Feature might not be entirely reliable just yet, company cautions
Skype is now going to hide probably the most embarrassing thing about video chats: your messy room.
The company has introduced a new background blur feature intended to hide away all of those parts of your room that you'd rather people not see, as well as parents whose TV interviews are interrupted by children storming into their study.
The tool uses artificial intelligence to pick out the users' hair, hands, and arms, as well as looking for people, and will keep those visible. Everything else will blend into the background, allowing people to focus on you as you speak.
Turning it on is as simple as clicking the little video button during a chat. From there, the option to "blur my background" will appear, along with a preview of what it might look like.
But it might not always work, Skype notes. The machine learning that powers the technology might not always be able to find your background, meaning that embarrassments and difficulties could still happen.
"We do our best to make sure that your background is always blurred, but we cannot guarantee that your background will always be blurred," it said in its announcement.
Background blur was already available in Microsoft Teams, in a similar tool meant for using in the workplace.
It should now be available on most laptops and desktops with the latest version of Skype.