In its latest update, Skype has released a new background blur feature for video calls on desktop. Users on Skype (version 8) on Windows, Mac and Linux and Skype (version 14) on Windows 10 can enable background blur when on a video call with friends, family, boss, clients or potential business partners. The feature works just like the background blur feature in Microsoft Teams.
With this feature, Skype intends to make people the focus in video calls by minimizing surrounding visual noise. According to Skype’s announcement, a trained artificial intelligence virtually carves out the video caller’s silhouette by detecting arms, hands and hair to put focus on the person and blur out the background. Judging by the short clip released in the announcement, the blur is impressive.
Use background blur in Skype
When on call, hover over the video icon to access and select ‘Blur my background’ option to activate the feature. It will make the background translucent and put the person in focus, just like the ‘portrait mode’ in smart phones.
However, Skype has released the feature with a disclaimer:
*We do our best to make sure that your background is always blurred, but we cannot guarantee that your background will always be blurred.
So, users need to be careful and not take this for granted. Yes, there might be situations where users will not be able to cover up the mess in the room or anything else by blurring it out.
Skype has an active online community where registered users share their stories, requests and most importantly provide feedback on the app’s functionality. This shows that the company is connected with the people it is catering to and working to improve their Skype experience. Having said that, this latest feature is not available in the mobile version of the app and there has been no intimation that Skype intends to release it on mobile. Does this mean that Skype wants to push itself as a more useful desktop app rather than a mobile app? Let’s wait and watch.
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