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Microsoft Is Bringing The SharePoint Work Environment To Virtual Reality Headsets

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Microsoft is infusing mixed reality into SharePoint, adding a new degree of customisation to the document management and collaboration program, which is an integral part of the Office 365 package.

At the SharePoint Virtual Summit, streamed live from SharePoint Conference North America, the company displayed the new SharePoint spaces capability. The Spaces creates a 3D, 360-degree experience that’s aims at making it easier for companies, to better interact with data, products and their employees.

SharePoint Spaces, which adds immersive, mixed reality experiences to the long-standing web-based, collaborative platform – widely used by businesses to share internal content.

It also enable users to create a virtual space to view and interact with mixed reality content, information, and video on any device—in a browser, mobile browser, or headset. Mixed reality refers to partly coincide in time with digital or virtual objects with the real world.

SharePoint spaces will enable creators to build immersive experiences with a point-and-click display simplicity. You can get started with smart templates to create a mixed reality environment complete with beautiful surroundings, ambient sounds, rich textures, and lighting. You then add content, which can include files you already have in SharePoint, allowing you to re-purpose your existing data, documents, and images.

Spaces is easy to setup and it doesn’t require a virtual reality headset to use. The program builds on SharePoint customization abilities, with a variety of simple templates to get users started and the ability to create their own more in-depth experiences. Users can import major company documents like sales figures, or training manuals or product prototypes to interact with.

Jeff Teper, the company’s corporate vice president for OneDrive, SharePoint, and Office, said in a blog post: “SharePoint spaces empower creators to build immersive experiences with point-and-click simplicity.”

He added: “Our customers already store over a petabyte of 3D content, including 360-degree videos created with mobile phones. SharePoint spaces are the most natural way to view and interact with 3D content, empowering people to interact with objects that might be too numerous, too large, or too dynamic to experience in the real world or in a two-dimensional environment.”

The company described it as “integrated and extensible”, adding “we expect partners to embrace SharePoint spaces and to develop powerful web parts and experiences that will drive a new wave of innovation for customers.”

SharePoint is the first unified content collaboration and services solution to span files, websites and mixed reality spaces.

SharePoint Spaces will be available in all Office 365 commercial plans later in the year. Customers and partners can apply to be part of an early, limited preview which is currently available by visiting SharePoint spaces.

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