Finding the perfect distraction-free corner with perfect lighting for an important Skype call can often be very difficult to find. So Skype decided to throw in a small but very convenient feature into their video calling service — background blur.
Introduced first in Microsoft’s Teams collaboration app, the feature has now been finally made available for all Skype desktop users. As per a blog post by Skype, the new feature relies on artificial intelligence to detect parts of a human body like hair, hands and arms to ensure that only you remain the subject of focus in the call and everything else is blurred out. Still confused? Think of it as how portrait mode works on a smartphone.
To set the feature up while you’re on your next Skype call, hover the cursor over the video camera button at the bottom of your screen, and click the ‘Blur my background’ toggle. Alternatively, while on a call, you can right-click your camera feed at the top right corner of your screen and select the ‘Blur my background’ option in the pop-up menu.
However, before you get too carried away, Skype states, “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 if there’s anything behind you that you absolutely don’t want people to see on your call, you’ll want to get it out of the way to be sure.
Can’t find the new option on your desktop app? That’s probably because you aren’t on the latest version of Skype yet.