Yes! It's this newsletter's birthday. Am I expecting you to send me gifts? No. Well, maybe.
No, never mind.
But yes, I've always wanted to get into the newsletter space (specially after having worked on a tech-blog) for so long, and it's been really fun; all of it. A quick shout out to all of you for still receiving and reading these tech-letters. I earn $0 from this, as it's really just a passion project, so it's rewarding to know that you folk enjoy it.
That being said, today's tech-tool is a fun one (as are all). It's really going to maximise your workflow and how efficiently you can focus on tasks, or conversations, at hand.
Microsoft Group Transcribe 👯
Ever watched the series "Silicon Valley"? If you're into tech and haven't, strongly recommended. But in case you're not familiar with the concept, big tech firms (and firms in general) tend to work with 'incubators'. These are essentially small companies that help develop something innovative, whether that's a new product or a software.
Microsoft Garage is Microsoft's in-house incubator, where folks work on projects they enjoy and see potential in. Today's tech-letter will cover their latest in-house production: Group Transcribe.
You know what transcribing is. It's when you put spoken words in printed form. So on your iPhone when someone leaves a voicemail and your phone shows you the text version of that, that's the transcription of that voicemail. Following that train of thought, Group Transcribe brings transcription to the real world.
Whether you're on a Zoom call or talking to someone in-real-life, Group Transcribe is great when it comes to providing real-time transcription. Yes, you read that right. This isn't like a conversation with Siri where you have to repeat something a few times before she gets it (specially if you have an accent). With Group Transcribe, you're able to have actual conversations (in your normal conversation-speed), and this app will write down every single thing.
This is exciting, but not the selling point of this app. Transcriptions are fun, sure. Real-time transcriptions are exciting, yes. But there are other transcription apps out there, so the question is, what makes this better?
Normally, conversations are between two or more people (unless you're like me; I have totally caught myself talking to myself very often). With Group Transcribe, other people (in real life) are able c to "join" your digital conversation, and transcribe that.
Let me elaborate.
Say you're in a meeting with 2 or more people. Everyone will get to scan your app's QR code (or type it out) and join your digital conversation. So instead of having to manually take notes while talking to someone else, Group Transcribe will convert everything to text.
This means that transcriptions are separated based on the person. Which is to say that if Prithvi (me) and John Doe (you) are in this meeting, the app will identify the different voices and transcribe it as if it were a conversation on iMessage (or Signal).
Hey John, what do you think of my cool new hairstyle?
I hate it.
It's important to understand how this works. When you start running the transcribe clock, Microsoft's "online speech recognition and translation technology" receives this information, so that the magic can happen. To protect your privacy, Microsoft attaches a random identifier to your information, so it doesn't exactly link it to you, John Doe.
Key information isn't saved either (just in case you're out there discussing your passwords or credit card information with anyone and choosing to transcribe that info for some reason). They don't save meeting transcripts or recordings either— it's all stored on your device (and deleted if you ever delete the app).
There's one more cool feature though: Group Transcribe translates speech in real time. So not only can you set this app up on your phone in your own language, but it supports 80+ languages in general. To make things exciting, let's go back to our Prithvi & John conversation.
Say I have my Group Transcribe app set up in Spanish (because I don't speak English) and John Doe has his app set up in English (because he doesn't speak Spanish). How are we supposed to talk to each other?
If and when we connect to a digital room in Group Transcribe, we can speak in our native language and the app provides translations in real time. So even though John, who is in front of me, will hear me speak in Spanish, his Group Transcribe app will instantly translate my speech to English. Just imagine how convenient this is going to be once you all get to travel to different countries once again.
Microsoft's Group Transcribe is an iOS-only app that allows real-time speech-to-text transcription. It's main purpose is to transcribe conversations, by letting you focus on the present more, as well as summarise important conversations, whether by yourself, or with others.
If you're with other iOS users, Group Transcribe lets you everyone connect to a digital room where text is separated by the people involved. Each transcript is save on your phone and can be shared with others, and is free to use. You don't even need to create an account.