Cisco and Microsoft Launch Holographic Collaboration
by Jim Lundy
Collaboration is changing and becoming more immersive. With advancements in technology, virtual reality has come back to life with a new term—metaverse—and new capabilities. While Facebook makes pronouncements about hiring 10,000 engineers to build its metaverse, it looks like Cisco and Microsoft have gotten there first—partly by leveraging their UC&C platforms. This blog discusses Cisco Hologram and Microsoft Mesh for Teams.
Cisco Hologram—Holographic Collaboration You Can Use Now
Cisco announced Cisco Hologram last week at WebexOne and it did not disappoint. By using a Microsoft HoloLens headset, users can join an immersive meeting using video to look and talk to each other and to work on projects or objects.
Cisco Hologram isn’t a full metaverse but it is what I’d call a more practical use of immersive collaboration. It was very fast to set up and used the standard Webex interface.
Microsoft Mesh for Teams—Holographic Collaboration in 2022
Microsoft announced Mesh last year and this year it took it further. Microsoft Mesh for Teams allows people to join a meeting using an avatar or a headset and also collaborate on objects or documents. Microsoft gave a compelling demo of people and avatars meeting in Teams. The full Microsoft Mesh for Teams does not launch until later in 2022, so this was a preview.
The Market for Holographic Collaboration—Augmented Reality
Since I covered virtual reality way back in 2007-10, it has come a long way. What we see now is a good first step to leverage headsets to collaborate using AR, which we are referring to as holographic collaboration. There is a lot of potential here for design teams and for collaborative interaction for training, shopping, entertainment, and service.
Metaverse (Virtual Reality) Still Has a Long Way to Go
The full immersive metaverse, which is really virtual reality, will take longer and may have more bumps in the road. Just like the physical world, the metaverse will be fraught with issues of behavior, security, and many other issues that need to be addressed. In fact, it was the lack of rules in Second Life that ended the launch of the first generation of a metaverse.
The Bottom Line—Holographic Collaboration Is Here
Like it or not, holographic collaboration is here. There are many use cases that will make this form of collaboration ideal for the hybrid work environment. Enterprises should test out these solutions, in particular Cisco, as it is available now. The headsets have improved, and we do like the ones that let you see while you collaborate. This new era represents an advance in collaboration that changes the game.