Zoom live transcriptions will be made free for all users from the “Fall 2021”, the company said in a blog post. Live transcriptions or automatic closed captioning is currently a paid functionality in the app, but according to the company, the feature will be made available to all users this year. Live transcription enables users to see real-time captions during video calls. This reduces the chances of miscommunication during conference meetings between users from different regions. While the feature will roll out broadly in the fall of 2021, it is offering it to meeting hosts who need it immediately, upon request.
In a blog post, Zoom confirmed that it is working towards making automatic closed captioning aka ‘Live Transcription’ available to all users in the fall of 2021. Automatic closed captioning is part of Zoom Meetings accessibility features that also includes keyboard accessibility, pinning or spotlighting interpreter video, screen reader support, and a range of other accessibility settings. This is a paid feature currently, but it looks to go free sometime later this year.
Until that happens, Zoom wants to make live transcription available to any host that needs it urgently. For this purpose, it is asking users to sign up by filling an online form and asking for free access to the feature. Upon request from meeting hosts, Zoom will be offering live transcription to those accounts. Once live transcription is enabled for the requested account, the user will receive a confirmation email with more details.
Zoom says on its support page that ‘live transcription’ only supports English for now and it recommends users to speak clearly for best results. The accuracy of Zoom’s live transcription feature depends on many variables like background noise, volume and clarity of the speaker’s voice, speaker’s proficiency with the English language, and lexicons and dialects specific to a geography or community.
Earlier this month, Zoom introduced new changes including a virtual receptionist feature available on Zoom Rooms Kiosk Mode. Other features include being able to check how many people are in a room, the ability to pair a Zoom Room with your mobile and sharing a whiteboard on Zoom Chat.