Microsoft’s newest Garage app, the company’s brand for more experimental applications, is Group Transcribe, which allows groups of people to capture transcripts of collective meetings in real time using their phones. It is available for free right now on iOS.
“This application uses a multi-device approach to provide high-quality, real-time transcription and translation so that users can be more present and productive during meetings and in-person conversations,” Microsoft’s Lainie Huston said in a post from Blog.
Is that how it works. Everyone who wants to participate in group transcription must download the Group Transcribe app. Then one person starts a transcript and can invite others to join by sharing a five-letter talk code, QR code, or joining the group transcript with close sharing via Bluetooth.
The app will then start transcribing the group’s conversation, noting who said what. Group Transcribe can also automatically translate what people say and display those translations online as part of the transcription. Transcripts are saved in the app so you can review or share them after a meeting.
Here’s a screenshot of what transcripts and translations look like:
Microsoft suggests that each person participating in the meeting should use their own phone “close at hand” to have “the highest quality experience.” And in a frequently asked question, Microsoft says that Group Transcribe does not have a limit to the number of people who can join a transcript, but notes that the application works best for “in-person meetings. [with] up to four people “.
Microsoft does not require you to log in with any type of account to use the application, you just have to enter your name and your preferred language. The application sends data to the cloud as part of the speaker identification and transcription process, but Microsoft allows you to choose whether you want to share meeting recordings with the company that you will use to help improve Microsoft’s speech recognition technologies. And if you’re doing a group transcription, everyone in the group must have agreed to share recordings before sharing one with Microsoft.
You can read more about the application and its privacy features in the Microsoft FAQ.