Live Transcribe is an app that allows people with hearing difficulties or also people with speech difficulties to communicate with the people around them. For this, it has two ways of entering the text:
Voice – convert the voice to written text.
Keyboard – allows you to answer or speak without using your voice.
The application has two main functions, voice transcription with some sounds to text and text input via keyboard.
These two functions together allow you to have a conversation by writing text or transforming the voice to written text.
Voice transcription is automatically activated when entering the application itself, that is, once it is accessed the microphone begins to hear and transcribe. However, to access the keyboard you must click on the icon that represents it in the bar at the bottom of the screen.
The app allows you to configure different aspects by grouping in five sections:
- Screen. It allows you to change the text size and the activation of the dark theme of the application.
- Audio and language. It allows you to select the microphone that you want to use for voice recognition (the device itself or an external microphone if it is connected) and allows you to select two languages from seventy possible, one main and one secondary, between which you can change between using.
- Saved. It allows you to save the transcripts made for 3 days and clear the history of those transcripts saved.
- Events. It give us the option of our phone vibrating when there is a pause of more than 10 seconds between transcriptions along with an option to show labels of the surrounding sounds.
- Advanced settings. It allows us to select if we want to hide foul words and show us a pause button to control transcription.
In order to analyze and be able to perform an evaluation of the app, a series of test have been carried out in two different environments.
- Conversation in a quite environment. During the tests carried out in this environment, the application worked perfectly since there is no noise, the sound is captured very well, however, if the people who are participating in the conversation are much separated from the mobile device there may be words that does not get to capture or write them in the wrong way.
- Conversation in a noisy environment. During the tests carried out in this environment, the application has responded remarkably, although its operation has depended a lot on the place in which is being used and especially the amount of noise there is in the background, so it is necessary to speak near the microphone of the mobile itself or use an external one, which is recommended, even when we are not in a noisy place.
The external microphones that have been used for the development of these tests have been two: one integrated in headphones that are connected by cable and other integrated in headphones that are connected via Bluetooth, in both cases the audio has been collected and the transcription levels improves considerably in noisy environments, so it use is highly recommended.
It should also be noted that the transcriber usually has some failures when passing the audio to text mainly when a conversation is taking place with several people and they speak all at once, so to facilitate a correct reading it is recommended that participants talk one by one.
On the other hand, the recognition of nonverbal sounds presents some drawbacks since there are times that it fails to identify the sounds that are generated, for example, claps or finger snapping, although there are other that identify quite well such as door knocking , music or laughs.
In general, the app works well; contributing to people with auditory functional diversity or people who have speech difficulties can have a conversation.
The strong point of this app is undoubtedly that the transcription system is quite good and is even able to identify the intonation that a person gives to the phrases, that is, is able to identify if a person is asking or he is speaking naturally, it is also able to use punctuation marks in a correct way.
The less positive aspects of this app are related to the recognition of nonverbal sounds, which could be improved and refined a little more since it is difficult to identify that sounds in some cases and in others a label is shown that does not represent what is really happening.
Finally, it should be noted that as a free app it could be taken into account as communication system for people who has hearing problems, although being available only for Android devices reduce the reach of the people that can use it.
- It allows you to have a conversation with people who have hearing problems reliably in quiet environments.
- Possibility to choose between 70 languages.
- Allows quick access from the accessibility icon.
- Simple and minimalist interface.
- There is keyboard input as an alternative to voice input.
- Is free.
- It would be interesting if the text entered could be converted to voice.
- It would be interesting if a chat interface were developed to a better recognise of the interlocutors.
- The possibility of developing an IOS version could be studied.