Microsoft brings AI-powered background blurring to Skype

Skype background blur made possible with AI

Skype can now blur your background, so no one can tell your life is a shambles

After introducing background blur on video in Microsoft Teams a year ago, Microsoft is bringing the same AI-powered feature to its Skype desktop app.

Bottom line: Microsoft's new background blur feature will be incredibly handy but as Redmond warns, it isn't failproof. The software will then slowly blur everything else in the background and "takes the stress out of turning on your video and puts the focus where it belongs - on you!". The feature is only available on desktop for now, and the team didn't say if this feature will eventually come to mobile.

Background blur should be available to anyone using the Skype desktop client on a desktop or laptop machine.

In the menu that pops up, click on the "Blur my background" toggle to turn the feature on. But in case you want all the focus on yourself and not on the mess behind you, you now have that option.

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.

To get started with background blur in your calls, you can find the option by hovering over the "Video" button during a call.

The popular video calling service has introduced a new background blur feature which intelligently obscures the backdrop while leaving the subject in sharp focus, creating a similar bokeh effect to that found in phone camera portrait modes.

Skype's background blur AI is trained to detect human forms but it does more than just detect heads. Alternatively, you can enable it through Skype's settings to ensure an always blurred background.

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