“The feature revolves around AI-driven face detection, and its computer vision also appears to be able to detect the user’s general body outline as well”
With more and more work being done remotely, Microsoft has enlisted the help of computer vision AI to help make sure that web meetings run smoothly: The company’s enterprise messaging platform, Teams, now supports a ‘background blur’ feature for videoconferencing.
It’s pretty much what it sounds like: During any given video chat, the background behind a speaker can be blurred. So if, for example, you’re joining a meeting from the comfort of your apartment, and you have clothes or empty beer bottles lying all over the place, you can ensure that the colleagues you’re speaking with can only see your face and body on their screens, and not the evidence of a deteriorating domestic life behind you.
The feature revolves around AI-driven face detection, and its computer vision also appears to be able to detect the user’s general body outline as well, meaning no part of the user will be blurred when the feature is activated. It’s another example of the growing sophistication of commercial computer vision technology, which Microsoft has embraced in other applications such as the facial recognition capability of its Windows Hello authentication platform. And it’s a feature that is likely to be emulated by other videoconferencing platforms as people increasingly work from home, busy cafés, or any other locations that might feature some distracting visuals in the background.