Zoom is making its automatic closed captioning feature free for all users

Zoom has today announced that it is extending the platform’s Live Transcription capability to all users, both free and paid. The company – which recorded a massive boost in its user base as work and education shifted to a remote collaboration format in the pandemic era – has announced that Live Transcriptions will be rolled out for all users on its free service tier in the fall season.

Coming in the fall season, but you can request an early preview

However, if you want to try the feature prior to its wider rollout, you can request early access to the service by filling out a form. To recall, Live Transcription has so far been exclusive to the paid Pro, Business, Education, and Enterprise accounts, as well as approved K-12 accounts on both its desktop and mobile clients. However, it appears that the accessibility feature in question is limited to supporting the English language only at the moment.

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Additionally, Zoom has also highlighted a few pre-requisites for the Live Transcription feature to work properly. The company says that the performance of its real-time automatic transcription feature depends on factors such as the level of background noise, how loud and clear the speaker’s voice is, and if the speaker is proficient in the English language. Additionally, dialects and words limited to a particular region might prove to be limiting as well.

Factors such as background noise and how good an English speaker you are, will affect the performance

And in case the Live Transcription feature is not proving to be particularly useful due to any of the aforementioned limitations, Zoom already offers a manual captioning feature to all users. A meeting’s host can either take the responsibility of closed captioning the ongoing interaction on himself, or he can assign the duty to an attendee of his choice. Moreover, Zoom also allows users to rely on a third-party closed captioning service as well.

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Zoom itself recommends a manual captioner for a higher degree of accuracy instead of its AI-based solution whose efficiency is dependent on a variety of external factors. The Live Transcription feature is currently available on v5.0.2 (or later version) of Zoom for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.

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