Last week, Microsoft revealed that the Mesh public preview for its Teams service would be available sometime in early October. While we await for the company to make an official announcement for the use of Mesh in Teams, it has now released the Mesh toolkit for developers in a public preview.
In case you are unfamiliar with Mesh, it is a way for businesses to create 3D interactive environment, It uses avatars for employees to access in online meetings and those avatars can offer different reactions during events. Online Teams meetings can be turned into virtual spaces where team members can play interactive games for worker bonding.
In a blog post, Microsoft talked about how developers can use the Mesh toolkit:
The toolkit supports Unity so you can build environments in a familiar way and leverage existing scenes and assets to build experiences in Mesh. You can also enrich your experiences by adding interactive content, inserting logic, integrating with business data, or infusing AI – all with physics and interaction tools that you can leverage out-of-the-box.
The blog post goes over many of the features of both the Mesh 3D experiences and creating custom ones with the toolkit. They can be created for use on the PC or with Meta’s Quest VR headsets. At the same time, Mesh also uses enterprise-grade security that’s based on Microsoft 365.
While the toolkit allows developers to make Mesh environments from scratch, it also includes samples that can be used as the basis for a project:
The Mesh 101 sample is a great place to start. It includes a pre-built Unity project and step-by-step tutorial that will show you how to add Mesh features and create an interactive experience. Developed for those with intermediate to advanced Unity skills, the tutorial will give you hands-on experience setting up your dev environment, adding interactivity with Mesh scripting, and triggering animations with Mesh physics. You’ll be able to see your progress and simulate the multi-user experience in Unity Play Mode.
Custom Mesh environments do require the use of a paid Microsoft Teams Premium license.