Zoom users will now be able to benefit from a new live transcription tool, the video conferencing giant announced today.
The feature, which automatically generates speaker subtitles on Zoom video meetings or webinars, is now available across all free and paid Zoom Meetings and Zoom Video Webinars accounts.
However, the tool is currently only available in English, the company stated, with plans to expand live transcription to other languages in the future. Zoom also supports third-party captioning services which might offer auto-generated captions in other languages.
Zoom’s live transcription can be enabled by users through the Zoom web portal, or privately requested during a meeting session using the toolbar.
The feature not only has the potential to make communication easier but is also a crucial tool in making video conferencing more accessible to those with hearing impairments.
Zoom Meetings and Chat product marketing manager, Theresa Larkin, said that it’s important that “everyone can successfully connect, communicate, and participate” using the video conferencing platform.
“Without the proper accessibility tools, people with disabilities face tremendous barriers when using video communication solutions. That’s why we are focused on building out a platform that is accessible to everyone, and features such as auto-generated captions are an important part of that mission,” she added.
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Zoom has also set its sights on enabling real-time, multi-language translation capabilities for its users in an effort “to deliver happiness to our users and improve meeting productivity”. In June, the company announced the acquisition of Karlsruhe Information Technology Solutions (Kites) – a startup focused on the development of real-time AI-powered translation technologies.
Prior to that, Zoom also unveiled a new range of desk phones fit for the office and the home that includes high-definition video as well as built-in collaboration software. The new offerings, with live transcription being the latest, are part of the company’s efforts to retain users as lockdown restrictions are eased and more workers return to the office.
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