Google Meet is in the middle of merging with the company’s other video chat service, Google Duo. While that’s happening, Meet is also adding three new features to improve video and audio quality.
Google is now testing an improved algorithm for separating a subject from a background, which the company says will provide more accurate background blur and background replacement. The before and after demo (embedded below) certainly looks impressive, but your results may vary based on camera quality and room lighting. Google says the change only applies to Meet in web browsers — for now, at least.
Not all computers can handle real-time video effects, so if Google Meet detects your device is too slow, it will now move video processing to the cloud. The company said in a blog post, “Meet automatically adjusts between device-based and cloud-based effect processing to offer the best possible experience. This helps to save battery and up to 30% of CPU on your device while optimizing effect quality.” Cloud processing is only available for background blur and light adjustment right now, not background replace or other effects.
Finally, Google is adding a new indicator for noise cancellation. Meet already shows an animated icon when you’re talking, and now it will also display how much background noise is being removed. An additional ring around the voice indicator will expand and contract, based on how much noise is being removed.
The improved video effects are available now for everyone using Meet in a browser. However, cloud-based processing and the new noise indicators are only available for select organization and business accounts — not personal Google accounts.
Source: Google Workspace Updates (1, 2)