Next Windows 11 AI update could leave you feeling Toonstruck in Teams

Microsoft Teams video call using Windows Studio effects
(Image credit: Microsoft (with images generated by Microsoft Copilot using Dall.E 3))

Windows 11 is gearing up for its annual 2H24 update, with many new features already being tested within Canary and Insider Preview builds of Microsoft's OS. However, new features are hinted at in each new build, the latest of which was spotted by leaker XenoPanther and alludes to incoming video chat effects for Windows 11 users running on NPU-featuring PCs and laptops.

The leaker spotted references to these new features while digging through the latest Windows 11 preview build, also finding files that suggest the operating system could see updates to its OOBE (Out of Box Experience) and sign-in screen.

In a follow-up post, XenoPanther also points to three new potential camera effects heading to the Windows 11 platform: Watercolor, animated, and illustrated.

Microsoft Teams: Now in Technicolor

All three will likely feature as part of the AI-enhanced Windows Studio Effects already available to machines sporting an NPU. Some already available effects include automatic framing (similar to Apple's Centre Stage feature), background blur (similar to the portrait mode on smartphones), voice focus (which clears up audio from distracting background noise), and Eye Contact — which uses AI to "fake" eye contact with your webcam during video calls so that users feel more engaged with one another.

The new additions will offer full-image filters that turn your typical video feed into something with an artistic twist, painting you on a watercolor canvas, as a cell-shaded colleague, or looking like you've just stepped out of an A-ha music video.

These features aren't exactly new, but the fact that they're exclusive to NPU-owning machines does suggest that they'll be much better performing than similar effects of old and potentially far more visually impressive.

Windows Central's Zac Bowden believes so, anyway. As he has reportedly seen the effects in action, claiming that they look "Super cool."

Outlook

There's no word yet as to when we'll see these features appear in preview builds, or even if they'll make the cut for the coming Windows 11 2H24 update, but it remains interesting to see how Microsoft plans to exploit the potential of new AI PCs.

Until then, we'll just have to wait a see whether this feature passes the Microsoft quality check, after which, we could all be left feeling more than a little Toonstruck in our Teams meetings.

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Rael Hornby
Content Editor

Rael Hornby, potentially influenced by far too many LucasArts titles at an early age, once thought he’d grow up to be a mighty pirate. However, after several interventions with close friends and family members, you’re now much more likely to see his name attached to the bylines of tech articles. While not maintaining a double life as an aspiring writer by day and indie game dev by night, you’ll find him sat in a corner somewhere muttering to himself about microtransactions or hunting down promising indie games on Twitter.