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Microsoft Mesh is humanity’s jaw-dropping hologram future

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At the Microsoft Ignite conference, the company’s Alex Kipman unveiled a new hologram-based mixed-reality communication platform called Microsoft Mesh. This thing is jaw-dropping. Its most basic purpose is allowing people in different physical locations to join a shared environment, with 3D capture technology creating a hologram of each person therein (a process Microsoft insists on calling ‘holoportation’), all running atop the company’s cloud platform Azure.

There’s some forgiveable exagerration at points in the above precis of the Ignite presentation (no, this is not ‘teleporting’ people), but it showcases the potential for this technology far beyond mere business meetings. A family watching huge shoals of fish on the ocean floor, the software highlighting certain species with information as the father points (yes the world is becoming a video game). Engineers and mechanics messing around with hologrammatic equipment, finger-controlled UI overlays altering the working environment and a car engine’s internal parts. Medical students learning in an operating theatre can, apparently, “peel back muscles to see what’s underneath” (though one might hope they’d have some idea already).

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