
  • The company has announced that it'll ship Immersive spaces in Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Mesh to general availability in January 2024.
  • A host of neat features are also coming to the immersive spaces experience, including 3D environments and interactive games.
  • Through the Mesh editor, event organizers will now be able to customize their immersive experiences to align with the specific needs of an event.
  • However, you'll need to be a Teams Premium user to customize immersive spaces in Mesh.

In the past couple of months, Microsoft has doubled down on its efforts to enhance and improve Microsoft Teams' user experience. And today, during its annual Ignite 2023 tech conference, the company announced that it's gearing up to make Immersive spaces in Microsoft Teams generally available in January 2024.

Immersive spaces for Microsoft Teams is a new experience powered by Microsoft Mesh, currently in preview designed to let people interact with each other inside virtual areas. What's more, support for spatial audio and the ability to walk around adds a realistic appeal to the experience.

Key features to look out for in immersive spaces in Teams

Microsoft Teams avatar customization

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Right off the bat, users will have the ability to select an avatar previously built for standard 2D Teams meetings or create a new one. Moreover, Microsoft is now making it easier for users to customize the avatars to ensure that they resemble the user's appearance, style, or even mood of the day.

Immersive spaces for Microsoft Teams will also feature 3D environments. Users will have a wide array of options to select from based on the purpose and needs of the meeting. From social gatherings to corporate meetings, there's something for everyone.

Next, users will have the capability to select where they want to sit during a meeting. This feature is in place to help users foster connections with other meeting attendees.

Microsoft is also enhancing communication capabilities in Immersive spaces in Microsoft Teams with spatial audio and audio zones. The feature will help ensure that communication flows effectively throughout the meeting, ensuring that meeting attendees don't talk over each other.

And to break monotony, Microsoft is integrating interactive activities into the experience. This way, users will be able to engage and play interactive games within the immersive spaces, including spaces to roast marshmallows, throw beanbags, answer icebreaker questions and more.

Finally, live reactions will be incorporated into the experience to enhance enagagement between the meeting attendees and the presenter. You'll be able to send live reactions like hearts, thumbs up or clap during these sessions. 

Microsoft Mesh is shipping to broad availability in January 2024

Microsoft Mesh

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Alongside Immersive spaces in Microsoft Teams shipping to general availability, Microsoft Mesh (which is also in preview) will be shipping to broad availability in January 2024. 

According to Microsoft:

"With Mesh, users will be able to create custom immersive spaces tailored to specific business needs, such as employee events, trainings, guided tours and internal product showcases. Using a no-code editor, customers will be able to easily customize an immersive event or the Mesh toolkit to leverage the power of Unity for fully customizable experience." 

Additionally, users will now have the capability to customize their immersive experiences to align with the specific needs of their event without necessarily having to write a line of code, thanks to the Mesh editor.

Event creators can now prepare for meetings easily since they'll now have access to a wide array of "ready-to-use immersive spaces." What's more, it's possible to customize this spaces using images and videos. According to Microsoft, users can save the customizations as a template for future use. 

With the aim of creating a more interactive experience, event organizers can engage attendees in a Q&A session by enabling them to raise hands and ask follow-up questions. The best part about this addition, is that the event organizers will see the hands raised in order, and when called upon to make their query, they'll be seen and heard by everyone that's part of the event. Only Teams Premium users will have the capability to customize immersive spaces in Mesh. 

Are you a Teams Premium user? Let us know in the comments.

Microsoft 365 Personal | From $70/year

Microsoft 365 Personal | From $70/year
Microsoft 365 Personal comes with the Office suite and 1TB of OneDrive storage. It allows you to work from several devices, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. It also includes a long list of other apps and services, such as Editor, Microsoft Forms, and Microsoft Teams.

Kevin Okemwa
Contributor

Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry at Windows Central. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. You'll also catch him occasionally contributing at iMore about Apple and AI. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.