Skype Introduces Background Blur Feature for Video Calls

Skype background blur made possible with AI

Bokeh, the effect of blurring of objects around the subject, has become a popular feature in mobile photography.

To activate the function, you can pass the mouse pointer over the Skype video button and select "Blur my background".

Microsoft has started rolling out new updates for Skype that add the background blur feature to video calls.

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That's similar to the blur Microsoft Team provides users of its chat-based feature in Office 365. With that big video-conference call fast approaching, and all those reports your manager made you pull together at the last freaking minute, it's totally understandable that you forgot all about that huge bong sitting on the shelf right behind you. "You're about to video call your parents and your laundry is all over the place, or you're about to have a meeting with a potential investor and your business plan is on a whiteboard behind you, or you're being interviewed on live television and your adorable child comes marching into the room". The feature is available on most desktops and laptops that are running the latest version of Skype, though the new feature does come with an important caveat. Once selected, the background will seamlessly get out of focus.

Using artificial intelligence, Skype blurs the user's surroundings while keeping the user in focus. Alternatively, you can enable it through Skype's settings to ensure an always blurred background. The technology works by detecting and keeping track of a person's head, hair, hands, and arms, which allows Skype to always keep the person in focus and everything around them subtly blurred.

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