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Microsoft Teams adds custom background support: How to use it

Here is how to use the new custom backgrounds feature in Microsoft Teams. With only support for effects right now, Microsoft will soon bring custom image support to the app as well.

  • Updated: April 12, 2020 4:54 PM IST
Microsoft Teams

Microsoft recently rolled out a new update for its unified communications platform for workplaces called Teams. The new update allows users to select background effects, similar to what controversial video meet app Zoom offers. Also Read - Microsoft Surface Duo first camera sample revealed by Panos Panay; check details

This feature makes use of background blurring, which uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to blur the environment behind the user. However, that is not all. What made the feature extremely popular in Zoom was the ability to add custom backgrounds as images. Microsoft Teams is set to get that feature too in a future update. Hence, users will soon have the option of uploading their own images for use, said the company in a statement. Also Read - Microsoft xCloud Beta coming soon to 11 more countries in Europe

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How to enable the feature

To enable custom background effects on Microsoft Teams, you must first already be in a Video Chat. When already in an ongoing Video Call, you should see a few buttons in a toolbar below. This includes the hang-up button, the text message button and more. Here, click on the three-dot menu. You should now see a bunch of options pop up above the bar. Look for the ‘Show background effects’ button and click it. Choose a suitable effect and you are good to go. Also Read - Microsoft Edge beats Mozilla Firefox to become second most popular browser: NetMarketShare

The feature is still new to teams and a lot more options will come in subsequent updates. Zoom also offers support for custom backgrounds built into the app itself. These include static images and video loops that can be used as motion backgrounds. Microsoft will also soon be rolling out its ‘raise hand’ feature for video calls. With this, users can alert others to the fact that they have something to say by clicking a dedicated ‘raise hand’ icon.

“Later this year, we will bring real-time noise suppression, which uses AI to reduce distracting background noise such as loud typing or a barking dog in Teams meetings,” said Microsoft. The service saw a 40 percent surge in the last month compared to November 2019. This is due to most of the world working from home because of the Coronavirus-induced lockdowns.

(With inputs from IANS)

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  • Published Date: April 12, 2020 12:56 PM IST
  • Updated Date: April 12, 2020 4:54 PM IST

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