Microsoft has announced that animated avatars are now available in preview for its Teams collaboration platform. Via the Avatars app in the Microsoft Teams App Store, members of the Technical Access Program can now design up to three avatars for use during meetings, and choose from an array of reaction gestures.
Mesh avatars allow for greater freedom of expression in a hybrid working environment, with users able to customize physical attributes, accessories, and other aspects of themselves. Microsoft’s release of the feature at its Ignite event reiterates its commitment to blurring the line between video conferencing software and metaverses, which some business leaders believe are the next big development in collaboration tools following the shift to hybrid working.
These spaces are designed around mesh avatars interacting inside a virtual space equipped with the tools that teams need to collaborate, such as whiteboards, document storage, and video conferencing software.