Tired of tidying up your office before every team chat? Microsoft’s Teams can now blur the background for you.

Teams is Microsoft’s alternative to Slack for team chat, and it includes a video conferencing service. Microsoft announced the blurring feature in a blog post yesterday (via The Next Web).

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The idea is that meetings should focus on the people attending, not the environments they happen to be in. Facial recognition is used to find you in the shot and the background is automatically blurred. The post includes this GIF of the tool in action:

Yes: that is Professor Robert Kelly, the expert on Korean politics whose kids famously interrupted an interview on the BBC. Here’s that clip, in case you somehow missed it back in 2017:

This is a great way to show off a feature, so kudos to the marketing team behind this.

Teams also recently added a recording feature to teams, complete with transcripts. From a Microsoft blog post:

With meeting recording in Teams, you or other invitees who missed the meeting can playback recorded audio, video and content at any time. Pull up a transcript, powered by Microsoft Stream, and search for keywords so you can optimize your time while getting caught up.

It’s great to see Microsoft stepping up their game, and I hope it drives other companies in the space to keep adding new features.

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Justin Pot has been writing about technology for over a decade, with work appearing in Digital Trends, The Next Web, Lifehacker, MakeUseOf, and the Zapier Blog. He also runs the Hillsboro Signal, a volunteer-driven local news outlet he founded.
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