If you’re setting up a video chat you can now have Skype automatically blur the background for you. This means you remain in focus, while everything around you gets subtly blurred. Yes, the days of tidying up your room before Skyping someone are over.
Blurring the Line Between Microsoft Teams and Skype
On the Skype Blog, Microsoft explains how background blur in Skype is similar to background blur in Microsoft Teams. Teams being Microsoft’s Slack clone. Background blur arrived on Microsoft Teams in September 2018, and is now available on Skype.
— Skype (@Skype) February 6, 2019
Skype’s background blur feature uses artificial intelligence to detect the human form in the frame. It then keeps you in focus at all times while making everything else blurry. And this should work even if you have long hair or the tendency to move your hands around.
“You’re about to video call your parents and your laundry is all over the place, or you’re about to have a meeting with a potential investor and your business plan is on a whiteboard behind you, or you’re being interviewed on live television and your adorable child comes marching into the room.”
When would this come in handy? As you can see above, Microsoft paints a picture of various scenarios where enabling background blur could prove useful. That last example was a reference to the time a BBC interview with Professor Robert Kelly was interrupted.
How to Enable Background Blur on Skype
To enable background blur on Skype, simply click the video camera icon at the bottom of your screen. This will open your video settings, and you should see the option to “Blur my background”. Toggle that to “On” and your background will become blurred.
Background blur is available now on most desktops and laptops running the latest version of Skype (not Skype Classic). However, there’s a chance it won’t always work as expected, with Microsoft stating, “we cannot guarantee that your background will always be blurred.”