Bill Gates: In the next two to three years, most virtual meetings will turn to Metaverse

In a year-end letter recently released, Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Bill Gates not only reviewed the “most unusual and difficult 2021”, but was also optimistic about 2022 and beyond. Including a “more digital future”. He predicts that the rise of the metaverse will greatly change future work.

Bill Gates: In the next two to three years, most virtual meetings will turn to Metaverse

Metaverse is a virtual world established by technology companies such as Meta or Microsoft. Users can work, play and socialize in this virtual world.

Gates pointed out that the Covid-19 pandemic has “completely changed” the workplace, and more companies than ever provide flexibility for employees who wish to work remotely. “These changes will only intensify in the next few years,” Gates wrote, adding that telecommuting will only draw more people into the Metaverse.

“In the next two to three years, I predict that most virtual meetings will shift from two-dimensional images to Metaverse, a 3D space with virtual images,” Gates wrote in his blog.

Two-dimensional images-Gates likens it to the game show “Hollywood Squares”-this is the format currently provided by most video conferencing platforms (such as Zoom or Microsoft’s Teams). In Metaverse, you will have a 3D virtual avatar so that you can participate in meetings in a virtual office space or other destinations, where you can also interact with your colleagues’ virtual avatars.

“Our idea is that you will eventually use your avatar to meet people in a virtual space, and this virtual space can replicate the feeling of being in a real room with them.” Gates wrote.

But Gates pointed out that users must wear virtual reality helmets or glasses to do this. He also admitted that in order to “accurately capture expressions, body language, and sound quality,” people need expensive technological equipment, such as VR helmets and even motion capture gloves.

Gates added that Microsoft is working on adding 3D avatars and other Metaverse elements to its office software Teams. Last month, Microsoft announced a cooperation with Meta to make the latter’s Workplace corporate social network software compatible with Teams, giving Teams a clear entrance to the Metaverse.

Gates also pointed out that Microsoft will launch its own virtual reality helmet and gloves next year, which can use “your webcam to turn the avatar currently used in 2D settings into animation.”

At the annual Ignite conference in early November, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that the tech giant will launch 90 new services and updates in three areas-one of which is Metaverse.

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