Microsoft Teams Users Can Soon Replace Themselves With 3D Avatars: What It Means

Microsoft is also teaming up with Meta to introduce immersive 3D meetings, which will be accessible through Meta VR headsets. (Image: Microsoft)

Microsoft Teams will support 3D avatars starting in May, allowing users to avoid the camera and collaborate effectively. The company also plans to offer VR meetings with Meta.

After announcing the feature in 2021 and testing the feature for years, Microsoft is finally bringing the support for 3D avatars for Microsoft teams in May this year. 

According to The Verge, Microsoft’s Office 365 roadmap has recently been updated to show that avatars in the Microsoft Teams app can assist individuals in avoiding the camera when they don’t want to be seen. By using 3D avatars function, a virtual clone will be displayed on the screen, which will respond based on your voice without requiring a camera.

Microsoft, in the roadmap update, noted, “Avatars for Microsoft Teams gives you that much-needed camera break, while still allowing you to collaborate effectively.” And users can “add a new layer of choice to your meetings and represent yourself the way you want with customizable avatars and reactions.”

Speaking with The Verge in 2021, Microsoft’s Katie Kelly, principal product manager, Microsoft Mesh said “We are able to interpret your vocal cues to animate that avatar, so it does feel present and it does feel like it’s there with you.”

The Verge reports that Microsoft has more plans for its avatars. The company is teaming up with Meta to introduce immersive 3D meetings, which will be accessible through Meta VR headsets. As part of this collaboration, Microsoft is developing a Teams client specifically for Meta Quest headsets—enabling users to host meetings in VR—using 3D avatars that include features such as floating emoji and animations, such as raising hands.

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