Microsoft brings mixed reality to the mainstream through SharePoint spaces

During the SharePoint Conference North America keynote, Microsoft Corporate Vice President Jeff Teper announced SharePoint spaces, a new mixed reality experience for millions of enterprise users around the world. While HoloLens is quite popular among some industry verticals, Windows Mixed Reality is relatively new for the enterprise market. With this announcement of SharePoint spaces, Microsoft mainstreams mixed reality for the enterprise. SharePoint spaces will allow users to view and interact with content from every angle and visualize and manipulate data and product models in real-time. It will also everyone to create visually compelling spaces that are available to anyone, on any device.

Microsoft mentioned that SharePoint spaces will enable following scenarios that improves communication, learning, and collaboration:

  • Recruiting and onboarding?—Recruits or new employees can learn about a company in a compelling, 360-degee virtual welcome and orientation, including a 360-degree video message from leadership. They can navigate the campus or building with 3D maps, learn the organizational structure with an interactive organization chart, or explore rich information about coworkers and the organization’s products.
  • LearningWith mixed reality, learning comes to life by captivating your focus and attention. Gain broad perspective with a panoramic view of a topic and learning objectives. Then explore personalized, relevant, and dynamic content. Ignite your curiosity by discovering new insights, and dive deep into topics that matter to you. Learn not just by reading or watching, but by experiencing, with your senses engaged.
  • Product developmentCreate an inspiring space for your team to spark innovation. Surround yourself with experts to look at data, content, and processes from every angle. Explore a prototype in 3D to identify new opportunities, attach annotations, and visualize improvements.

There are two important parts of SharePoint spaces. First is the ability to create immersive experiences with point-and-click simplicity. Microsoft is offering smart templates to create a mixed reality environment complete with different surroundings, ambient sounds, rich textures, and lighting. Using the templates, users can add their own content, including the already existing enterprise files in SharePoint. Second, the created immersive content can be consumed on any device—in a browser, mobile browser, or headset.

SharePoint spaces will be available for free to all Office 365 Commercial customers. You can sign-up for limited preview by visiting SharePoint spaces.

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