Picture: IANS
Picture: IANS

Google to add background blur feature to Meet video calls - report

By IANS and IOL Tech Time of article published Jun 30, 2020

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Google video conferencing app Meet will soon let users to add images or a blur effect to backgrounds on video calls.

Google is also working on several other features like real-time captioning, low-light mode, hand-raising, and a tile view of up to 49 meeting participants that would make Meet more competitive against rival videoconferencing platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, reports The Verge.

The company did not disclosed details about when the changes would be available.
However, Meet is already previewing some of the upcoming features for its education and enterprise customers.

Meet recently received AI noise cancellation feature update to help attendees reduce the background noise significantly.

The feature was originally announced in April with a couple of other features but it is only starting to roll.

Google has been working on the feature for around a year and a half, using thousands of its own meetings to train its AI model.

The feature is expected to become widely available for G Suite enterprise customers by the end of this month.

According to a post by Google, the new feature has many advantages and easy to work.

* Control your desired level of blur: Use the slider to change the amount of background blur.

* Privacy focused: All image processing happens locally in your browser.

* On / Off switch: Easily turn the background blur on or off during a call using the On / Off switch at the top left of your screen.

If you want to completely turn off the extension, go to chrome://extension and switch the extension off, then click reload on any active Google Meet or Hangouts call.

This chrome extension works thanks to Google's open source TensorFlow JS and Bodypix model which allow for image segmentation to occur entirely within your browser, without a server.

How to enable it: 
1. Install the chrome extension by clicking the “Add to Chrome” button at the top of this page.
2. Go to meet.google.com or hangouts.google.com and start or join a video call.
3. Click the Blur: Off / On button at the top left of your screen to turn the background blur effect off or on.

--IANS and IOL Tech

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