Microsoft today announced yet another update to their Skype Desktop app. The app now includes a new background blur feature during video calls. It can be enabled in Skype on Windows, Mac and Linux.
The new Skype app has a very streamlined user interface. It follows the modern trend of flat minimalist design with glyph icons and no borders anywhere. This design is being used in all other Microsoft products.
Microsoft describes the background blur feature as follows.
We’ve all had those moments: 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. There are plenty of life’s moments that can get in the way of you being the focus in every video call—and that’s why we’re introducing background blur in Skype video calls.
Background blur in Skype is similar to background blur in Microsoft Teams. It takes the stress out of turning on your video and puts the focus where it belongs—on you! With a simple toggle, right-click, or even through your Skype settings, your background will be instantly and subtly blurred, leaving just you as the only focal point
The following animation demonstrates it in action.
The background blur feature makes use of artificial intelligence to find the subject of a video. It having been trained to detect hair, hands and arms. Unfortunately, the technology may have issues. The official blog post includes a warning "*We do our best to make sure that your background is always blurred, but we cannot guarantee that your background will always be blurred."
Enable Background Blur in Skype
During a call,
- Hover over the video button to bring up additional video options
- Select Blur my background. This will allow you to make yourself the priority and blur your background in a video call.