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Google updates Live Transcribe app with transcriptions of ambient sounds

These new updates will help the deaf and hard-of-hearing better connect with information.

Published onMay 16, 2019

Google introduced the Live Transcribe app earlier this year. The app helps the deaf and hard-of-hearing by transcribing speech in real time, allowing them to visualize the conversation without needing to read lips or communicate through a translator.

Today, Google announced a few new features coming to Live Transcribe in the near future. The biggest and most exciting of these new features is the ability for Live Transcribe to understand and interpret non-speech sounds, such as laughter, clapping, or even a knock at the door.

Google’s new apps will make life easier for the hearing-impaired

If you think about it, a conversation isn’t just about words spoken. If during a conversation there’s a knock at the door, a deaf person who is reading the transcription on a phone might be jolted by the conversation suddenly stopping. Additionally, if someone is reading the transcription after the fact, they might similarly be confused about why the conversation stopped.

Live Transcribe will solve this problem by transcribing sound events, even including dogs barking and passing sirens.

An official image of a new Live Transcribe feature which transcribes non-conversation sounds, like whistling and dogs barking.

Another new feature is the ability to copy and paste transcripts, which will be stored locally on your smartphone for three days. This makes Live Transcribe not only a terrific tool for the deaf but also for journalists and students who want to transcribe interviews or lectures and then save them for later.

Finally, Google is also making the audio visualization indicator bigger, so that users can more easily see the background audio around them.

Live Transcribe works on the majority of Android devices (over 1.8 billion, actually). Click the button below to download it now!

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