One of the drawbacks of making video conferences from home is that the people you talk to do not only see your face but also part of your house. 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 function is available in the video menu on most desktops and laptops that have the latest version of Skype.
Microsoft has not indicated when, or if, background blurring will come to the mobile version of Skype, but for now desktop users can activate the feature within Skype's settings, or from within individual video calls.
Bottom line: Microsoft's new background blur feature will be incredibly handy but as Redmond warns, it isn't failproof.
The background blurring feature has already been rolled out to Microsoft's corporate communication client, Teams, and now it's in the consumer-oriented app. The feature can also be set as the default for all of your video calls through Skype's settings. Once selected, the background will seamlessly get out of focus.
If you dread video calls because you can't ever find a clean, distraction-free space that won't embarrass you while you're on camera, Microsoft has just the thing: it's now added an option to blur the background so your contacts won't be able to clearly discern what's in your surroundings.
Cautioning the users, Microsoft also mentioned, "We do our best to make sure that your background is always blurred, but we can not guarantee that your background will always be blurred". The technology detects hair, hands and arms, Microsoft said in a blog post, ensuring users don't accidentally end up headless or limbless.