If you regularly use Skype to carry out video calls, there’s always that five minutes before a call when you try and tidy up, or you don’t, and then the caller sees something embarrassing behind you. Well, Microsoft is solving that problem this week by adding background blur to Skype video calls.
Microsoft is pushing background blurs as a stress removing feature for desktop Skype users. The blur is available on a toggle which is accessed simply by right clicking to bring up the option. Alternatively, you can enable it through Skype’s settings to ensure an always blurred background.
Once enabled, Skype keeps you as the focal point. The technology works by detecting and keeping track of a person’s head, hair, hands, and arms, which allows Skype to always keep the person in focus and everything around them subtly blurred.
If you would like to try out the blurring feature, Microsoft says it works on most desktops and laptops, but you need to have the latest version of Skype running. If you want to check this manually, simply sign into Skype, select Help, and then choose “Check for updates manually.” If a new version is available you’ll be told and the update offered for download. After it’s installed, background blurring should be available.
Background blur was introduced for Microsoft Teams last year, meaning most of the bugs should have been worked out for this consumer version release. Even so, Microsoft is offering no guarantee that your background is always going to be blurred properly, so having a clean-up before a call is still advised.