Microsoft has recently started testing a new major feature for Skype on all supported desktop platforms, allowing users to enable a blurred background during their video calls.
The feature isn’t entirely new, but it is now being tested by Microsoft as part of the insider preview versions of Skype for Windows, Linux, and Mac.
If you are a Skype insider, you can try it out by downloading and installing version 8.37.76 on the said desktop operating systems. There’s no word as to when this feature could go live for everyone else, but given that it’s already in preview stage, it shouldn’t take too long before it happens.
“Whether you want the focus of the call to only be on you, or you’re in a busy place that doesn’t need to be seen, blur my background will subtly blur everything except you! You can turn this on in a call in two ways, by right clicking on your own video or through our brand new on-hover video settings,” Microsoft announced this week.
Working with any webcam
Additionally, Microsoft is also improving the way users can interact with camera options using just a mouse hovering action.
Beginning with this release, users can enable background blur by simply hovering the camera icon to expand the available options and then turn them on with a click. These features are available on all desktop platforms running the preview build mentioned above.
Needless to say, these options are only offered during video calls and do not require any special hardware.
Microsoft says the blurred backgrounds aren’t webcam specific, but it does confirm that availability “is more about the CPU.” The blur effect is a software-based and it is entirely handled by the system processor, so it should work with pretty much any webcam regardless of its brand and model.
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