What is Live Translate?
Google seem relentless in their investment in new and exciting technology and applications, and one of their more recent endeavours is Live Transcribe.
As the name suggests, the app has one single purpose, to transcribe spoken audio into written text, though it does so with surprising clarity.
You may have seen Starkey’s new hearing aid, the LivioAI, which has a similar feature built in. The LivioAI listens to any language, translates it and then voices the translation to the hearing aid user in their own language. Theoretically this is great, however, Google Translate is infamous for mistranslations and issues regarding multiple definitions of the same word. So, practically, this technology is yet to be tested as the LivioAI will be launched in mid-march.
Google’s new app is of particular interest in the hearing aid world.
Naturally, we tested the transcribing ability of the app, by having a conversation about our new noise protection videos on our YouTube channel. Impressively, the App accurately got almost every single word correct, with a few exceptions such as the difference between “we’re” and “where”.
So how can this app best be used in the hearing aid world?
People with extremely profound hearing losses can hear almost nothing without amplification, making communication via speech with the person beyond arduous. This is where Live Transcribe sees its first use. Were a profoundly hearing impaired individual to enter our clinic, we could give them the app on a phone and speak to them normally. The app would then transcribe our speech to text for the individual to read. Although it may seem rudimentary in concept, similar to writing your message down on paper, this would speed up communication significantly.
The App naturally has most of the more common languages built in, and you can actually set up a primary and secondary language for bilingual users. You can switch between the two languages using the simple button below, and the app also comes with a keyboard just in case it fails to recognize a word, so you can type it out manually.
The app also has a few in-built features and options. You can choose between a light and dark theme which inverts the text and background to be either black or white, this can help people with contrast-related optical impairment such as Glaucoma. You can also adjust the size of text, so it’s clearly geared towards an audience with age-related ailments.
Furthermore, the app vibrates the user’s phone when the speaker starts speaking again after a 10-second pause. This is aimed at more profoundly hearing impaired individuals, who would not necessarily know the speaker has adjourned.