Having captions on a social video is great when you purposely have your sound off. It makes sure you don’t miss anything, even if you’re not able to listen to sound or speech. If you are hearing impaired, these captions are sorely missed in everyday life. Thats why Google developed Live Transcribe. The tech giant released two new apps that instantly transcribe audio to text. Literally adding captions to everyday conversations.

Amplifying sound and converting to text

Google published two separate apps in early-access on Google Play and on a special website about Live Transcribe. Both apps compliment each other. The app ‘Sound amplifier’, first shown on I/O 2018, clears audio of background noise and boosts and tunes sounds. This makes it easier for the app ‘Live transcribe’ to do what it does best, transcribing anything word spoken and recorded by a smartphone or device. The app can instantly transcribe in 70 different languages and dialects. And does so really accurately. Not surprising, given that Google partnered up with Gallaudet University. One of the best schools for the deaf or the hearing impaired.

Transcribing conversations at the dinner table

Getting an instant transcription of anything that’s being said is great for the hearing impaired. It allows people to join into conversations more easily and reduces the need for an extra explanation or a joke being repeated. On the live transcribe website Christian Vogler from Gallaudet University shares a nice quote.

“We can now do things that weren’t even remotely possible a few years ago, like jump into conversations at the dinner table or casually join in when the opportunity arises.”

These examples show how big the impact of these new apps can have.

Help testing Live Transcribe

Live Transcribe, as well as Sound Amplifier, are currently in beta. You can help test the apps and help the developers make improvements. Making sure the apps are the best versions when they are officially released.

Get the apps


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