Google Chrome has a new update out that will allow users to enjoy live captions when watching videos and listening to audio via the browser.
According to XDADevelopers, the real-time caption feature leverages machine learning to produce real-time transcriptions of your favourite audio and video from within your Chrome browser.
Where before users might’ve had the audio and video innocuously playing in the background, the feature produces automatic transcriptions that can then be saved and revisited, making Chrome far more accessible for the hearing impaired.
To activate Live Caption in Chrome, paste chrome://flags/#enable-accessibility-live-caption into the search bar and search for Live Caption. After you enable Live Caption, you will have to restart Chrome to be able to do start using it. Once Chrome relaunches, you will see a small bar along the bottom with live captions when you play a video or a podcast. Since Live Caption is still an experimental feature on desktop platforms, it doesn’t yet work with YouTube on the stable channel.
When enabled for the first time, Live Caption will download speech recognition files. Captions will then appear in a text box at the bottom of the window which can be expanded or collapsed as wished. Fortunately, Chrome also adds an icon on the toolbar so that users won’t have to go through the settings again just to toggle Live Caption on and off.
This move is significant, especially considering there are still places on the internet that still haven’t enabled live captioning for audio content, not to mention occasional new features that roll out without thought for the deaf or hard of hearing community.
Additionally, Chrome is one of the most popular browsers around, meaning plenty of people who use PCs or Macbooks can use the new feature.
Live Caption will be available globally (in the latest release) on Windows, Mac and Linux and will be coming soon to ChromeOS.