Zoom
Zoom

Teleconferencing or video calls have become a major part of our daily life ever since the coronavirus pandemic started keeping people apart.

Apps like Zoom, Google Hangouts, Google Meet, and not to forget, Skype have been serving the purpose of not just keeping us in touch with our friends and family while we self-quarantine during the lockdowns, but are also helping teachers connect with children in "virtual classrooms" to ensure that the students are not missing out on school work while school's out. Now it looks like the video calls are about to get a whole lot easier and better, thanks to a new real-time call transcription feature on Zoom.

Zoom's real-time transcription feature

The video conferencing service, which has been among the biggest beneficiaries of the COVID-19 pandemic-related lockdown, has announced that it now integrates with transcription service Otter.ai, which means that your calls can now be transcribed in real time.

Real-time transcription in Zoom could come in handy to all those students and work-from-home employees who find it difficult to listen and take notes at the same time. The feature will not only make it easier for students and workers to take notes while listening but also make the information more accurate and accessible, according to Simon Lau, Vice President of Product at Otter.ai

The new transcription tool is compatible with Zoom's present mode. When it is enabled, the participants or audience can see live captions while the presenter goes about their lecture or demonstration.

Annotate, co-edit, highlight text in real-time

That's not all. The participants in a conference call can also co-edit the script, highlight text or tag speakers in the log as the conversation takes place.

Otter.ai's artificial intelligence prowess will also help it differentiate who is speaking based on the assigned tags.

Maintaining the edge over the competition

Real-time transcription feature is Zoom's latest feature to maintain its current popularity and edge over other video conferencing services and apps.

The competition has been trying hard to take on Zoom and attract more users towards them. Google Meet recently launched features like a gallery layout and easy integration with Gmail. Skype too announced a special Meet Now video calling feature that doesn't require you to sign-up or install the app or software.

Zoom 5.0 with improved security

Zoom's partnership with Otter.ai may help entice users back to the service following the slew of security issues over the past few weeks. The Silicon Valley-based tech company also recently unveiled a new update called Zoom 5.0 with a number of security enhancements such as support for AES 256-bit GCM encryption and more control over meetings.

However, aside from all the user privacy concerns, Zoom is a great video conferencing service and its popularity and downloads during the lockdown show that, and its new feature most certainly doesn't disappoint.

How to start using the real-time transcription feature in Zoom

To start seeing real-time transcription and activate the feature during a Zoom meeting, you will first need to have access to a Zoom Pro, Business or Enterprise account. Only then will you be able to sync your Zoom cloud meetings with Otter.ai for automatic real-time transcription.

If you have any of these accounts, you will have to get your Zoom administrator to pre-approve Otter.ai in the Zoom marketplace and allow live streaming option in Zoom, before approving live streaming in your chat window by yourself.

Then you will need to sign up for one of Otter.ai's paid plans and click on the "Otter.ai Live Transcript" button within your chat window.

This will take you to the "Live Video Meeting Notes" page on Otter.ai's website where you can see the transcription. "Live Video Meeting Notes" is a paid feature included in the paid plans with no additional per-minute charges.

Otter.ai offers three paid plans, Basic, Premium, and Team with varying prices and available features.

The Live Video Meeting Noted service also allows you to annotate your notes in real-time, and allows for collaborative note-taking among all the participants in the call.