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  • Sound pick up by microphone
  • Enter text by keyboard
  • Access to settings
  • Display and language settings
  • Event settings
  • Advanced settings

What is it about:

The Live Transcibe is an important advance in the interpretation of conversations and sound stimuli for people wirh reduced or no hearing 

The application installed on a phone or tablet captures the sound of conversations in different environments through the microphone and converts it into text.

It is a very simple application to use that takes full advantage of the ability to convert voice to text developed by Google

The application has been developed in collaboration with Gallaudet University, the most important university for the deaf and hearing impaired in the United States.

Forms of acquisition:

The application is free to use and its Android version can be downloaded at the following link:

Link to Google Play

This app is not available for IOS.

 

Technical verification:

February 2020

Live Transcribe is an app that allows people with hearing difficulties or also people with speech difficulties to communicate with the people around them. For this, it has two ways of entering the text:

Voice – convert the voice to written text.

Keyboard – allows you to answer or speak without using your voice.

Functions

Audio recognition      Keyboard input

The application has two main functions, voice transcription with some sounds to text and text input via keyboard.

These two functions together allow you to have a conversation by writing text or transforming the voice to written text.

Voice transcription is automatically activated when entering the application itself, that is, once it is accessed the microphone begins to hear and transcribe. However, to access the keyboard you must click on the icon that represents it in the bar at the bottom of the screen.

Configuration

Display and language settings    Events settings    Advanced settings

The app allows you to configure different aspects by grouping in five sections:

- Screen. It allows you to change the text size and the activation of the dark theme of the application.

- Audio and language. It allows you to select the microphone that you want to use for voice recognition (the device itself or an external microphone if it is connected) and allows you to select two languages from seventy possible, one main and one secondary, between which you can change between using.

- Saved. It allows you to save the transcripts made for 3 days and clear the history of those transcripts saved.

- Events. It give us the option of our phone vibrating when there is a pause of more than 10 seconds between transcriptions along with an option to show labels of the surrounding sounds.

- Advanced settings. It allows us to select if we want to hide foul words and show us a pause button to control transcription.

Tests performed

In order to analyze and be able to perform an evaluation of the app, a series of test have been carried out in two different environments.

- Conversation in a quite environment. During the tests carried out in this environment, the application worked perfectly since there is no noise, the sound is captured very well, however, if the people who are participating in the conversation are much separated from the mobile device there may be words that does not get to capture or write them in the wrong way.

- Conversation in a noisy environment. During the tests carried out in this environment, the application has responded remarkably, although its operation has depended a lot on the place in which is being used and especially the amount of noise there is in the background, so it is necessary to speak near the microphone of the mobile itself or use an external one, which is recommended, even when we are not in a noisy place.

The external microphones that have been used for the development of these tests have been two: one integrated in headphones that are connected by cable and other integrated in headphones that are connected via Bluetooth, in both cases the audio has been collected and the transcription levels improves considerably in noisy environments, so it use is highly recommended.

It should also be noted that the transcriber usually has some failures when passing the audio to text mainly when a conversation is taking place with several people and they speak all at once, so to facilitate a correct reading it is recommended that participants talk one by one.

On the other hand, the recognition of nonverbal sounds presents some drawbacks since there are times that it fails to identify the sounds that are generated, for example, claps or finger snapping, although there are other that identify quite well such as door knocking , music or laughs.

Conclusions

In general, the app works well; contributing to people with auditory functional diversity or people who have speech difficulties can have a conversation.

The strong point of this app is undoubtedly that the transcription system is quite good and is even able to identify the intonation that a person gives to the phrases, that is, is able to identify if a person is asking or he is speaking naturally, it is also able to use punctuation marks in a correct way.

The less positive aspects of this app are related to the recognition of nonverbal sounds, which could be improved and refined a little more since it is difficult to identify that sounds in some cases and in others a label is shown that does not represent what is really happening.

Finally, it should be noted that as a free app it could be taken into account as communication system for people who has hearing problems, although being available only for Android devices reduce the reach of the people that can use it.

Highlights

  • It allows you to have a conversation with people who have hearing problems reliably in quiet environments.
  • Possibility to choose between 70 languages.
  • Allows quick access from the accessibility icon.
  • Simple and minimalist interface.
  • There is keyboard input as an alternative to voice input.
  • Is free.

Improvement points

  • It would be interesting if the text entered could be converted to voice.
  • It would be interesting if a chat interface were developed to a better recognise of the interlocutors.
  • The possibility of developing an IOS version could be studied.
  • Design and manufacturing: 5 sobre 5(5/5)
    5
    Refers to the physical aspects and details of the manufacturing of the technological product
  • User Experience: 4 sobre 5(4/5)
    4
    This criterion is linked to the user's assessment of the product or application
  • Technical features: 4 sobre 5(4/5)
    4
    Description of the quality of the technical specifications of the technological solution
  • Accessibility: 4 sobre 5(4/5)
    4
    It is the degree to which people can use or access a product, technological solution or service, regardless of their technical, cognitive or physical capabilities

Social valuation:

Pepe, our volunteer specialazed in testing products with reduced or no hearing has tried this product and in the following lines shows us his opinion.

To test, analyze and rate the usefulness of the application for the deaf or hearing impaired, he has performed different test of typical conversation scenarios during the day to day.

Conversation between two people in a quite environment

During the test carried out in this way, he says to us that the app works really well, since in the absence of background noise, the capture of the sound and therefore the words is much more efficient, achieving a very good instant transcription. he uses it almost daily at home.

Even so, we must ensure that the interlocutors are not very separated because the mobile microphone is very limited, and de distance accuses it a lot, causing mistakes or gaps due to the lack of feedback.

Conversation between two people in the street or in a noisy environment

In this way, it depends on where we are and on the background noise itself, the proximity and the position of the mobile phone to be able to capture the words well and that the user can read the text, which is transcribing on the screen. It works correctly but limited by the background noise.

It is interesting and he recommends carrying an external microphone or a headset with a microphone, he connects it and use it the person who is speaking, the microphone picks up the audio of the words very well and the transcription improves considerably.

Extern microphone connection

Conversation between more than two people inside a home

With the phone’s microphone, it often falls short due to its limitation. For example, at a table with four people, you can see the lack in the capture of the words of the most distant interlocutor. The use of an external microphone is advisable to ensure a greater sound capture. In addition, it is necessary to emphasize that they try to speak orderly and avoid speaking all at the same time, although sometimes is difficult. In case they speak at the same time, we only have to ask them to repeat what was said one by one and the app will re-transcribe the comments.

Little microphone

Conversation in business or familiar meetings

The tests performed at family gatherings last Christmas helped a lot to keep him in the conversations they had. In these cases, he uses an external microphone; he places it approximately in the centre of the meeting and except some very specific things, the transcription is fantastic. Equally, he recommends that the participants speak one by one to facilitate not only the greatest conversation transcription but also the correct reading by the user of it.

High quality microphone

Conclusions

Live Transcribe is a very useful app to people who have hearing problems. Contributes to communication efficiently, although sometimes is limited, being able to improve considerably by using microphones externals to the mobile.

Very easy to install and configure, as well as direct access from the main screen by pressing the accessibility icon is a very remarkable point.

Remember that you need an internet connection so you can make instant transcriptions, either via data or via Wi-Fi. If there is no connection, only nonverbal sounds will be indicated, that is, knocks on the door, dog barking, finger snapping, etc. Of course the better internet connection the better and more fluid it will work.

In certain scenarios, the transcription is really good as long as you speak clearly and the microphone of the mobile correctly captures the sound.

In a noisy or multi-person environment, I strongly recommend the use of an external microphone that will allow you to capture sounds better than the phone’s, as a reporter or by centring it when several people are gathering.

Very favourable point is that it is a free application constantly updated and making improvements. The counterpart is that for now ids only compatible with Android systems, it has no version for IOS.

For him it has become a really useful and indispensable application, without doubt it improves the communication between deaf or hearing-impaired people. In addition, without ads or advertising on it.

Highlights

  • Easy to use, install and configure.
  • Quickly access from the accessibility icon.
  • As soon as you open the application, start hearing and transcribing.
  • Possibility to choose between 70 different languages.
  • Possibility of using a main and a secondary language.
  • Possibility to connect an external microphone to improve reception quality sound.
  • You can answer by writing with the mobile keyboard.
  • The transcription can be saved for three days.
  • It is able to recognise different nonverbal sounds, labelling them on the screen.

Improvement points

  • Possibility of developing in IOS.
  • In Spanish, voice recognition has failures sometimes. Although is improving on each update.
  • Having the ability to save conversations up to three days, it would be fine to be able to access them using the keyboard to make corrections or annotations.
  • Possibility of using more than one microphone to capture the sound correctly, for example in family or business meetings.
  • It would be interesting the possibility of using the microphones of smart systems, such as Google Home or Amazon Echo, so well distributed in a room it can capture well enough so that the user do not miss the conversation.
  • It would be a great help if, a part of the instant transcription, do the translation to the selected language facilitating communication between people of different nationalities.
  • Impact and utility: 5 sobre 5(5/5)
    5
    Describe to what extent the functionalities of the product are useful and impact on the improvement of the user's life
  • Usability and accessibility: 5 sobre 5(5/5)
    5
    Possibility of the device to be used, understood and used in equal conditions for any person
  • Design and ergonomics: 5 sobre 5(5/5)
    5
    Assessment of how the design of the technological solution adapts to the person to achieve greater comfort and effectiveness when using it
  • Ease of acquisition: 4 sobre 5(4/5)
    4
    It refers to the possibilities of accessing and acquiring a technological solution by the user

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