Those who wish to still feel connected during hybrid work meetings but find themselves in the position of not wishing to have their webcam turned on, Microsoft will soon be allowing you to compromise by displaying a customizable 3D avatar in Teams instead. These avatars were originally just one component of Microsoft’s Mesh initiative, which was announced in 2021 but has since been pushed back. According to Microsoft’s product roadmap, the 3D Teams avatars will be arriving in May.
See also: Microsoft forcing free Teams users to pay up or lose their data
When originally presented as part of the Mesh initiative, these Teams avatars featured customizable skin tones, hair colors and styles, body types, facial features, and more. Mesh was slated to be released in 2022, but Microsoft’s restructuring, along with the Metaverse’s disappointing reception, resulted in delays for the initiative. Back in 2021, Microsoft remarked that the end goal was to have the Teams avatars display their user’s facial expressions and gestures in real-time, though what level of functionality they will have on release remains to be seen.