Starting in May, Microsoft will begin making its 3D avatars available to Microsoft Teams users, according to updates on its Microsoft 365 roadmap. Avatars were first introduced by Microsoft in 2021, and in recent months they have been undergoing private testing.
Microsoft Teams‘ avatars are intended to allow users to avoid being seen on camera while in meetings. Users can now sub for a 3D avatar that will move purely based on voice cues, this would come in handy for users who don’t feel like using video or desire a break from continual calls. No camera is required.
According to Katie Kelly, lead product manager for Microsoft Mesh in an interview in 2021 “It’s not binary, so I can choose how I want to show up, whether it’s video or an avatar, and there’s a variety of customized options to choose how you want to be present in a meeting.” “She added that “Because 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.”
Microsoft intends to employ these avatars in its immersive 3D meetings that will be in collaboration with Meta while launching the VR headsets. To enable individuals to attend meetings in virtual reality with 3D avatars that have floating emoji and motions like the ability to raise hands, Microsoft is developing a Teams client for Meta Quest headsets.