Skype introduces background blur to disguise the bong you forgot about

Look, we get it. With that big video-conference call fast approaching, and all those reports your manager made you pull together at the last freaking minute, it’s totally understandable that you forgot all about that huge bong sitting on the shelf right behind you. 

Thankfully, Skype gets it too. The video chat service you never knew was so chill has a new feature that totally has you covered. It’s called background blur, and it’s here to save you from all kinds of potential video call embarrassments. 

“[Background blur] takes the stress out of turning on your video and puts the focus where it belongs—on you,” explains Skype. “With a simple toggle, right-click, or even through your Skype settings, your background will be instantly and subtly blurred, leaving just you as the only focal point.”

Blur, baby, blur.

Blur, baby, blur.

Now, before you get carried away and decide it’s totally cool to leave up all those Fight Club posters in your home office, Skype does issue a pretty important note of caution. 

“We do our best to make sure that your background is always blurred,” the blog post announcing the feature warns, “but we cannot guarantee that your background will always be blurred.”

Still, though. This is an important development (using “artificial intelligence (AI)—trained in human form detection,” no less!) for everyone who’s spent 20 minutes tidying up their college dorm room before hopping on Skype with grandma. And it’s left us thinking about what other great privacy improvements the company could bring to its platform. 

For example, what if Skype offered a feature — enabled with a simple right click or toggle — that completely blacked out video altogether while leaving the sound intact? 

Nah, some things are perhaps just too fantastical. 

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