Most of us take them for granted these days, but virtual backgrounds on apps like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet can cause real problems for some users. It shouldn’t be a surprise that they won’t work perfectly as, in essence, they are a form of movie-like special effects but the problems, like glitchy backgrounds and even lost body parts, are much worse for some users than for others. Google is trying to address this problem with an update it is rolling out for Meet. Here is what you need to know.
It takes a lot of processing power for an app to be able to determine different elements of a video for an image. For example, it can be a struggle for an app like Google Meet to differentiate between the subject of the image (you) in the foreground and all the other items in your room in the background. If this occurs while the app is trying to overlay a virtual background behind the subject, it will cause problems, particularly if you have a lower-powered device such as an older PC, smartphone, or tablet.
To fix this issue, Google is rolling out an update for Google Meet that will take the heavy lifting for this type of processing off your device by handling it with its own cloud hardware capabilities. This new cloud-assisted processing will happen automatically when necessary and will be prioritized for devices that need it the most, resulting in savings of up to 30 per cent of your device’s CPU usage.
An added bonus of this move is that reducing the strain on your device’s CPU will also have a beneficial effect on your device’s battery life too. This means that as the performance is improving the strain being placed on your battery is reduced. If you’ve ever been on a group video call while running on battery power, you will know just how big of a deal this really is. Therefore, although this update will benefit those using lower-powered devices most it will have wider benefits for all Google Meet users too.
To help you get the most out of Google Meet, we recently put together a guide to the best Google Meet Chrome extensions.