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Microsoft Mesh: a gamechanger for entertainment

Microsoft has showcased how people can experience mixed reality at its recent Ignite digital conference, paving the way for the media and entertainment industry to offer similar events to viewers.

Powered by the Azure cloud computing platform, Microsoft Mesh allows people in different physical locations to interact with each other within a shared holographic experience.

Participants will initially be able to express themselves as graphic representations called avatars in shared virtual experiences, and over time project themselves as more photo-realistically, the company said.

“The holographic content is in the cloud, and I just need the special lenses that allow me to see it,” Microsoft Technical Fellow Alex Kipman said.

Mixed reality in entertainment

At Ignite, OceanX — a nonprofit that supports ocean education and awareness — announced a  collaboration with Microsoft to create a Mesh-enabled “holographic laboratory” on the ship that scientists could visit, either in person or virtually.

People could enjoy entertainment in venues similar to the OceanX laboratory in time to come. Its Lune Rouge, which develops immersive entertainment experiences, is beginning to explore how Microsoft Mesh might enable virtual attendance at concerts, theatrical performances, and DJ events. And its Hanai World project aims to create digital representations of entertainment venues around the world and capture live performances with enough 3D fidelity such that people could experience the same event in the flesh, or in mixed reality.

The platform is expected to curate a mix of Lune Rouge and user-generated content across a wide variety of media and genres.

“It would be a nice complement to live entertainment,” said Alexandre Miasnikof, Executive Director for production at Lune Rouge.

“It brings in another layer of human connection, and it brings entertainment to people who wouldn’t normally be able to come to an event, whether because of geography or access.”

“What we have today is the promise, and how soon we can realise that promise, we don’t know,” Miasnikof added. “But we think we have a good foundation with Microsoft Mesh and we’ll build from there.”

Watch Kipman unveil Microsoft Mesh at https://youtu.be/IkpsJoobZmE.

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