Skype New Feature Blurs Video Backgrounds to Hide Your Messy Room

Skype background blur made possible with AI

Skype can now blur your background, so no one can tell your life is a shambles

A few months after adding background blurring to its Teams tool, Microsoft has brought the same option to Skype on the desktop.

Skype's background blurring is essentially portrait mode for video calls, using artificial intelligence to separate you-your hair, arms, glasses, and the like-from whatever's cluttering up your background.

Good news, all of you Skype users who've been known to participate in calls in rooms that look like a disaster behind you - or who, you know, sit for a TV interview via Skype while your children parade around behind you. It will keep your body in focus, while all other things in the background with be blurred. Users must first download and install the latest version of Skype to use the background blur feature.

Skype is available as a free download on PC, Mac, Android, and iOS. The Team was introduced late in 2016, and the blur feature was added later, allowing the boss to address the troops without their seeing the mess on the desk behind her.

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What this means to you: Skype's background blurring doesn't totally obscure what's behind you the way a green-screen effect would, but it's effective at keeping the focus on what matters.

It is very easy to start or activate this new blur feature in Skype.

IF YOU'RE the sort of person whose kids decide to visit you in your office when you're trying to talk to the BBC, then Microsoft has great news for you.

Microsoft is yet to confirm whether Skype users on smartphone or tablet will be able to make use of the feature. Microsoft has not given any exact date about when the feature will be available on mobile devices. To recall, a similar background blur feature was introduced for Microsoft Teams users a year ago, and it has now trickled down to Skype users as well. Other than that, you'll have to make the update to continue.

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