The days of navigating those high-profile international Microsoft Teams calls in a pidgin language may soon be over thanks to a new update.
The video conferencing tool has announced an expansion to its live translated captions service that will allow mobile and smartphone users to benefit for the first time.
Previously limited to those on a PC or Mac, Android and iOS users will now be able to choose live captions in whatever language they like, hopefully making global calls a bit easier to understand.
Microsoft Teams live captions
In its entry on the official Microsoft 365 roadmap (opens in new tab), the company noted that it hopes the feature will allow for “a more inclusive meeting experience”.
It means that, when starting and setting up a call, Microsoft Teams users will be able to select live captions in the language of their choice, helping them gain better understanding with other participants.
The tool is listed as still being in development, but has a scheduled rollout date of August 2023, meaning users should not have long to wait.
However, the company did note that the feature will be part of Microsoft Teams Premium – the higher-tier, paid-for edition of its platform, meaning not all users will be able to benefit, at least for the time being.
The news is the latest in a series of upgrades for Microsoft Teams and its translation capabilities as the company looks to make the platform more useful for users around the globe.
Microsoft initially revealed plans for live translated captions feature in August 2022, noting the launch was made possible by its Microsoft Cognitive Service Speech Translation Capabilities, part of the company’s Azure cloud platform, and able to offer powerful and fast translation services in real-time.
The company also announced “intelligent translation” for Microsoft Teams Mobile users on Android and iOS, which quickly translated messages in a foreign language, making sure there’s never any delay or errors.
Microsoft also recently adopted Z-Code AI technology to significantly improve the quality of its production translation models.
Another move early in 2022 meant Microsoft Teams also gained access to a large network of professional interpreters who dial into meetings on request. Once a session has begun, Microsoft Teams users can switch between the original audio feed and the interpreter’s translation via a drop-down menu.