With instant messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger getting voice and video calling option, Skype is no longer the go-to option for making video calls. However, the Microsoft-owned company has added a new feature that may appeal to some users. The feature in question here is the AI background blur tool that smudges out the background scene, while keeping your face in focus. This comes in handy when you are doing professional meetings with clients or remote team members, with potential distractions in the background.

The AI background tool is similar to the one that Microsoft added to Teams. Basically, the AI is designed to detect features such as hair, hands, skin, facial contours and arms. It constantly analyzes the surrounding and the movements of the person in the calling screen to keep the background blur. We tried the feature, and it works even when there are two people in the frame.

However, you need to ensure that you’re at a certain distance (1.5 meters) from the camera for the AI algorithms to work. The feature has been rolled out to Skype desktop app, but only works when you are making calls to the recipient who is also on a desktop computer. In case the recipient is on mobile, the blur background option won’t appear.

How to blur background when making Skype video calls

Open Skype and start a video chat with any of your contacts. Next, right click on the camera feed and you will see an option called ‘blur my background’ just click on it. If you want to remove the background blur effect, again right click and click on “unblur my background” option.

While the option mostly works, Microsoft said in a blog post that  “we do our best to make sure that your background is always blurred, but we cannot guarantee that your background will always be blurred.”

 

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