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This post is about the accessibility feature of apps that can blank the background while providing the ability to connect users in online conversations using video. I was wondering, which apps, provide the capability to focus the view on the head of the person speaking through the camera while blanking out, even if approximately, the whole background (for instance, by making it all white or all black).

I ask because it has happened to me that while on a video conversation, while walking, the other person would tell me that my walking around would make them dizzy because the background kept moving.

However, there are situations where the user in front of the camera on the video cannot stop walking or must keep walking.

It would be nice if either the user viewing the video or the person broadcasting this had a way to enable blanking out the background. In either case, the user could either enable the feature or request that it be enabled on the other side while transmitting video.

Hence, I ask, what apps, including apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber, and Imo Messanger, support the functionality I am asking about (and, if not, how can I find an app which supports the given functionality, and when will the apps I mention include the functionality I am talking about).

My question, besides supporting busy people whom are always on the go, has also to do with accessibility (as there are people with conditions such as Akathisia or restless leg syndrome or other Parkinsonian disorders, which cannot stand still, and thus suffer from being always in motion, walking, when in front of video).

Thank you for your answers and support.

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I don't think this can be done in software alone.

Apple has a structure known as 'Centre Stage' which does precisely this - it can follow the subject as they move & maintain framing - but it can only be used on certain hardware with an ultra-wide lens. No Mac computer can do it on its own yet, but can in combination with the new Studio Display, which contains the required ultra-wide lens & also has its own internal A13 CPU, the same as an iPhone 11 or 9th gen iPad.
The latest iPads can also do this, but no iPhones yet [I didn't check if the new iPhone 14 can do it].

See Use Centre Stage on your iPad or Studio Display

Blanking out the background can be done in software alone, but needs a fast processor to do it. Many apps support this, being able to replace the background with a still photo or video, but is heavily dependant on the device's processing power.

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  • Thank you for your answer. Can you point me to some software that can be installed and used to test out this feature on newer devices to see if it works? Thanks. Sep 9, 2022 at 7:35
  • I'm on Android 11. I would be curious to see if this worked on my device. Thanks. Sep 9, 2022 at 7:36
  • In any case, it would be great to have thus implemented on newer phones and their messenger applications. That way, when my phone breaks down and I buy a new one, I can make use of what I mention. Thanks. Sep 9, 2022 at 7:37
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    I don't really know enough about Android devices & how the CPUs & OS generations relate to their capabilities. I did find this, but can't test it. - play.google.com/store/apps/…
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 9, 2022 at 7:43

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