Zoom Finally Offers Auto-Generated Captions For Free Users

Zoom has announced that it is rolling out live transcription.

Zoom has followed through on its promise to add auto-generated closed captions to all free Zoom meetings accounts to make its service more accessible, the company announced.

The auto-generated captions or live transcription feature provides automatic captioning during a Zoom video call. The feature was earlier available only to the paid Zoom Meetings and Zoom Video Webinars accounts.

According to The Verge, captions are only available in English, but the company says it plans to expand to other languages in the future.

Zoom said that the feature has been rolled out to all users to help people with disabilities. “ It’s important to us that everyone can successfully connect, communicate, and participate using Zoom. Without the proper accessibility tools, people with disabilities face tremendous barriers when using video communication solutions. That’s why we are focused on building out a platform that is accessible to everyone, and features such as auto-generated captions are an important part of that mission,” the blog noted.

Zoom had previously offered AI-powered live transcription only for its paid accounts, which drew criticism from accessibility advocates who noted the ubiquity of Zoom calls during the pandemic left deaf users with limited options.

Without the auto-captions, Zoom meeting hosts had to either use a third-party captioning service or manually add their own captions.

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The company has added more accessibility options over the past year, including support for screen readers and allowing multiple videos to be visible at the same time, allowing a sign language interpreter to be visible at all times, even when another user on the call is speaking.

Zoom is also working to set up meeting spaces of all sizes. Zoom will also set up Zoom Rooms Smart Gallery, which is available in public beta for now. The company said that it is creating Smart Gallery to enable remote workers to be represented equally on the screen with other participants, creating a more inclusive meeting experience for everyone.

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