Microsoft’s new mixed reality platform is Microsoft Mash. Its users can meet all together in a unified holographic world even if they are in different locations. According to the company, customers will get a different experience using the platform. Because through this, the opportunity of holoportation will be created for them.
The company’s CEO Satya Nadella said in his speech at the ‘Microsoft Ignite – 2021’ conference that this mixed reality platform is working to bring together the digital and real worlds. Because through this holographic technology it will be possible to communicate with each other in a real way.
Let’s say, in an office meeting everyone is present at the same place and talking to each other. But in reality everyone present is actually a holographic version or virtual avatar of themselves. It may sound like science fiction. But Microsoft Mash aims to make such a scenario a reality.
Mash platform technology is still in its infancy. Now users can only meet others through their own virtual avatar. However, Microsoft’s goal is to improve this technology to ensure that customers can do holoportation in the future. This allows users to truly be physically present in the virtual world.
Nadella explained the matter by example, “With this technology, I can attend any birthday party with my family in India as if we were all there physically. There will be no screen gap between us. Or I can communicate with a colleague on the other side of the world as if we were in the same room. It may seem strange to think about it. But we are working towards building such a future.”
Devices on which Mash will work.
Mash is not a single app or device. It is a platform or medium, which can be used on multiple devices. In addition to Microsoft’s own mixed reality headset HoloLens, this technology can be used with the help of certain other headsets.
The platform can be used with any headset or head-mounted display capable of creating 3D scenes, such as HoloLens, HP Reverb G-2, or Oculus Quest 2. Similarly, Two Dimensional can be accessed via iOS or Android smartphone or PC. Through these devices, users can join Mash from anywhere.
The Mash platform is the result of long-term research by Microsoft. Their projects ranged from hand and eye tracking and creating HoloLens to developing models of holograms and artificial intelligence. Through this, the company has succeeded in creating avatars just like humans.
Again, Mash is run on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. Azure is Microsoft’s cloud computing service. Azure already offers advanced security and privacy benefits as well as a wide range of big data, AI or artificial intelligence and mixed reality services. As a result, the Mash platform also leverages Azure’s advances in those areas.
“From the beginning of the project, the idea of mixed reality was a dream come true,” said Alex Kipman, Microsoft technology spokesperson. This allows you to truly feel that you are in the same place when interacting with someone. Or, if desired, teleport from various mixed reality devices or be present with others virtually if not physically.”
In fact, Kipman himself appeared on stage at the Ignite conference as a holographic version of himself from a different location. Among others who joined Kipman to discuss the Mash experience were acclaimed filmmaker James Cameron and John Hanke, founder and CEO of leading augmented reality company Niantic.
What are the possible uses of mash?
As social distancing and working from home continue for much longer, the Mash platform can take the remote work experience to another level.
For those who need to work together, like engineers and designers, Mash may be a good way to go. It will be much easier to create 3D models together, especially for the design of different things like cars or valuable furniture. Everyone working together can see the holographic model of the product and collaborate with each other without worrying about the distance even if they are located at different ends.
Again, through the Mash platform, architects and engineers will be able to walk around the holographic floor of any building under construction and observe whether each device is sitting properly or not. As a result, it will be possible to avoid many mistakes initially.
According to Microsoft, a full suite of AI-powered tools will be brought to market in the future to bring coordination between avatars, session management, spatial rendering and multi-user holography. And then this technology will work on many types of devices. Through this, mixed reality technology will go one step further.
Microsoft has created two apps to facilitate the use of the Mash platform. One of which is made for HoloLens use. Through this, users can communicate with each other remotely. It is currently open for download.
Besides, customers can also use Mash through the social VR platform ‘AltspaceVR’. Through this, employees of different organizations will get the opportunity to meet or work together in virtual reality. Again, they get better security features including sign-in, session management and privacy.