Microsoft-owned Skype on Monday announced the launch of call captioning with live, real-time captioning and subtitles, on the occasion of the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The new feature will work on the latest version of Skype, and is available on individual as well as group calls (both personal or professional). With the addition of this feature, Skype aims to help users with reduced hearing capabilities communicate better in real time. In their current form, captions and subtitles will auto-scroll in your call, however you will find additional viewing options in future updates. These additional viewing options will include the ability to scroll through them in their own side window.
Real-time captions and subtitles on Skype can be turned on by simple settings that let you toggle between specific calls or be default on all calls. To turn on live captions and subtitles during a call, select the More button and click on Turn subtitles on. To turn off, click on Turn subtitles off. To enable the feature as the default for all Skype calls, select your profile picture, click on Settings > Calling > Call subtitles and toggle on Show subtitles for all voice and video calls.
The new feature will be available on Android, iOS, Windows, Skype for Windows 10, Linux, and Mac expectedly in the coming days.
“Skype has been hard at work at making our features more inclusive, and live captions & subtitles are just one way we made Skype calls more accessible...Live captions & subtitles are optimised to be fast, continuous, and contextually updated as people speak,” said Skype in a blog post on Monday.
In the coming weeks, Skype announced, the video-calling platform will be getting support for translation in over 20 languages and dialects. These real-time translations will be real-time in nature and users will be able to turn them on and off with a simple setting toggle for specific calls. These two announcements come as part of Skype's drive towards inclusivity.
Additionally, Microsoft has also announced that live captions and subtitles will become available in PowerPoint as well. Live captions and subtitles in PowerPoint will begin rolling out in late January 2019 and will be available for Office 365 subscribers worldwide for PowerPoint on Windows 10, PowerPoint for Mac, and PowerPoint Online.