Microsoft announced the launch of scrolling, live call captions and a subtitles feature for Skype users in a blog post Monday.
The AI-powered feature is designed to facilitate communication for all users, in particular people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and create “a more inclusive experience” where users can get real-time transcription of what’s being said in a Skype call, Microsoft said in the post.
The announcement coincided with the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
The new feature can be used for audio and video calls and is turned on by pressing the “more,” or plus sign (+) button during a call and turning subtitles on. This can also be set as a default.
The company said that in the coming weeks, it would also be releasing a translation function that supports over 20 languages and dialects, which could be simply turned on by using a toggle.
The same features would be rolled out for PowerPoint early next year, it said in a separate blog post.
The United Nations has observed Dec. 3 as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities annually since 1992. The new Skype features tie in with this year’s theme of providing inclusive, equitable and sustainable development for persons with disabilities.
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Write to Supriya Batra at Supriya.Batra@time.com