Along with today's announcement of the new Microsoft Teams Windows desktop app, the company is also finally launching a long awaited new feature for all Teams users: 3D avatars. Microsoft first announced it would add this feature to teams way back in November 2021. It went into a private preview in October 2022.
The avatars use Microsoft's Mesh platform to allow Teams users to create a 3D animated version of themselves if they don't want to appear on camera during video meetings. Microsoft's blog post states that only 30 percent of Teams meeting participants use their camera. The avatars can be controlled by users to express themselves without the need to go on camera.
Microsoft says that since the private preview in October, it has made some improvements to the Teams avatars. They now have better and more realistic lighting, and there are more customization options for their appearance and clothes. There's also a way for your avatar to use Teams emojis:
If you react using the Teams emoji reactions, your avatar will mimic that reaction with their body. For example, if you utilize the raised hand reaction, your avatar will also raise their hand.
You can get more information on how to activate the new avatars in the Teams public preview, along with customization tutorials, how to use expressions, and much more, on Microsoft's support site. General availability of avatars in Teams is scheduled for May.
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