You can now replace or blur your unkempt background during Skype video calls

Microsoft today announced a background replace feature in Skype for iPhone and Skype for iPad that permits users to have their unkempt home environment blurred during video chats.

If your environment is untidy or you have some secrets in the background that you don’t want the other party to see (a particular problem when video-chatting while at work, you can now tell the app to either replace the background with any of your own images or blur it.

Background blur in Skype and Teams uses artificial intelligence—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.

You can see the background replace feature in action on the image top of post and below.

According to Microsoft, you can blur or replace your background by hovering over the video button or hitting the More menu during a desktop Skype video call, then select the option “Choose background effect”. You can blur the room you’re in currently, choose an image you previously added or add a new image to customize your background effect.

On iOS, tap the More menu during a call and slide toggle on the option “Blur my background”.

To blur or replace your background for all Skype video calls, hit your profile picture and choose Settings, then select Audio & Video. Under the heading “Choose background effect”, select Blur and choose any previously added image or hit “Add a new image” to customize your background effect.

You custom image should be in landscape orientation and saved locally. For desktop Skype your computer’s CPU must support Advanced Vector Extensions 2 (AVX2) in order for the background replace feature to work.

For further information, read Skype’s support document.

You can download Skype for iPhone and Skype for iPad free of charge via the App Store.