What you need to know
- Microsoft has announced new camera effects are coming to Windows 11 natively.
- These include eye correction, auto framing, noise suppression, and more.
- The effects will be powered by a dedicated neural processing unit found in compatible devices.
Microsoft has today announced that it's planning to introduce several new features designed to enhance the video calling experience on Windows 11. Unveiled as part of its hybrid work event, these new features include native support for eye correction, background blur, automatic framing, and noise suppression on supported devices with a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU,) just like the Surface Pro X.
Because these features are being built directly into Windows 11, all of these enhancements will work in any app that takes advantage of an NPU. This means it's not just Microsoft Teams that will support these new camera features, as other apps like Slack or the built-in camera app can take advantage of them as well. Microsoft highlights the Lenovo ThinkPad X13s with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen3 as one of the first devices shipping with an NPU that supports these new features.
Having a system-wide, native version of these camera features and effects is going to be great for those who frequent in apps that don't already have these effects built-in. While most video calling services have built-in blur effects and auto framing, many don't have noise suppression, so that's going to be super useful for people in loud environments. More devices are expected to ship with a dedicated NPU over the coming months.
So far, Microsoft touts only the Lenovo ThinkPad X13s as having a NPU built-in, though we suspect the Surface Pro X also has one given it's also based on a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip and already has eye-correction features. We'll be interested to see if Intel and AMD PCs also jump on the NPU bandwagon in the future. Microsoft does say that a new feature, called voice clarity, is coming to Surface Laptop Studio soon.
These announcements arrive as part of Microsoft's hybrid work event taking place right now. The company has also unveiled plans to integrate Windows 365 cloud experiences with the local Windows 11 desktop, in addition to adding new camera effect features powered by dedicated neural processing units in compatible PCs. Finally, it's also highlighting new security advances in Windows 11 for commercial customers.
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I'm sure this NTU stuff is very promising technology, but these specific improvements - better background blur and noise suppression and angle-adjusted eye contact - range from underwhelming to just weird. I'm hoping there's more interesting stuff in store.
About frigging time, if you ask me
How's this NPU chip going to work in the 365 virtual machines if cloud is the future? One has to have a new PC/Surface as well as a cloud machine? Sounds like a company's buying two for the price of two per seat.
NPUs . And I'm still on a Pentium Gold,with Intel graphics. Such is life.
You just won't get that audio/video processing unless someone writes vNPU code that consumes the CPU. It is fancy but I can't see it as a major business justification (like file explorer tabs). The security and IT manageability is great but it looks like its all additional $$$ so the blessed departments will leverage it, the rest of the users will not. I guess Defense Dept vendors would be required to use it.
Yeah,I wont get much stuff anyway. They way the electricity price is going up in my part of the world, I might put my PC in the attic and browse on my TV.
Actually do everything on my TV! Cause they Smart now ;)))
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