Thursday February 7, 2019 1:13 am PST by Tim Hardwick
Skype is getting a new screen-blurring feature this week. Users of Microsoft's video and voice calling service can now choose to blur the background on video calls if the scene behind them is something they'd rather not share. The idea behind the feature is to save the user's blushes because of the messy room they're skyping from, or to obscure a business plan on a whiteboard behind them, for instance. Background blur in Skype and Teams uses artificial intelligence (AI)—trained in human form detection—to keep you in focus during your call. This technology is also trained to detect your hair, hands, and arms, making a call with background blur just as relaxed and easy as a regular video call.Background blur in Skype is similar to background blur in Microsoft Teams, according to the software giant. The results are somewhat akin to the "bokeh" effect most commonly seen in Portrait photos on iPhone, but in this case in a live video stream. The feature is rolling out on desktops, mobile, and web, and can be enabled in Skype's settings or by using the video call button.