Why it matters: Especially in a post-pandemic world, our dependence on the Internet and its communication tools continues to grow, making contact with people from all walks of life almost inevitable. Zoom seems to be thinking about this, as it is planning new features for its video chat platform, which I hope will facilitate understanding between users of different nationalities.
Zoom hosted the 2021 edition of Zoomtopia this week. There, they demonstrated several new features for the future, including real-time translation, which aims to remove language barriers during video conferencing. This feature will be available in beta this month and is expected to be fully available by the end of the year. Zoom is still making a list of supported languages, but the goal is to have 12 translation languages and 30 transcription languages by the end of 2022. Translated immediately into Japanese and Chinese, with a German-speaker in English the same immediately.
This simultaneous speech-to-text translation works thanks to artificial intelligence. Powerful algorithms for machine translation. Subtitles are displayed in different languages.
Zoom has not fully developed the built-in app; However, they mostly achieved the merger through Kites, the startup they acquired in June. It's not clear whether zoom will be charged for the new functionality or not, it shows exactly 12 languages the app can translate, but Portuguese and Korean are shown to complete the feature.
Although Skype has been out of focus for the past few years, it now has the ability to translate speech, although these days Microsoft is more focused on teams, which is somewhat competitive with people Like Slack and Zoom.
Zoom has also indicated that it intends to automatically expand its voice services. It currently works in English only.
Zoom plans to add simultaneous translation into 12 languages next year