Video calls, especially for work, are more common than ever. Intel, Google, Apple, and others are now working on a proposal to improve a much-used feature in web video calls: background blur. Most popular video call services allow you to blur the background of your video feed, including Skype , Microsoft Teams , Google Meet , and others. The feature is a great way to hide personal information (e.g. photos of family members on a wall) and distractions, but right now, each web app has to implement its own background blur technology. That usually involves cloud-based software or artificial intelligence libraries like Google's Tensorflow, sometimes with mixed results. Thankfully, that could change soon. Two Intel engineers and one Apple developer drafted a proposal for a 'Background Blur API' in web browsers, which would allow any web pages that access cameras to add a blur effect with minimal effort. Google's Chrome team just announced an "intent to prototype," meaning the feature should start being tested in Chrome soon. The new API could make background blur more responsive and less battery-draining. Initial testing showed power usage on an Intel PC with Windows 11 was nearly identical to a regular video call with… Read full this story
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