Tech how-to: Get live captions on your phone or computer

For those of us with good hearing, it’s easy to take advantage of the latest technology on our phones and computers. But what do hearing-impaired people do when they need to use apps or other programs that require sound? Tap or click here for a quick test of how good your hearing is.

To solve this problem, Google has developed live subtitles that work with almost all apps. Like YouTube’s subtitles, Live Caption converts spoken words into a text format, making it easier for the hearing-impaired community to enjoy the content.

However, the biggest difference between Google’s captioning and YouTube is that Live Caption works as the name suggests – live. It effectively transcribes all spoken words into on-screen text and works with everything from video calls to podcasts.

Here’s the backstory

The feature is available on certain Android phones for now and was first introduced with the Google Pixel 4. As Google explains, it only takes a single tap to automatically add subtitles to videos and spoken audio. Live Caption also works in Google Chrome browser for desktop computers.

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“It’s real-time and entirely on-device, so it works even when you don’t have cellular data or Wi-Fi, and the captions are always private and never leave your phone. The captions won’t get in the way of what you’re looking for either,” Google explained in a blog post.

Live Caption was also not specifically designed for the deaf community. There may be situations where listening to audio is not possible, e.g. B. on a train, bus or other public places. Can’t hear and left your headphones at home? No problem, because Live Caption can help you with that.

This is how live captioning works

Live Caption is available now on the Google Pixel 4 and will roll out to other Pixel models later this year. It will also be available for other Android phones such as Samsung’s Galaxy S series and select OnePlus smartphones. You can also use it with your Chrome browser for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Exactly how it works is a small technological marvel. Google’s developers explained that it works through a combination of three deep learning models on the device. Of the three, one is a text-based recurrent neural network model for tacit punctuation. This helps him distinguish between subtle nuances and meanings.

“Live Caption integrates the signal from the three models to create a single caption track in which audio event tags, such as [APPLAUSE] and [MUSIC], appear without interrupting the flow of speech recognition results. Punctuation is predicted while text is updated in parallel,” Google explained.

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How to easily add live subtitles to something

If you have a supporting smartphone, you don’t need to download anything to make it work. It’s built into the operating system and you’re good to go. You can also enable it for Google Chrome on your desktop computer.

To enable it on Pixel phones:

  • open that settings Menu
  • Scroll down and tap Accessibility
  • Look for the Live Captions option and tap on it

How to enable it on Samsung phones:

  • open that settings Menu
  • Scroll down and tap Accessibility
  • Beat hearing improvements
  • Choose live subtitles

How to enable it in Google Chrome:

  • open that Google Chrome browser on your computer
  • press the menu icon in the top right corner of your screen (three dots)
  • Beat settings
  • Tap on the left side of the screen Arrow next to Advanced
  • Beat Accessibility
  • Turn the live subtitles Feature enabled (this will add the necessary files to Chrome so that videos can be transcribed offline)
  • Open an online video
  • press the play button and captions appear on the screen

Once you activate it, several other options are available. You can decide where the text appears on the screen, whether profanity is filtered out, or whether sound labels are displayed for music or applause. You can also adjust the size of the text as you like.

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