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Decorate your background – How generative AI backgrounds work, and why you might want to use them

Microsoft Teams has always been at the forefront of innovation, and the Decorate your background feature is no exception. Released in Teams Premium in January 2024, this feature uses generative AI to create an artificial version of the user’s real background but cleans it up or decorates it following a specific theme.

Background replacement has become increasingly popular, as it allows users to project a mood or image into a Teams meeting, or simply to hide a messy room. Teams offers a variety of different background replacement themes, including standard and portrait blur, video backgrounds, frosted glass, which is great for displaying your company logo in your video calls , and a variety of specific images. Backgrounds in Microsoft Teams won the 2024 IF Design Award for Product Backgrounds and give Teams users joy, help them feel connected, and express who they are.

The Decorate your background feature takes this a step further by creating a background that looks like the room the user is in, only cleaned up and therefore presentable. It offers different styles, like Clean up, Fancy, Greenhouse, Celebration, and Surprise me, with more in the works .

Clean up – Designed to tidy up your surroundings, this theme removes clutter and creates a more streamlined and minimalistic aesthetic, elevating your room’s professional appearance.

clean up.png

Fancy- Enhances your space by incorporating lavish and traditional decorative elements to give your room a more elegant and adorned appearance.

Fancy.png

Greenhouse – Adds plants and greenery into your space, infusing your room with a natural and lush ambiance.

Greenhouse.png

Celebration – Includes festive decorations like balloons, streamers, lighting, and other elements, livening up your space for celebratory moments.

Celebration.png

Surprise me – Cycles through a variety of styles to transform your space including 2D animation theme, underwater theme, a block-style design reminiscent of Minecraft, and a space shuttle theme, offering a new experience with every click.

Surprise Me.png

The feature works by taking a screenshot of the user in front of their current background, then sends that to a service in the cloud. The service removes the user from the screenshot, fills the user-shaped hole in the background, and then passes this image to the generative AI image service, along with text instructions for the selected style. After creating a background image, the service does several safety checks to assure the generated image is appropriate and safe for work , before sending the image to the user’s machine. The user’s images are not stored in the cloud or used for any purposes other than the background replacement that happens on the user’s machine.

The step by step process behind Decorate your backgroundThe step by step process behind Decorate your background

One major advantage of Decorate your background is the fact that the background looks like the user’s actual background, particularly with regards to colors, brightness, and angles of objects in the background. We’ve all seen it when video participants in meetings use backgrounds that look ‘off’. Something can be not quite right either because the background replacement is much lighter or darker than the user’s surroundings, or because the colors between the background and the user’s actual environment are so different that people on video have an edge around their body, or because the angles and orientation of the items in the background don’t match the user in front of that background. With Decorate your background , video users look like they are in the environment depicted in the background, because in a way, they are.

The Decorate your background feature is available for Teams Premium users. So, next time you’re in a Teams meeting and want to spruce up your background, give the Decorate your background feature a try !

Learn how to use the feature here: Change your background in Microsoft Teams meetings – Microsoft Support

To try Decorate your background ask your IT admin about acquiring a Microsoft Teams Premium license. Get started for free for 30 days or buy before June 30, 2024, for just USD 7 per user per month—30 percent off the standard USD 10 pricing. Try of buy Teams Premium today.

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