Author: Alberto Vidal Rodríguez
Instant Google Meet transcription is an extremely useful feature for people with hearing difficulties to actively participate in video calls or video conferences.
By activating this functionality, the application will allow a conversion from speech to written text, which will be displayed on the screen of the user who has activated it, so that he can read what other people are speaking in real time.
In order to analyze and be able to carry out an evaluation of the application, a series of tests have been carried out to verify its correct operation, both on computer and mobile devices.
This is where the first important aspect to highlight appears. In the Meet mobile app, subtitles can only be activated in English. This is a great inconvenience when transcribing conversations in which Spanish-speaking people participate, since the transcription is very poor and with many errors.
For this reason, this transcription utility in the Google Meet mobile application is only recommended for video calls in which the language used is English.
Even so, it should be noted that the transcription performed is very good if it is spoken in English, since it takes advantage of the powerful voice-to-text conversion capacity developed by Google.
However, when using Google Meet from a computer, it is possible to select the language from which we want the transcription to be made into written text. The language options we find are: German, Spanish (Spain), Spanish (Mexico), French, English and Portuguese (Brazil).
In this way, if we make a video call on Google Meet from a computer, a conversation that takes place in Spanish can be transcribed to text, for example. This allows greater flexibility and that this functionality can be useful for a much larger number of users.
In general, in all the tests carried out the ability to transcribe the voice into written text is very good. Although on occasion a word may be wrongly transcribed, in general it is possible to continue the conversation without any problem.
With all the microphones with which it has been tested, both the one on the computer itself, such as wired headphones and built-in microphone, and wireless headphones, the result of the transcription is very satisfactory. Also when one of the participants is wearing a mask.
In addition, the existence of a chat within Google Meet video calls allows you to also interact by entering text by keyboard, not just by voice.
One of the main drawbacks is transcription when several people participate in the video call at the same time, since more errors appear in the transcription, so to facilitate a correct transcription it is recommended that the participants speak one by one.
The other drawback in this regard is that the area in which this text appears is very small, as can be seen in the image above, and it only allows several lines of text to be displayed at the same time. For this reason, when several people speak at the same time, this text disappears quickly, so it can be difficult to follow the conversation.
Therefore, it would be interesting if the area in which the text is displayed was expanded, either by changing the design of the call or reducing the size of the images of the participants. In this way the dialogues could be followed in a more comfortable way. It could also be interesting that everything that is transcribed is recorded in some type of chat or record, to facilitate the follow-up of the conversation for those with hearing difficulties or who cannot listen to it at that time.
In general, the Enable Subtitles functionality of Google Meet works well and can be very useful for people with hearing difficulties to participate fully in video calls or video conferences.
Its main strength is its great ability to correctly convert speech to written text, with hardly any errors and practically instantaneously.
Being free allows it to be accessible to a large number of users.
One of the less positive aspects is that on mobile devices, this functionality only allows you to activate subtitles when the conversation is in English, which greatly limits its use.
The design of the computer call interface can also be improved since, once the subtitles are activated, the space available for them is very small and is reduced to a couple of lines. This makes video calls with more than two or three participants difficult to follow the conversation through subtitles.
- Its free.
- Ability to correctly convert speech to written text, with hardly any errors and practically instantaneously.
- Simple and easy to use interface.
- When used from a computer, the possibility of activating subtitles for various languages.
- Only English subtitles can be enabled in the Meet mobile app.
- When used from a computer, the area for subtitles is small, which sometimes makes it difficult to follow a conversation with several participants.