Skype can now blur your background with a click on desktop

Ruben Fields
February 8, 2019

While on a call, hover your cursor over the video camera button at the bottom of your screen, and click the "Blur my background" toggle to activate the feature. This feature will enable you to blur the background while on video calls to protect you from embarrassing moments. The goal of background blur is to help your correspondents focus on you during video calls, and to block any potential distractions coming from your environment. This new feature on Skype is rolled out on the latest version for desktops as well as laptops. You can download it at this link. "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".

That's similar to the blur Microsoft Team provides users of its chat-based feature in Office 365. The video conferencing service is introducing blurred backgrounds so you can obscure your mess with dignity.

"[Background blur] takes the stress out of turning on your video and puts the focus where it belongs-on you", explains Skype.

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The new feature utilizes AI that has reportedly been trained to detect the human form and keep it in focus, with special attention paid to features that typically shift such as hair, hands and arms.

In its post announcing the feature, Microsoft cautions users against an over-reliance on background blur - in other words, it doesn't have a guaranteed 100 percent success rate.

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