Microsoft brings live captions and subtitles to Skype and PowerPoint

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The Microsoft-owned video calling app also announced the release of translations that support over 20 languages and dialects. But those who are deaf or hard of hearing are at a disadvantage in those situations. Coinciding with the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the new feature will give users a real-time transcription of what's being said in a call, making it easier to keep up for everyone, but particularly for those who may require assistance due to a hearing disability. In a future update, the developers plan to enable an optional separate window for subtitles so you can scroll back in case you miss something.

The new technology has been launched for Skype. Even if you hear just fine, this feature might help you filter out the noise in a busy video call.

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Further, the blog post said the captions are "optimized to be fast, continuous, and contextually updated as people speak". The goal is to offer an alternative means of following a spoken PowerPoint presentation or participating in a Skype audio or video call.

For Skype, live captions and subtitles are immediately available as a way to display text of the conversation. Turn on the switch to Show subtitles for all voice and video calls. Assuming the user is running Skype version 8, they can turn on the feature during a call by tapping the more + button, then selecting "Turn subtitles on". These real-time translations will be real-time in nature and users will be able to turn them on and off with a simple setting toggle for specific calls. Google, Apple, Facebook, and a few others have gone the extra mile to roll out features that aid users with different impairments, and hopefully the rest follow suit.

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