Microsoft Adds Background Blur to Skype Video Calls

How to blur your background on Skype video calls

Credit Microsoft

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.

Microsoft has not indicated when, or if, background blurring will come to the mobile version of Skype, but for now desktop users can activate the feature within Skype's settings, or from within individual video calls.

That's similar to the blur Microsoft Team provides users of its chat-based feature in Office 365. The blur is available on a toggle which is accessed simply by right clicking to bring up the option.

If you're all too familiar with the act of hastily joining a conference call only to notice that your webcam's portrait of you is outlined by a mountain of misc, then Skype has the ideal fix for you.

Microsoft itself points out that it means you won't have to wipe your whiteboard if its got sensitive information on it when you're about to speak to a potential investor.

This feature is now available on Skype versions for most desktops, but we have not spotted a new version of Skype on the Microsoft Store as of yet. Once selected, the background will seamlessly get out of focus. Alternatively, you can enable it through Skype's settings to ensure an always blurred background.

The desktop Skype client now supports blurring the background of your video calls so that all the clutter and mess that, ahem, some of us accumulate no longer needs to be broadcast to everyone you talk to. The company stated that background blurring uses artificial intelligence to detect hair, hands and arms to identify a user and blur everything else in the background.

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