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Skype has a new feature that blurs the background so no one can see your messy room

A pretty nice quality-of-life improvement for the service.

skype blurred background
Image: Microsoft

We get it. The reasons you dread it when a business meeting is set up over Skype. Maybe you don’t want anyone knowing you’re working from Panera Bread, or just how bad your tidying skills are. Apparently, Microsoft gets it too, with automatic background blur making its way to Skype video calls later this week.

Now, the clutter and background noise of everyday life will disappear behind a soft-focus wall, just like if you were to use an expensive camera. The background blur feature was first introduced into Microsoft’s Teams software last year and is now available in the latest desktop versions of Skype, so go grab the update.

If you’re a mobile Skype user, you’re still out of luck, for now, as we haven’t heard anything about the feature coming to mobile yet.

How to start using the new feature from Skype

Microsoft says the blur effect is AI-powered, and it should be clever enough to detect hands, arms, and even hair so it won’t blur out important parts of your calls.

It’s easy to start using:

  • While on a call, hover the cursor over the Camera icon at the bottom of your screen, then click the Blur my background toggle to turn it on

You can also turn on the blur by right-clicking the camera feed icon at the top-right corner, then click on the Blur my background option in the pop-up menu.

OR

  • Start a video call with one of your contacts
  • Click on the gear icon on the top-right corner to open the Audio & Video Settings menu
  • Then click on Blur my background on the menu that pops up

    Image: TNW

Microsoft can’t guarantee that all your background will get blurred though, so it’s probably a good idea to clear away any suspect items before you start the call.

What do you think? Will you use the feature on future Skype calls? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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